Five long summers ago, in the magnificent arena that is the Millennium Stadium, legend has it that Arsenal won a trophy. That trophy was the FA Cup and they did so by beating Manchester United 5-4 on penalties. Back then Arsenal had men such as Vieira, Henry, Ljungberg, Campbell and Gilberto Silva.
Mr. Wenger had a reputation for being one of the best, if not the best, coaches in the world back then, having gone 38 games unbeaten not too long before that FA Cup final. But those five long summers as I’ve previously mentioned have been agonizing and drawn out for most Gooners. Thanks to who? The hint is in the title.
Don’t get me wrong. The man still is a pretty decent manager. He constantly is churning out very good, the odd great, youngsters. Fabregas being the epitome of all his hard work so far. Together with Liam Brady in charge of the academy they have invested a huge amount of faith in producing winners from within the club and not a checkbook.
His philosophy is right and wrong in a variety of ways. So many varieties that I would bore the crap out of you by going into detail with them all. At the end of the day though, being a manager of the most successful London club of all-time, it trophies that matter, not the balance in the accounts.
This season he has spent £4.5m more than he has received for player sales. Last season he made a mammoth, £31m profit. The statistics as you go down through the years represent a man trying to balance the debit and credit on both sides of the account, not that of a world class manager. Here is the link of his transfer history.
The last few seasons he has been particularly miserly with his money. It seemingly has to be prised away from his grasp to spend the money sensibly in his eyes. His produce youngsters to sell on for big profits is working, no doubt about it.
However again, I must stress my point like a parrot repeating its owner’s speech, that he is judged by his trophy cabinet not the accounts. The trophy cabinet at Highbury was a long and illustrious one going back many, many decades of Arsenal’s glorious history. The trophy cabinet at the Emirates it dust-laden with the odd tumble weed passing by a la western movie style.
It’s sad to see this really as if he spent as much as his big 4 counterparts, there’s no doubt they’d be challenging seriously and regularly for the top honors. For all the mesmerizing football they play, they truly do deserve a trophy more than any other team on the globe for their endeavors of hard work and do the best with what they have.
But Arsene, don’t try and kid the public and more importantly, the Emirates faithful. You have money. So go and spend it and leave a legacy of trophies behind you. Not an agonizing famine in the wait for a rare trophy.