I think he knew it all along, Wenger.
And not to confuse you, I mean, I think Arsene Wenger knew we were going to finish fourth right from the beginning even when we were league leaders for months.
Let me explain.
For those of you who are Christians – and I’m not trying to push religion in the faces of those who aren’t – the bible explains that God knows the end from the beginning. He writes the scripts with two endings in place and the actions we take pre-determine how the movie of our lives end.
The bible also says the world turned hideous, full of sin and suffering since the devil was cast down to it. There have been and will continue to be wars, rumours of wars, disease and lots of evil happening to good people and bad people, and our reaction towards it and our actions in this world determine the end of our movie – life or death.
If we resist temptation, stick our tongues out to sin and stay strong when things really go bad, we repay the trust God had in us from the beginning – giving us freewill.
Now, how does Duke Arsene Wenger, prince of the manor of Ashburtonshire fit into my ramblings?
Well, ever since Septic Sepp Blatter was cast down into the world of football, and he doesn’t look like he’s leaving anytime soon, the world of football has experienced extreme obscenity.
FIFA has been riddled with corruption and corrupt practices, football clubs have made unprecedented monetary losses just so they can keep up with the Joneses. Despot rulers in the football-o-sphere have risen in the likes of PSG, AS Monaco, Chelsea FC, Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Barcelona.
These despots have crushed opposition and bullied the less privileged while Sep Blatter holds his pitch-fork and watches from his rotting-worm ridden throne. It has become a “money-talks-bullshit-walks” situation.
Arsenal has had her fair share. We have experienced trials (remember our losses against Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester-City and Everton?), there have been diseases (Theo, Ramsey, Ozil and Chamberlain injuries) and there have been temptations (the wooing of Bacary Sagna, Laurent Koscielny and Mesut Ozil by Manchester-City, PSG and Barcelona and, Carzola and Podolski’s hint of intent to jump the Arsenal ship).
And God watched.
I mean, Wenger watched.
He watched because he knew how the script of the Arsenal movie was going to end.
Arsene had set before his creation – the Arsenal team – the option of life and death, Champions League football and finishing below Totten-spuds (Tottenham FC). He gave them the option to choose (freewill).
And even in a world where humans think God is too slow or doesn’t care about his creation as he watches evil reign and the earth implode, so have we earthlings/Arsenalians/Gunners/Gooners/*insert whatever makes you happy here____*
We have thought (at one time or the other) Arsene too slow or uncaring about the Arsenal even as he watches the evil reign of sugar-daddy clubs and an Arsenal team lacking depth and that world-class striker, defensive midfielder, right back and winger that we so desperately need.
Having trusted his team to choose wisely (choosing life) despite the odds against them, he hoped they would repay his faith in them.
Some did; some didn’t.
Vermaelen had been somewhat inconsistent for a season and found himself on the fringes of Arsene’s first team. Giroud, well, being Giroud, didn’t step up to the plate as many would have liked; missing clear-cut chances, washing his dirty underpants in public and hanging them on our goal post weren’t exactly pleasant sights. Santi Carzola and Arteta stuttered; and Monreal…? Nuff said.
However, Arsene was rightly pleased as we all were in the performances of Per Mertesacker, Ramsey, Koscielny, Fabianski, Walcott, Ozil, Rosicky and Gibbs. Per’s goal against Wigan and Fabianski’s save were highlights of that repayment of faith.
And when Arsenal were at the top of the table for the longest time in 9 years?
Arsene knew we couldn’t sustain that momentum, he knew the fragility of the psyche of his team just as God knows the fragility of the human spirit. He knew the team would sometimes show indifference to his presence at the side-lines screaming “regroup, defend, attack”, he knew they’d sometimes play like his instructions didn’t exist.
He knew then, just as he knows now, whether he would purchase top-top-toppity-top quality in the transfer market. He knows if his team will be title contenders next season and if they’ll have enough in their tanks to fight of the forces of evil or if they’ll succumb. He knows this because he’s plays god.
Whether he knows best or not is relative.
In the end, there was never any cause for panic or hope or both. Arsene knew we weren’t going to win the league, but he knew we’d win the 4th place title and the FA Cup because most of his creation chose life. He wrote the script, he knew the end from the beginning, it was only a matter of lights, camera, action!
Here’s twitter after our FA Cup win:
If arsenal invest now(like they need to)this could be the start of a good period for them. Need to add quality that inspires individuals NOW
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) May 17, 2014
RIP Arsenal trophy jokes (21st May 2005 – 17th May 2014)
— BBC Sporf (@BBCSporf) May 17, 2014
So, how many trophies this season, Jose 🙂 pic.twitter.com/WU72Sr8Qj6
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) May 17, 2014