After my rant the other day, I thought I should take a different route. The general view on world football is very negative at the moment. When people talk about our beautiful game, they often talk about money. Transfer fees and wages are often the debating point in many conversations in pubs and clubs.
When we speak and think about Arsenal, we do not concentrate on the money so much but instead on the potential of the squad and where this team can go.
In 2005, when Patrick Vieira left, the team seemed to start a rebuilding process and due to the new stadium, there was always going to be financial constrains. Match-day revenue may have increased; however, debts have also risen which has meant Arsenal are not as active as others in the transfer market. So Mr. Wenger turned to younger players such as Nasri, Walcott, Van Persie, and Fabregas along with many others. When he first turned to them, they were very young but now they have matured and have bags of experience in terms of first team games. They have been together for a while and having gone a few years without a trophy, it seems like this could be the season where it all changes.
It’s now time to deliver and as Mr. Wenger admitted the other day, there are ‘no more excuses’ now.
When the new stadium was built, Mr. Wenger had one of the biggest challenges of his career. He had to try and balance finances with success. It was vital Arsenal did not fall out of the Top 4 which they didn’t. They coped with every situation that was thrown at them and for that, they deserve some credit. Every year they developed further and their understanding of each other’s play and movements have become stronger. He did have problems in between, players like Flamini and Hleb, who were vital for Arsenal chose to leave the club and Mr. Wenger had to adapt, but he did it, in fact, he did it very well. Look at the way Alex Song has developed in that holding role. Mr. Wenger has done wonders for the club.
Some of Mr. Wenger’s signings have really been fantastic. Most of his signings are good and well thought out; however, some must have been even better then what he must have thought. You look at how much top clubs have spent for strikers and we got Chamakh on a free! There were rumours that Arsenal was in for Joe Cole and that did interest me but the way Jack Wilshire has developed has shown me there was no need to buy. Joe Cole is a classy player who would fit into the way Arsenal play but why would you want to sign him when you have an 18-year-old named Jack Wilshire? The best bit about that is, Wilshire came through the youth system and has come up the ranks and has Arsenal in his blood which always helps.
You look at how much other teams have spent compared to what we have spent and you really see how remarkable the achievement of staying at the top is. The debts collected by other teams from transfer fee’s and wages make me see how well Mr. Wenger has done. Many of these foreign owners that have come in and spent big, but what if one day, they decide they have spent to much of their fortune or get involved in other interests? They could walk away and leave the club in major debt which can lead to selling assets which in football is players. My biggest fear would be turning out like Leeds or Portsmouth, where the club is not managed in the right way. You look at Man City and Chelsea who rely on their owners, Manchester United seem heavily in debt, Liverpool are struggling to pay off their debt, Real Madrid would have debts after all their spending and Barcelona just do not seem to have much money. Arsenal seems to be in a much better position, we do have debts because of the new stadium but apart from that, there is not much. We must not forget that we also built a new training ground in 1999, too.
Uefa have approved a new rule which if all goes to plan will be in place from the season 2012/2013. This will mean that clubs can only spend what they earn. The revenue a club earns can be spent and this leaves Arsenal in a good position as Arsenal have a massive turnover due to the new stadium. The main aim of this rule is to curb billionaire owners from throwing money in a club for new players. Another aim of this new rule is to ensure clubs do not go out of business or into administration as often as clubs are now.
So football, to some, may be going the wrong way but for Arsenal football club the future is bright, but having said that, success must come as this really is the time. Beating Spurs in the Carling Cup put the Sunderland game at the back of our minds and if we beat West Brom on Saturday then we certainly are back on track. Another three points in the Champions League mid week and we are set up for ‘that’ game at the bridge.
Let’s get behind the team as always. Come on Arsenal!
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