Interesting to note how feelings have changed so much around the Arsenal camp in the recent few weeks. After an encouraging display against Manchester City where we fought back to gain a fully deserved point we were seen as potential title challengers and Podolski and Cazorla as quality signings. Now after dismal displays against Schalke and Norwich suddenly people are questioning Arsenal and Arsene Wenger’s ability to finish in the top 4 or anywhere near the top.
In reality what right do we have to question Arsene Wenger? Every year Arsenal go through a tough period and people predict we have sold too many big players and we will finish outside the top four but the fact we have finished in the top 4 for the last 15 years despite being written off in many seasons. We are the epitome of consistency in the Premier League, where other previous stalwarts like Newcastle, Leeds and Liverpool have gone through strained times and fallen from grace we have reliably always been there come the end of the season.
Yes there may be the top 4 and not the title but we are not the team we once were nor can we be for the next few years, people say the stadium has indebted us with the inability to compete on a financial level but the matter of fact it has not affected us in the time being and will increase us in the future. We may have to manage a £15 million a year repayment plan for the stadium but we more then make that up with additional matchday revenue, what has really hindered us is the commercial side, yes many can argue the deals we signed were forced by the stadium but we lack the number of commercial partners compared to Manchester United which we can improve upon. Rumours are we are to sign a £25 million a year deal with Adidas and our shirt sponsorship will be open to bidders and we should receive in the region of £18 million a year if still in the Champions League. These two alone would be an increase of about £30-35 million a year on our current deal swhich is enough for that stellar £20 million signing and wages a year.
Anyway back to the here and now, as an Arsenal fan I would like to think that we are more intelligent than the average Spurs or Man U fan but in reality we have some fickle fans in our sense. We have fans who are happy to shout that Wenger has lost the plot and needs to go and that we should sign these stellar players that either wouldn’t leave the clubs or that we can’t afford. Yes we have money in the bank but if you sign a £25 million player on wages of £120,000 a week on a 4 year contract that is a £50 million commitment which we could do one of before wiping out our money in the bank which we need to keep some of as a financial requirement as part of our loan.
The team is performing below the standard we expect and Wenger and they know it, do not think it will have been a nice week at the training ground this week. Wenger and Bould will have been telling the players exactly what they think of them and how and what they expect the players to do so that we may return to winning ways. As Vermaelen said this week a team does not lose its talent in a week, we are the Arsenal and players will come and go but the side shall not change. This may sound weird but what makes Arsenal Arsenal is more than a couple of players it is the community we are. We are a team that prides itself on playing attractive football more than effective football, a team that wants to be run responsible, a team that gives youth players the opportunity to impress on the biggest stage whilst putting morals above so much else in the game.
This is a club who in 1999 in a FA Cup at 1-1 scored a goal were after the ball was put out by a Sheffield player for someone to receive treatment and Kanu mistook this and played on to set up Overmars to score and win the game, Wenger offered to replay Sheffield United. How many clubs or managers would do that know? We are The Arsenal a team of substance and quality and though some fans may not see this I am happy to say I have full confidence in Wenger and our team to get us back into to the top 4. Whilst it’s not titles I am happy to be part of this community for life, like marriage you’re in it for the thick of it as well as glory.
This is not my normal analytical in informative article this is an article of belief as though we may be struggling now and times may be hard if you honestly think that we will finish below clubs of the quality of Tottenham and Liverpool I ask you to burn your season ticket on the way out as you are not the fan I want to stand alongside as we progress into future. Times may be dark but I see Red & White in the future.
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