God Given Rights, False Hopes And Great Expectations
There is a feeling of deja vu about the international breaks this season. The last one saw Arsenal stumbling into the fortnight, desperate for some respite following the freakish scoreline at Old Trafford – don’t even go there, conceding eight is an unusual outcome for any team in any league.
This time around the defeat at White Hart Lane is bringing similar navel-gazing. Personally, the anger of yesterday is subsiding; would that the pain of a hangover went relatively speaking, as quickly.
Around the interweb there is a lot of bile. For a generation of Arsenal fans, this is the first time they have been genuinely confronted by the scenario of the club not challenging for the top places in the Premier League. You feel slightly old to refer to the Graham era; delve further back to times before that and you may as well be talking to someone about Life on Mars.
The point is that Arsenal has no God-given right to success. Those employed by the club must work hard to bring that about, it doesn’t magically come about. Those employed as players and coaches should be the elite. But football has changed and the elite no longer comes to the club, players want the guarantee of success accompanied by a comensurate wage packet.
Arsenal has to reassess itself. Mediocrity has never been accepted in the past, those managers whose reigns descended into that abyss found themselves unemployed rather quickly. Let’s not kid ourselves about George Graham’s reign either. His dismissal was just a matter of time away; the league form was dire, his reputation subsidised by cup wins.
As the editorial of this month’s When Saturday Comes points out, Wenger took Arsenal from the pack into the elite. The board receive praise for not reacting kneejerk fashion to the disgruntlement around, unlike their peers at other clubs.
At this moment in time, the pack is catching up with the top teams and gradually all may be consumed into a levelling out of the playing field. I think that would be a temporary state of affairs; City and their ilk have the money to chase the best talent in the world. They will throw money at it to ensure the Champions League is never out of reach.
But look at Chelsea and City’s rises. They did not come about immediately. City have taken four years to get here; their revolution started before the petrodollars came into the club, that money simply speeded up the process. Chelsea were of a similar timescale. Even if Arsenal went on a spending spree, there is no guarantee of a quick solution.
The observant of you will notice that I refer to the club not the manager. This is because it is a cultural change at the club that needs to happen if Arsenal are to spend, spend, spend.
KSE are not Sugar Daddies and are not likely to sell their shareholdings quickly, despite what the sages of the internet tell you. The chances of a massive investment in the club are slim. And that is being generous.
There is money there to be spent at the moment, sales of players have opened a cashflow and credit line. That can be used in January, it might be used in January but don’t expect the splurge to be all in one go. Why not? Because once its gone, its gone. Until the club can significantly enhance its commercial revenues, Arsenal will be struggling to match transfer fees of others.
And no, I don’t buy into the ethos that we cannot enter the transfer market until City & co have done their shopping. Squad sizes are finite and the pool of players is big enough for all of the fish.
I’m told things have to change at Arsenal. But that presumes that they don’t already. Is it a miracle that there has been a place at the top table for the club over the last decade and a half? No, it’s hard work, processes and training that evolves to keep pace with the big clubs.
We all like trophies, everyone does. We all like a team that does well. We all hate the position that the club is in right now. There is time to repair the damaging defeats, not a title challenge perhaps but a high league finish is still capable of being achieved.
Where I am struggling at the moment, more than anywhere, is the sheer hypocrisy surrounding Arsenal. There was rightly condemnation of the chanting on Sunday but what is the difference between that and the abuse directed at the manager and players on a regular basis? By people purporting to be Arsenal fans.
And that to me is as disappointing as what is happening on the pitch. But do you know what? I’ve stopped listening to them.
Posted on October 4, 2011, in Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Transfer Gossip. Bookmark the permalink. 240 Comments.