How can Arsenal fans still say that ‘London is Red’ after Chelsea’s success?

Is London Now Blue? by Dan Smith

I know I can’t be the only one who saw the irony that the season we don’t qualify for any European competition, Chelsea lift their second Champions League.

There will always be an asterisk against Chelsea’s success. A clubs whose history is essentially a billionaire Russian wanting to buy a football club and you happening to be the one who are about to go bust so he can purchase you on the cheap.

That normally gets you through a round of banter. I know Blue fans who don’t like that narrative, finding it dismissive.

Jose Mourinho was always agitated that his team never got the same credit compared to other Champions. This though is different.

This is two European Cups vs a team who will start next campaign with zero European Football for the first time in 25 years.

How has that been allowed to happen?

Why was no one keeping an eye on this and not watching how big the gap was growing?

When Wayne Bridge scored at Highbury in 2004 in the CL, they were the underdogs, now they are miles ahead of us.

Even when they dominated domestically, we seemed to have an ethos to be proud of. They were the ones who were buying success. As usual we were doing things the right way. We were building a squad by respecting financial fair play, by developing youngsters.

Financial fair play was key to our business model.

We naively trusted UEFA that they would ensure everyone was self-financed, which would have left us in a wonderful position.

The action plan of moving from Highbury to the Emirates didn’t include clubs being bankrolled by Billionaires.

A Chelsea fan explained to me that he felt their 4-1 win Baku never got enough credit for the significance it had on the rivalry.

Here were Chelsea beating their enemy in a European Final, ensuring we didn’t qualify for the CL in the process. For a Blues supporter who grew up in the shadow of the Gunners, watching them beat Arsenal in this environment was potent.

Now with 2 CL to our 0, in the same period when we haven’t won the Prem, we might just have to take our medicine for the moment. Because in reality it doesn’t matter what colour London is, that’s just for the fanbases to have some fun with.

Chelsea’s win on Saturday didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know.

While not bigger, for last couple of decades they have certainly they have been more ambitious – and therefore successful than us.

The romance in me wants to say our owners were watching the scenes in Portugal with jealously. That they said, ‘that needs to be us.’

You hear that all the time, don’t you? Countless sport stories are influenced by adversity.

The sad reality is Stan Kroenke not just wasn’t watching The CL final, he wouldn’t be able to name who was in it!

I’m not justifying the hiring and firing model at the Bridge. They have had success in spite of being harsh on managers.

Could they have won just as much if they hadn’t sacked a Jose or Ancelotti? What we know though is Abramovich demands winning and won’t tolerate failure. That DNA starts from the top and rolls down.

Not even based in the country, he doesn’t simply accept that Man City are better. He acknowledges it, but simply demands another way he found to bring him trophies. Hence the year Chelsea struggled to finish 4th, they end up with the biggest prize of them all.

Our frustration is that our owner is just as rich as Chelsea’s owner but since 2011 has never gave us a cash injection when we needed help.

That attitude equally trickles down. It lets everyone know that there is no consequence for mediocrity. That’s why standards drop, and people get too comfortable.

First, it’s ‘as long as we are in top 4’, now gooners are trying to justify 8th!

When we suffer disappointment, we naturally showcase common symptoms – anger, sadness, frustration, etc.

When someone Is going through that, we don’t understand that’s half the page written, even if it feels like the end.

The story isn’t just your dealing with adversity but how you deal with it. That showcases your other characteristics such as strength and resilience. That’s why realising there is a problem is the first sign of finding a solution.

Insisting we had a good season based on form since Xmas, saying we have great youngsters or linking us with Sterling, does zero favours to anyone.

The reality is we were promised that by now we be competing with the likes of Bayern Munich.

We will start in round 2 of the Carabao next season because for first time in 25 years we didn’t qualify for Europe.

Meanwhile across the capital, Chelsea are champions of Europe … again.

Only when we say ‘enough is enough’ will the tide turn.


Be kind in the comments



  1. DaJuhi says:

    Our decline started with Kroenke and Chelsea’s rise began with Abramovich. Simple.

    London has not been red for the past 15 years.

    Zero titles, zero European trophies


    5 titles, 2 Champions League titles and 2 Europa League trophies

    Not even a question of debate. And to make matters worse, we are risking our immediate future on a rookie with ZERO experience. How can this not end up with tears and us sinking even lower?

    1. ThirdManJW says:

      Don’t know why people keep bringing Arteta’s inexperience into the debate, as a stick to beat him with?

      Wenger, and Emery had a huge amount of experience, and both failed, and in Wenger’s case we’re talking well over a decade of failure. Maybe the board thought, we’ve tried experience, it hasn’t worked, let’s try someone with potential instead.

  2. Loose Cannon says:

    This is what happens when two youngsters – Saka and ESR carry the burden of the 9 other players. Shame! Shame to our arrogance of slating Emery time and again and specially for his language (Good Ebening). This is what happens when you over pay for mediocrity – in terms of wages and fees – prime example is of Thomas Partey – Hero at AM, zero at AFC. Luckily Pepe shows some flashes here and there. We need a demanding owner like Roman, not a nice daddy like Stan. We need hard working lads willing to fight for the club’s pride rather than some wannabes smiking and joking after draws and defeats. We need lads undergoing rigoros drills and tranings at the traning grounds, rather than posting messages on social media.
    I believe our time will come under Mike, as the first step has been completed to remove the slimy moss (some do not like the term “dross”) that caused us to slip every other match (proof is in the points gained after they left in Jan) and some more expected to go thius summer.

    1. David28 says:

      Much as I hate to admit it if we had 25% of Chelsea’s DNA especially their non-tolerance of mediocrity and failure we wouldn’t be in the mess we are in now. Instead we are likely to sell a group of players on the cheap whilst overpaying for someone like Sandor Berg that earthshattering midfielder from Real Sheffield United. I’m sure the Top 4 are quaking in their boots and will end up cherry picking our best players in time.

    2. ozziegunner says:


  3. SueP says:

    Enough is enough Dan for all of us I’d say

    I believed the story of paying for the Emirates and believed (foolishly) that a billionaire owner was fantastic for the club. I did believe that top4 was a trophy because of that (even more foolishly)

    Now that years have gone by with a sprinkling of very welcome FA Cups the gloss has worn off right back to the bare metal

    ManU fans haven’t got rid of the Glazers who have at the very least bought in top managers at the time and paid fortunes in transfers

    I hate to sound negative but we don’t stand a cat in hell’s chance under Kroenke’s ownership

    1. ozziegunner says:

      👍 SueP, they lied when they said that Arsenal were leaving Highbury and spending the Club’s treasure to build the Emirates to compete with the best clubs in Europe.
      They told the truth when said they didn’t invest in sporting teams to win trophies.

  4. says:

    Simply we can’t!
    It’s red then white then claret and blue abd red and comes last. At least we came higher than Fulham.
    Simply not good enough.

    Off topic what are peoples thoughts on transfers in but mostly out?
    I’m reading that Bellerin, Nketiah, guendouzzi and Torreira are all likely to leave the club for lower than expected fees.
    This seems to happen all the time that we let players go cheap.
    Nketiah for example has 1 year left on his contract so there is talk of Watdord buying for 15m.
    Surely extending his contract with the agreement to loan to buy or just loan out for a season and try to sell next year would return more funds.

    Now obviously due to the pandemic clubs are short of money and we’re looking to buy new players so need to recoup some capital towards this but isn’t this where our Billiomaire owners come in and offer some cash or even a bridge type loan until next summer when more money can be recouped when hopefully the economy for sales will be stronger.
    What is everyone’s thoughts?

  5. says:

    Sorry was meant to be….
    …blue then white then claret and blue.

  6. gotanidea says:

    No, but a real football fan will downplay the oil clubs’ successes, because of their source of income. A glory hunter, however, won’t care about it, as long as he or she sees the team get a lot of trophies

    Sports should be fair and open to everyone, whereas oligarchic corporations are the opposite of that concept. This is why I’m against Arsenal takeover by business oligarchs like Dangote, MBS, etc

    1. Sean Williams says:


      ?????? You always make 1 + 1 = 3…always.

      1. Sean Williams says:

        Unless supporters can have shares in the club a ‘good’ wealthy owner is the only way. Absent father, mediocre Kroenke is Arsenal’s nightmare. Abramovich is not a nightmare…..he is the CAUSE of Chelsea success.

        1. gotanidea says:

          Kroenke just needs to spend wisely like Liverpool and Leicester owners. This can be improved by fixing his acute non-involvement and negligence

          Abramovich’s nepotistic wealth has made Chelsea get a lot of major trophies. But their success should’ve been despised, because they’re taking advantage of the flaws in the FFP rules

          1. ozziegunner says:

            GAI, as they say you can read the results in the newspaper; there is never a disclaimer on how a club wins.

      2. Joe. S says:

        So true there Sean. Kroenke’s business is sports. He is an oligarch. And let’s not go into the family’s slave labour / worker exploitation connections. There is nothing noble or pure coming out of Utah.

  7. PJ-SA says:

    We can’t lay all the blame on Kroenke, as you say he’s not involved much with the club (which I agree is bad).

    Kroenke doesn’t overpay for average players

    Kroenke doesn’t choose who we sign

    Kroenke doesn’t pay players ridiculous wages

    Kroenke doesn’t choose the starting 11

    Kroenke doesn’t choose when to sub players

    Kroenke doesn’t let players run their contracts down

    Kroenke doesn’t release players for free

    I dislike him as much as anyone but let’s focus on what we can fix if we can’t change the owner, there are a lot of other departments we could be improving in. Focus on what we can change!

    1. Loose Cannon says:

      as an owner, he needs to demand trophies and accountability. Playing the role of nice daddy has brought us to this level as mediocrity has crept in the minds of the players.Collect your wage irrespective of the outcome. Lucky we have Mikel who is hell bent on changing that thought process.

    2. James says:

      Agree with you don’t blame Russian money for everything but sometimes it’s the way how you spend it. There’s the difference between buying Kante for 30 million and buying Xhaka for the same amount

    3. ozziegunner says:

      PJ-SA, as the owner and Board Director, Stan Kroenke is responsible for the recruitment, employment and retention of those engaged to manage those components of Arsenal FC. The buck stops with Kroenke.

  8. Joe. S says:

    Wegner gave up that mantle 10 years ago. You can’t live on history Slone.

  9. says:

    As said here no we start to fully understand why wenger controlled everything he could at the club.
    In hindsight was this a good thing or him keeping sole control for so long set us back abd delayed our progress in restructuring with sporting directors etc.

  10. Didikeebs says:

    C’mon lads it’s not the end of the world,I’m a Chels tho… Arsenal is a club I respect so much..with time the club will bloom again.

  11. Sean Williams says:

    Chelsea do not accept mediocrity, Arsenal do. Whilst Kroenke owns a vast Sports Empire he accepts mediocrity as his gold standard…..who knows why? Compare to Liverpool, who knew what they need and have ALREADY bought Ibrahima Konate. For Arsenal it is the Circus of not really knowing who we need so dilly dallying….and no sense of certainty. By league position and laughabilty factor, London is not Red at all. Just a fact that any well reasoning mind can establish. Arsenal accept mediocrity. Watching Abramovich celebrating Chelsea the other day, shows what it meant to him…after all these years. Chelsea…….Top Players, a Top Manger, Top Owner. Arsenal….mainly Reasonable Players, Mediocre Owner, Mediocre Manager, Mediocre Board. We used to play Thierry Henry football, we now play ANNE WIDDECOMBE football. Sack Arteta to get a real manager. Kroenke is a lowlife by nature and character and you can’t change the nature of a snake.

    1. Sean Williams says:

      June, Euro’s coming and we haven’t signed a sausage. “Arsenal really know who they want”, I hear. Arteta says “We signed Willian…look WE have ambition”.


    2. ozziegunner says:

      👍 Sean, agree but vey unfair and disrespectful to snakes. Stan and Josh Kroenke are “lower than a snake’s duodenum”.

  12. reddb10 says:

    Things are run quite differently when you compare the two clubs
    Still in European spot but manager sacked
    Never in contention for Europe since November Manager still has a job going into 2021-2022 season
    Owner makes sure they buy the best talent and even if it doesn’t work they sell players and make profits.
    The owner doesn’t give a s##t we buyteh cheapest option and our net spent gets worse by the season
    The owner makes sure he has the best people in every executive position and even then will sack whoever doesn’t deliver
    The owner gets the cheapest unqualified person and sticks with them as long as he is making money
    The owner wants accomplishment and success in the trophy cabinet
    the owner looks at success on a balance sheet

  13. hasse andersson says:

    RED by embarrassment.

  14. Highbury Hero says:

    The appointment of Mikel Arteta summed up all about Kroenke ownership. It was okay to support him during his half season and one full season to see how he would take his chance. He was probably going to be the next Ferguson or not.

    After the disaster of a season that has just finished had Kroenke be ambitious he would have fired Mikel already and go for a proven manager.

    The Kroenkes think Mikel is good enough for us that is why he is still on the job against many wishes.

    For those who support Arteta even after proving beyond reasonable doubt that the job is too big for him, what gives you the right then to criticise Kroenke?

    In my opinion supporting Arteta is supporting mediocrity and supporting mediocrity is supporting Kroenke mismanagement of the club he owns.

  15. Grandad says:

    A very interesting article which unfortunately does not disclose the manner in which Abramovich amassed his fortune nor the fact that he has admitted to paying bribes to government officials and hiring “gangsters” to protect his assets and himself.A man to whom the sacking of a mere pawn, like a football manager means nothing.Chelsea can have their success but as it has been built on blood money they are not a Club I respect nor envy.

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      Even if what you are saying is true I don’t see how it is connected to what they do on the pitch.

      1. Grandad says:

        There are some things in life which are far more important than association football.

        1. ozziegunner says:

          Grandad, I agree; that’s why I have other interests in life and unlike some others, my self esteem is not based on the success or failure of Arsenal FC.
          As far as success of a football or other sporting club, only a few appear to care about the background of the owner or the black money source of that club’s funding. Unfortunately, they only care about results.

          1. Highbury Hero says:

            OG what you and GD say is not wrong but I still fail to see how it is connected to Chelsea success. Their success is down to wise spending on correct players and hiring of good managers.

            They are spending their blood money wisely while we are spending our clean money as much as them but not wisely. Its like charity actually.

            Their blood money hired Tuchel while our clean money brought in Arteta when Tuchel was available and we can more than afford him.

            Abramovich may be spending blood money but the people he is hiring at Chelsea have nothing to do with it and they are doing fine job while our people don’t seem to have a clue.

            What about Chelsea fans? Should they stop supporting their club because of Abramovich?

            What about the rest of us? Wasn’t Fifa found to be corrupt? Should we stop watching football all together?

            Aren’t UEFA accused of being corrupt too? Should we stop watching their competitions? Should we boycott Qatar World Cup?

  16. Reggie says:

    Chelsea have a winning mentality at their club, we dont. They change their manager for success, we dont. They crave winning, we dont. We are not, repeat, not a big club anymore. Our days on the top table are gone, welcome mid table obscurity. All those Arteta lovers and dreamers, smell the coffee and look what is really happening.

    1. Sue says:

      👍👍👍 Spot on, Reggie! So depressing…

      1. Dan kit says:

        I’ve just seen on Sky news Who Chelsea are after ,merry go round of their cheap cast offs if they pull them signings off .
        Giroud or Abraham anyone 😂

        1. Sue says:

          Argh!! It’s groundhog day

        2. Andrew Elder says:

          Or maybe wait a year for Thiago Silva and give him a lucrative 4 year contract? He’s Portugese so he meets Edu’s requirements!!!

      2. Iyke says:

        Bravo! Reggie. Spot on

    2. SueP says:

      The so called Arteta lovers are not completely stupid and I doubt they think mediocrity is the way forward. You described the Chelsea winning mentality which has been lacking for years at Arsenal and that mentality filters down from the top to the bottom. The RA’s of this world get what they want and demand the right people to get them there

  17. Twinlights says:

    Until we have an owner who has passion for the game and is ambitious, nothing will change.
    Just see the passion displayed by Abrahamovic for an example.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      👍 Detest the person, but appreciate the passion for his football club and what he has helped them to achieve after Chelsea were on the brink of bankruptcy.

  18. Bloom says:

    The same way people choose what they believe, the very same way people write down lies, believe it long enough & are tempted to impose the same on others.

    When you begin to see other people’s success through the lens of luck rather than Planning & Preparedness, then you’ve automatically accepted failure as an ally, and soon enough, you’ll become one.

    Blood money or corrupt money, the whisky club has been more successful than the red of London lately & that’s not a joke or a debate…
    People want Kronk’s to spend like Abramovich, yet they open their mouth to say Blood money, Oil money, Oligarch money, this money, & that money as if they know the IN & OUT of Kronk’s money. What a height of double standard.

    The problem is not Arsenal Fc, & neither are the fans. We all seems to know one thing or more that’s wrong but WHO can dare it… IMO, no one. So we keep moving at the same pace year in year out, HOPING for a change. Hope is not a weapon, hope is an asset of the future.

  19. Valentino says:

    The major problem of Arsenal was created by David Dein, I read somewhere that Abramovich was interested in buying Arsenal but he was rejected and he took his money to Chelsea. Few years later, we ended up Kroenke (someone in the last write up called him the generous owner that has no interested in silverware)…

  20. O.T.S says:

    Arsenal is a bit underrated, I must admit. Alot of people tend to right Arsenal off and this i believe was caused by us.

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