Why Arsenal is a Real Football Club
This week Arsenal qualified for the knock out rounds of the European Champions League for the 15th consecutive year, by beating top German side Borussia Dortmund 2-0. Three days later, at the very next match, some Arsenal fans unfurled a banner asking for the resignation of their manager, by far the longest serving in the Premier League.
In recent seasons the tirade of abuse directed at the manager and some of the most loyal and reliable players has been non-stop, by some of the people who call themselves Arsenal supporters. So it raises the questions what sort of club do they want and is Arsenal really the club for them?
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Arsenal has been one of the biggest and most successful clubs in the top flight of English football since the 1930′s. With an exceptional run of trophy gathering in the early days of Arsene Wenger‘s reign as club manager. But in recent years success has been limited, with a complete major trophy drought of nine years ending in May, when they lifted the FA Cup.
While certain sections have been calling for the head of the manager and any player who has failed to perform miracles, there have been some very solid reasons for that lack of success.
During that period Arsenal have built what is arguably the best modern stadium in the country and financed it themselves. Meanwhile other clubs, who were previously known only for their scant success in major competitions, have acquired billionaire owners, with apparently bottomless pockets and win at any cost attitudes.
Chelsea and Manchester City have spent untold millions of pounds on players and had a revolving door policy for managers and coaches, in their efforts to secure the top honours. No transfer fee or salary demand was too high and no manager was secure unless a major trophy was acquired… and in Chelsea‘s case even when they were.
Both of these clubs have become billionaire’s playthings. Men who have so much money that they can think of nothing better to do with it than buy themselves some football trophies.
They do not operate as profitable businesses, making huge trading losses year after year and have no player development structure to talk of, bringing in only ready made, mercenary players who have been nurtured at other clubs.
The same is true of their managers and coaches, who have been fired on a whim when the owners didn’t see instant gratification, or thought that there was someone else out there who could get it for them.
This rapid success policy seems very appealing to a large number of Arsenal fans, many of whom I suspect came on board during the heady days when Mr Wenger was picking up trophies when he wanted.
So before people call for the head of the coach, or bag the hugely talented squad that Arsenal now have, maybe they should reconsider if Arsenal is the right club for them.
Is instant gratification all you are looking for?
Do you believe that players should be recruited who score goals, even if they have no moral code or compass and frequently behave incredibly badly on and off the field, like Suarez, Balotelli and Tevez?
Is the prospect of regular trophies really worth selling your soul for?
If you can answer yes to those questions, then I suggest that your move you allegiance west to Chelski, or, like so many other Londoners, pick yourself up a Manchester team.