Like any good Arsenal fan, every year I reach the inevitable point where I realize that it's time for Arsene Wenger to bid farewell to our glorious club. But how could we ever part ways with the man who forged our identity in his very soul, and bequeathed his name to this paragon of footballing purity?
Well I've done some digging in the annals of history, and I've uncovered a truth that will shake you to your core.
Unlike most of you, I've been an Arsenal supporter for a really long time. In April, 2004, not wanting to jump on the Manchester United bandwagon, I took the plunge and bought my first Cesc Fabregas jersey (since burned, naturally). And even though I've been around since nearly the beginning, I've been under the same misapprehension as the rest of you. But today I'm going to reveal the club's best kept secret:
Arsenal FC was not actually founded by Arsene Wenger.
I can hear you scoffing, and I know it sounds crazy, but as it turns out it might actually just be a coincidence that Arsenal and Arsene sound so similar.
While most football historians point to Arsene Wenger's arrival in London in 1996 as the founding of Arsenal Football Club, it turns out that Arsenal and the Premier League were actually founded sometime in 1992. Records from this ancient time are hard to come by, but through my research I've discovered that "football's lost years," as they're known in the deepest footballing archives, actually featured a club from Woolwich without Arsene Wenger at the helm.
It beggars belief that football was once played without the influence of this legendary figure, but for approximately three and a half years that was in fact the case. Of course nobody today knows what exactly went on in this time when cavemen played football--who won the league, if the club was even called Arsenal back then, or whether this proto-Arsenal ever finished somewhere absurd like twelfth--but dusty relics of these times prove that the founding of "Arsenal" predates the man who later lent his name to the club.
While we can't be sure if Arsenal ever won a single Premier League title before their rechristening in Arsene Wenger's name, what some Arsenal supporters won't tell you is, Arsenal actually hasn't won a single Premier League title since my first four games as a supporter in 2004. In fact, in over 80% of the years since that day Arsenal has not won a single title.
Oh sure, blame me if you like, but deep down we've always known who the culprit really is. We just haven't been willing to embrace it because we literally cannot conceive of the club existing without Arsene. But my friends, hear me now. I've done the research and I've learned the truth. A time existed, though one mostly lost to history, where our glorious club may or may not have won many, many trophies. Possibly trebles every year. As I said, the record is fuzzy.
What isn't fuzzy is that there might be another way. We've all grown up knowing to the deepest core of our being what football truly means. There is a right way and a wrong way, and Arsene has shown us right from wrong. But could it be that everything he taught us is a lie? Until today, we didn't know that football even existed without this man I once called a father. Could it be that perhaps you shouldn't just try to walk it in? Is fourth place really a trophy? Are we sure you're not allowed to use your hands?
These lies and misdirections have hampered the club for too long. It's time to find out if there is a better way.
So my dear brothers and sisters, I ask you to join me today. The impossible is now possible. We can break free of the shackles imposed on us by this tyrant and forge a new destiny. Arsenal can live again, outside the shadow of the man who rose us up only to dash our dreams again and again. With two small words, we can save the soul of the club once thought synonymous with one man.
The Short Fuse has been taken over today by Cartilage Free Captain, SB Nation's Tottenham Hotspur blog! For the humor-impaired, articles posted today are intended to be parody and do not reflect the views (or even the writing!) of The Short Fuse writing staff.