One of the challenges of running (or writing for) a blog is that it’s incessant - the machine needs to be fed, as it were. Every day, there’s the impulse, and the need, to write something. There’s team news, there’s game recaps, there’s previews, there’s transfer stuff, there’s any number of things that someone can write about should they so choose.
This task is made a lot easier when things are going well. It’s super simple to write about a team that’s winning, because there’s all sorts of positive stuff to talk about - players doing better than they have in a while (or ever), the team striving for a points total or Cup win that they haven’t had in a while, players who want to come to the team, things like that.
Heck, it’s even easy to write about a ridiculously bad team - ‘what is going on right now’ articles are always interesting, and in most cases, there’s a few obvious things you can tease out and explore in a lot more detail that might give you some clues about why things are the way they are, which can also spawn some writing about how to fix the way things are.
And then, you have Arsenal.
One of the things I lamented about the late Wenger years was that Arsenal were always the same team - tons of possession with nothing to show for it, to oversimplify a lot - which made them very challenging to write about after a while. There’s only so many ways to say “Arsenal looked pretty but have nothing to show for it” and make it interesting, and there’s only so many Bayern hammerings that deserve a lot of ink, as well.
So when Unai Emery came on board, my first, overly cynical writer-y thought was “at least now if Arsenal lose, they’ll lose in new, different, interesting ways!”, which if nothing else would be good for the blog.
And here we are, a season and (almost) a half into Emery’s tenure, and...nope. They’re still the same uninteresting team, losing (or drawing) in uninteresting ways, just as they had done for the last couple years of Wenger’s time. Which puts me, and the blog, in that same awkward, annoying space we thought we were getting out of: “what do we write about now”?
I mean, there was another article in the Athletic today about Arsenal being mediocre; we could break that down, paragraph by paragraph, but will that analysis tell you anything you don’t already know, and that you haven’t already heard a dozen times in the last few weeks?
Don’t worry, we’re not going anywhere; this isn’t some cry for help or anything dramatic like that. It’s just a realization that Arsenal are who they are right now, and they’re not going to change until Emery goes. We are not going to spend every single day from now until the day he does go reiterating the same talking point(s) over and over again; that’s not interesting to us, and I suspect it’s not interesting to you either.
We’ll still cover things when they happen, never fear, and we will not completely ignore the “Arsenal are mediocre” articles (or not write any ourselves) - we probably just won’t write an “Emery must go” article every single day, because doing so doesn’t add much to the conversation at this point.
Arsenal are what they are, they’re clearly not going to change much under Unai Emery, and going forward, we’ll keep trying to find interesting ways to write about it. Hopefully you’ll still want to read about it.