Would you like some cheese with that whine? by Big Gun
It takes little to upset Arsenal fans these days. Not too long ago, there was a great sense of optimism in our camp. We won the F.A cup and Charity shield twice consecutively, had an excellent pre-season winning the Emirates Cup and of course secured that coveted top four spot in a league, that over the last couple of years has become extremely competitive and increasingly difficult to do well in. In the ‘good old days’ before the turn of the century, Arsenal had always been part of a two horse race, with either Man United or Liverpool. Victory was almost always a possibility, and winning was a way of life.
Fast forward 20 years, things have changed quite a bit. The football industry has become more and more about money and you know what they say – money attracts money. We have seen some of the wealthiest people in the world invest into the beautiful game, I doubt for sentimental reasons, but primarily as an investment. We need to stop thinking that rich and powerful entities like the Sheikh Mansour and Roman Abramovich are treating their clubs like ‘play things’. These gentleman are all about winning and will do anything to dominate. This ruthless nature is why they are so wealthy in the first place. Many people are born into wealth too, but to attain that wealth you need to be cunning, shrewd and wise with your money. The problem with such individuals dictating a football club is that the game is inherently unpredictable and I think they are slowly beginning to understand this.
In the early days, we saw managers at these types of clubs come and go after short stints. I honestly think if Pellegrini comes out empty handed again this season, he will be sacked. Jose, fortunately for him has created a nice buffer after winning the league last season, not to mention his success previously with Chelsea. But the expectations placed on managers at these types of clubs are steep. Just look at poor old Moyes. Man United were so used to winning everything that as soon as they went one season without, the fans went absolutely ape sh*t and demanded Moyes be sacked. Van Gaal has turned things around slightly, but at what cost? Just look at how much money they have WASTED in attempts to redeem their former glory. Di Maria is a prime example. Bought for 60m (I have read it was actually a lot more) and sold for 44.3m. That is more than 15m down the flusher and extremely bad business. If Van Gaal doesn’t win something soon he will be gone too. Many people don’t realize that in order for a manager to produce a decent squad and win silverware, he needs TIME and CONSISTENT BACKING.
We need to apply my last point to Arsene Wenger. When Arsenal are doing well, not a peep from the Wenger Out Brigade. But as soon as we lose one game, the pitchforks come out and the following comment gets thrown around like it has any weight – “Arsene Wenger needs to resign or get sacked as he has not won the league in over 10 years!” This type of thinking would be plausible, if for the past decade, Arsenal had as much financial clout as City, Chelsea or any of the other top club. The truth, and you should know this but somehow some of you blatantly ignore it time and again, is that from the years 2005 up until 2012/13, we had a massive financial burden in building and funding our new stadium (which we still are to do this day). The consequences were two-fold. Chelsea, Barca and other clubs at the time could afford higher wages and because of this, became a much more attractive destination for any top player. This is why we saw an exodus of players each year. Not only did Wenger have to keep building a new squad at the start of every new season, he was forced to bring in weaker replacements due to financial restraints. This vicious cycle continued for eight years yet he still managed a top four finish each and every year!
My question to the Wenger Out Brigade is – how can you point a finger at Wenger and blame him for not winning the league in that time frame, under the aforementioned circumstances? You also need to realize that during that period, every other top team was strengthening, yet Arsenal still finished in the Top Four. I remember many of you on this forum wanted him sacked half-way through last season. I’ll be the first to remind you that without Wenger still at the helm, we would never have been able to go on and win the F.A cup and finish third. Not only that, but Cech would never have joined us if we hadn’t accomplished these feats. We also wouldn’t be in any position to be able to sign any other world class player as we all know top footballers want CL exposure.
Wenger will resign when the time is right and when Arsenal have found the adequate replacement for him, but please stop berating the man for ‘his lack of success’ prior to 2013. If anything he overachieved. What we need to focus on is post 2013, the turning point after buying Ozil. It was a message to the fans and the rest of the world that Arsenal were back in business, and that Wenger would finally have the resources and consistent backing to begin building a top squad without having to deal with our best players departing. Since 2013 (2 YEARS), we have won five trophies! Yet after three games this season and one loss, many of you want Wenger fired already? I can understand where the frustration is coming from, really I can, but the reasoning behind it is extremely short sighted and naïve.