Arsenal, the true reason of the 9 year trophy drought by JD
As a Blackburn Rovers fan I can remember the good times, we were challenging for the title 3 years in a row and then the holy grail, 94/95 Tim Sherwood lifting that trophy and with Everton winning the FA cup. The scum that are united won absolutely nothing, prompting the lovely chant “oh Teddy Teddy, went to Man Utd and you won F**K all”, a chant no doubt every Arsenal fan enjoyed.
Anyway at Arsenal things were changing. A new forward thinking manager was hired and English football would never be the same again (or Arsenal for that matter). The chants of “boring boring Arsenal” would never be heard again. I can remember going to Highbury so many times as an away fan, tucked up right in the corner and loving the atmosphere. The fans were almost on top of the pitch and it sounded so loud and I will always remember how together the Arsenal fans were, totally behind their team – what a change from today!
Arsene Wenger came in with a concept and footballing culture that was ahead of his time and not embraced by all, as lets face it, a lot of footballers at that time were party boys and just living the dream with their ridiculously high wages, but though there were legends who disagreed, their time had come to an end, total fitness and diet along with football science was about to take over.
This was the time that even though I am (and always will) be a Blackburn supporter I became a huge Arsenal fan. The football that was played was an absolute joy to watch and as the “professor” built his team I couldn’t help feel envious of Arsenal fans (especially as events at my club would end up with numerous relegations and our ownership in the hands of chicken loving Indians who didn’t even know you could get relegated) with players like Henry, Pires, Bergkamp, Overmars, Viera, Petit amongst others (I could go on forever) the team became unstoppable, culminating in the season that I believe will never be matched (as much as Chelsea would love to disagree) The invincibles. To go unbeaten for a full season is unquestionably the biggest achievement of any manager in English football history and to think Arsene said the season before it was possible and everyone laughed at him!
So, what happened next? The club knew that to compete with Man United and the newly rich Chelsea the beloved Highbury would have to say goodbye. This would mean an extreme tightening of the Arsenal belt. The policy of bringing in youth and developing would become essential to build for the ultimate goal of dominating the English game. No-one saw Man city coming, with their bottomless pockets it was going to be truly tough for any team to compete.
The Emirates was built and I have to say it is fabulous, a space age stadium fit for the type of football that Arsene had instilled throughout the club and because of seriously good planning and business it nets more profit than any other stadium in the land even though it is not the biggest capacity wise, but it had to be paid for, and this is where most Arsenal fans believe the problems began, not competing in the transfer market.
I never believed there would be a nine year wait for the first trophy since the move but the fact the club managed to qualify for the Champions League every season while the likes of Liverpool, Spurs, City and Chelsea were throwing huge sums of money at it – and in the case or Tottenham failing 99 percent of the time to break the top four. Arsene stuck to his philosophy and still managed to play seriously attractive football, but something wasn’t quite right. On my first visit to the Emirates I noticed something I had never experienced at Highbury, a group of fans were getting on the players backs and making sounds of discontent if someone dare make a mistake and this is where the true problems began.
During the glory years, Arsenal fans had become spoilt and with the new stadium to be paid for and the new oil rich clubs coming in, it was never going to be possible to compete even though I would have expected a cup or two in that time it never quite happened, and every year I went back the more it became obvious why; the fans were divided. Most would never turn on Wenger as they would trust him till their dying day because of all he had done, and then there are the others; the ones, I am sorry to say, have totally undermined their own team. The negativity and nervous energy was being transferred onto the pitch and players and the dreaded nil nil games had started. If you’ve been the Emirates youll know only too well the games I mean, Arsenal would have several hundred attempts on goal but just couldn’t score, and even though in times past the calmness and composure of Arsene would filter down to the players and the goal would come (no matter how late) times had changed and now the players knew that if they missed that chance or misplaced that pass the fans would groan or moan, and this led to the tension that has haunted the Emirates ever since.
But what about now he has all the money? I hear you Wenger haters cry. At the beginning of last season a transfer happened that blew everyone away, Ozil, a truly unbelievable capture and not cheap and even though he hasn’t quite worked out (yet) and a lot of fans are slating him. I didn’t hear one complaint at the time, and with Rambo stepping up and showing finally what most of us knew he could do, and Kos rising to a level most of us didn’t know he had, along with Theo (who I think is Henry markII) and will become a lethal striker in time. Arsenal mounted a serious title push and led for so long, but disaster would strike, injuries one after another and not short term either, first Ramsey and then Theo. The title slipped away but I am convinced it was just bad luck, Arsene could have spent big in January but there is no guarantee the new players would fit straight away, but to the joy of almost all, the team would go on to end the trophy drought and win the FA cup. A great moment for the club and all the players that hadn’t been around for all the previous glory. so surely this would be the start of the revival of Arsenal.
The world cup finished and the rumours began (Sanchez to Arsenal) after being a fan of his since his Udinese days and watching him for Barca and Chile I was really excited about this. Sure enough it happened and for one reason only; Wenger. He met sanchez personally and made him believe in the new Arsenal revolution that was coming, and along with Debuchy, Chambers and Welbeck, the team had a truly confident feel. I could see with just one more signing the title could be Arsenals again; a defensive midfielder. It had become clear last season that Arteta just isn’t good enough, he distributes well and sets up play but defensively is nowhere near good enough in the big games – and as for Flamini he unfortunately has been found out. He tries hard but hasn’t got any positional sense whatsoever and leaves the back four exposed constantly, so why didn’t Arsene sign one? Simple! Because he knows he will get Khediera for cheap in January or for free next summer and that is the simple truth, he is tight but his loyalty is second to none, he spends the money as if it were his own and would die before he let the club get ripped off.
The supporters who are going on and on about “he didn’t replace Vermaellen and he should have bought another defender” I am sure you are all capable of looking into the future and you knew that Kos and Debuchy would get injured at the same time. But the rest of us didn’t (including Wenger) and I would like to point out that TV5 hasn’t played a single game for Barca as hes been injured! So even if Arsene kept him you would be in the same position with 15 million less in the bank. Bad luck has struck again but instead of getting down and slating a a truly great manager, who I guarantee will bring the title back to north London given time, why don’t you all come together as one and really get behind the team. You really have to realise that the football you play makes fans like me want to be an Arsenal fan, and if Arsene can get Hummels in January or in the summer, the addition of Khediera and/or maybe Schneiderlin next season will be Arsenals time.
So have some patience, and to those of you that are talking about Wenger like he is an amateur, please remember the days past and show some respect to a great man that loves your club. We all know he’s stubborn and isn’t perfect, but he has the clubs best interest at heart and that is winning not money. So now that he has some, don’t let your 9 years of patience go to waste, back him and watch what happens, turn the Emirates into an Anfield not a White Hart Lane and I promise you will get all the trophies you want.
A Massive Blackburn Supporter
A Huge Arsenal Fan