It’s Monday morning and I’ve had time to think. I’ve read this fantastic piece by Nellpop and I’ve watched some of our fans go crazy on the internet, all of which has served to bring a little bit of perspective in to my world, something which many out there on the interweb could benefit from.
I still don’t think we were good enough at the weekend, but then I don’t think it was on purpose either. Why were we not good enough? If I knew that I’d be making my money in sports psychology instead of eking out a living blogging but I do know that throwing out the bathwater, baby and all, is far from the answer.
Football fans, especially those following a top four team are spoiled. We are. And we behave like spoilt little brats demanding that us, and only us win trophies. There are four in total, the Premier League, the Champions League, The FA Cup and the League Cup. Only two of those are worth winning to a club of Arsenal’s size, the others bring little by way of financial reward and, you may not like it, but the cold hard truth is that winning the FA Cup and the League Cup means less now than it ever did. Coming at the expense of Champions League football would be a problem, and all those people who want us to spend, spend spend, to win a trophy should ask themselves where all this money is going to come from if we don’t make the Champions League.
Jessie J was wrong, it is all about the money and this is the reality that fans need to move towards.
Yes, who doesn’t love a cup final and the chance to win silverware, but when the dust settles ask yourselves, would you rather have a Carling Cup in your pocket and be in the Europa League? Are you aware of the prize money differences? The television money? The impact that would have on already restricted spending at Arsenal Football Club?
So some people want us to spend as much as we have available in order to allow us to win a cup. If we were to spend the reported £70 million we have available and then win the Capital One Cup they would see this proof that spending works. The prize money for the League Cup last year was £100,000. That’s one hundred thousand pounds. Or, to put it another way, the amount Theo Walcott wants to be paid for one weeks work.
I have no doubt that we need to strengthen in certain areas and that we haven’t only leads me to ask if the funds are actually being made available to the manager. As Nellypop said in her article, that some people haven’t worked out over the past 16 years that Arsene Wenger wants to win so badly is seems that at times it physically hurts him yet would ignore the ability to buy players seems absurd. A manager who is accused of being stingy who yet spends £10m plus on young players. Something doesn’t quite add up, and it’s not just the Arsenal accounting.
Today some people are saying Arsenal should get rid of Arsene and go for someone who doesn’t pick Santos at left back. Perhaps they wish him to pop along to Colney and pick someone from the leftback tree which is growing there. I know that people want to see Vermaelen moved to left-back and Kos come in to the side, but Vermaelen is being slated as a liability at present in his natural position, how do you think moving him out wide is going to work out? Arsene picks Santos because that’s all he has to pick out there.
Defeats always bring out the worst in supporters, and I’m no different. I question the passion and heart and desire of this team when I see them perform like they did on Saturday but some people take it a step too far. We are, in essence, competing for two trophies against teams who either have considerably more spending power than us or simply don’t give a toss that they are putting their future in jeopardy chasing the dream. Spending money is no guarantee of success, ask Leeds, ask Portsmouth, ask Liverpool who were just days away from administration before being bought over and then who considered to chuck good money after bad. What has that got them in the last six years? A League Cup. £100,000. Awesome work scousers.
Similarly Arsenal *might* have £70 million available to spend, just as you *might* have £10,000 in the bank. If your job wasn’t secure and you feared that you might be facing redundancy would you blow that all on a mega-trip to Las Vegas or would you think to yourself the smart thing here is to be prudent?
There is a middle ground, one which involves spending some but not spending it all. That is the ground on to which we need to move but we can’t really do anything about it until January and the opening of the Premier League Transfer Window so beating the manager for not buying is a pointless waste of energy which might be better served supporting the team and trying to give a bunch of men wearing the shirt we love a lift for the next few months.
We want them to do their job, let’s do ours too.------------
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