You'd think it would be easy to put your feelings to paper after the season we had, but I still can't find the right words, or better yet understand what I'm feeling. Relief is the first word that comes to mind. Relief that it is over, that I don't have to deal with the outside noise that boils our blood - this in addition the self inflicted air horn we use on ourselves.
I get it that we are a highly vocal group of supporters who want to be heard. We all have egos, we all want to give our perspective on the team, the players, and the game. And most of all we want to "manage" the Club. I know that we don't all have our coaching badges, but it seems like a few of us seem to think they received them with honors. We all want the team to do well, win, put in a good shift. But in the end what do we really know?
So how do I capture the season of emotions? How do I put this into context that makes sense for me? Given my location (literally a stone's throw from Paramount Studios) I think it's best if I use another movie analogy to help storytell the season. I'm not going to capture the pains of the FA Cup and Capitol One Cup, nor will I include details of our Champions League campaign, even though I do feel -- as everyone else does -- that then win in Munich was the catalyst to our season. It gave us belief.
For me, the season reflects the movie BLADE RUNNER. This might be a bad idea, but here it goes anyway. Just bear with me and please give me plenty of latitude.
BLADE RUNNER had all the makings of an incredible film - an amazing director, a fantastic cast and great source material to drive the script home. People expected it be groundbreaking, to change movie making. While it didn't necessarily change movie making per se, it did show what an incredible film maker Sir Ridley Scott (SRS) was and still is. The budget for the film wasn't huge, but it was enough to give the special effects a quality feel to them.
Much like Arsène Wenger, SRS didn't have all of the tools that he wanted, but he had a vision and he had a drive to make this film the way he wanted to. The studio had its hands in the production from the get go – and were constantly trying to limit SRS's vision. It's worth noting that the producers fired SRS during filming, but he was quickly reinstated by the Directors Guild.
So yes, the film had problems producing, but its genius was only made possible by the stubbornness of its leader, SRS. He knew what had to be done to make it what it was.
We all know Wenger shares that quality and wants his squad to play with a certain style. SRS was much the same when it came to this film. During filming, Harrison Ford asked SRS why he wanted it to rain all the time in the film. SRS answered, "Cause I want it to." And that was that. A man who knew exactly what had to be done to produce a great film. For me Wenger reflects the same attributes and characteristics that SRS experienced and showed during BLADE RUNNER. And that is what makes these two fine gentlemen such great leaders and creators.
Now the film itself had its share of doubters, but once you stepped back and looked at the story the film told, and realized what you had experienced, you could truly understand and appreciate what you had just seen: A great film, with a lot of outside and inside noise trying to bring it down. Was it the perfect film? Far from it. But it has received mass amounts of respect and acclaim for what it was and still is today. Sometimes it is a necessary exercise to step back and look at what something is instead of what you hope it will be.
One more thing, the studio did end up firing SRS during post production. So, the final theatrical cut with the "narration" wasn't his "way", but years later he has been asked to produce different cuts of the movie. You never know what you've got until it's gone, right? The studio made the wrong decision and I know our Club and fans will continue to make the right one. We too have a leader who stuck to his guns (pun intended) and gave us another memorable season. Let's build up it. Make it better. Not bigger.
Incidentally, the cut I saw last month was BLADE RUNNER: FINAL CUT. Ridley's version. The right version.
Thanks for reading and thanks for listening to the Arsenal America Podcast. This week's show welcomes Andrew Mangan of @Arseblog and Tim Payton and Phil Wall of AST who will talk about the season, the AST's survey. Please don't forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or grab the RSS Feed. Cheers.Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source