As Marx said – Hey lay off Arsene – football is all about economics by TB
Of course the game against Bradford was very disappointing but this needs to be seen as a problem which has been a long time in the making.
In a nutshell the causes of our problem are (i) the loss of and a failure to reinvest properly in the team following the loss of key players egs – Cesc, Nasri and RVP – set in a wider context of (ii) a recent history of a big decline in our status as a ‘financial player’ in the market place compared to the much bigger EPL fish of Chelsea, Man City and Man U (and other global big market distorting players outside London and Manchester in Spain, France, Russia and China); a decline which has been compounded by our strategy of financial prudence in a world of growing ‘austerity’ and (iii) the short term considerable financial handicap of a commitment to relocate to a world class stadium at the Ems.
Putting it simply if we now had a top quality centre forward (RVP) winger (Nasri) and mid fielder (Cesc) in our team as Arsene planned – then we could compete with anyone but we haven’t. And so at the moment we are left half baked – with good defence and mid field but woefully lacking in the final 3rd with the people we have at the moment – it is not a coincidence that this is where the most competition and expense is to be found for players at the sharp end/goal scoring part of the team and unfortunately is where we are least able to compete against the big boys. Decline therefore becomes self fulfilling – we can’t compete financially which leads to restricted top 4 ambitions at best so better players leave or can’t be signed so we can’t compete..
As I set out in my article last week to Just Arsenal, the Gunners have been falling behind the rest for some years (following the Bradford game the author of Arse2Mouse points to 07/08 as the last time we were a good team to watch) and now the chickens have come home to roost.
It is wholly simplistic, totally misguided and really unfair to put the blame for this decline solely onto Arsene. Undoubtedly he plays a part in all this – hopefully more good than bad – but it is the adverse financial context and its recent history in which he and the Club operates – that is the main explanatory variable to account for why we are where we are at the moment. Indeed you could argue with some authority that against all these considerable disadvantages he has done a great job to keep us up there to punch some way above our weight, as described in TheFootballosopher.
As Marx might have said – football like much of life is fundamentally about economics – and it is there where the main cause of our problems and hence the solutions are to be found. I (like to) believe Arsene and the key decision makers know this and now that the Club has some dosh available to invest in some key final third players – then we will see this happen in January and next Summer. If we don’t then further decline will be inevitable with or without Arsene. Personally, I hope he stays to see this investment through and can put an end to all this ill informed nonsense from his critics and more importantly we will see us playing beautiful football again. In the meantime lets keep the faith, understand why we are where we are and look forward to better things to come…