A PERSPECTIVE by Abel
Arsenal fans have been calling for Arsene Wenger to step down as he is seen as the pantomime villain who has destroyed our beloved club and held us back due to his ‘penny pinching’ in the transfer market and ‘poor player management’. Names of young dynamic coaches have been mentioned as better replacement for him. Names like Pep Guardiola, Klopp, Pochettino, have been put forward, managers that would take over from Wenger and win the League and Champions league with Arsenal.
However, Arsenal as a club is very unique and not many coaches can manage under the setup. The board has a setup that will ensure the longevity of Arsenal and hence money is not thrown at problems instead, there is always financial accountability so we don’t end up like Leeds United, who famously got to champions league semi finals, but are now a permanent fixture in the Championship. Similarly, Nottingham Forest, who dumped us out of the FA cup, have actually won the champions league many years ago but they too are now also a permanent fixture in the Championship.
The American businessman who is the majority share holder in Arsenal is a ‘sports’ fan not a purely football/soccer fan. He was offered the chance to buy Arsenal so as to stave off interest from other megalomaniac owners, who would initially throw money at Arsenal and leave us bankrupt when they lose interest or become broke. Take a look at Rangers in Scotland, or Portsmouth or even Blackburn who were bought by Indian ‘businessmen’. Chelsea is owned by a billionaire who actually loves football and the club. But that is one good example out of several. Manchester United’s owners are much like Arsenal owners. They are stable and do not throw money at the club, however, due to earlier success and consequent merchandising, United have enough money to dominate EPL without extra funds from the owners. Manchester City on the other hand is owned by an oil rich country (UAE).
It’s no coincidence that Arsenal have been unable to consistently challenge for the title since the emergence of Chelsea, Man City, and recently Liverpool under FSG (another makeshift ownership structure). I can categorically state that Pep cannot win the premiership with Arsenal working under the same restrictions as Wenger. Pep went trophyless with a City side that was still the most expensively assembled players last season. This season he has now spent £174M on defenders (£124M on fullbacks and £50M on Laporte) plus millions spent on Bernado Silva from Monaco. Pep has always worked in a star studded team and still outspent his opponents.
That leaves the likes of Pochettino and Klopp who for all their huffing and Puffing are yet to win any trophies in England. Last season was the first season Arsenal had failed to make the top 4. United failed to make the top 4 two years consecutively but made it into Champions league via winning the Europa League.
We need to adjust our expectations, no matter who the Arsenal manager is. We will never out spend City, United or Chelsea. Hence, realistically by finances, we should fight for 4th spot with Liverpool and Spurs amidst winning the odd cup. We have actually done well in the cups recently. True, Leicester won the league with less funds and unknown players but it’s not often that circumstances conspire to achieve that, otherwise they should have been able to do it again instead of nearly getting relegated the very next season, resulting in the sacking of the title winning Manager.
Let’s get behind our team, no manager is a miracle worker, they all work with what they are given by the owners.