Is spending more and more money the answer?
by Walter Broeckx
Some Arsenal fans had a lot of problems with the approach of the board and the manager in the last years. Some accept that Arsenal had not a lot of cash because of the financial and housing market crisis and had to be careful. But still people demanded in the last transfer windows that we would sign big names for big money. They asked for this because they see this as the way to success. When you ask them to define success they say: winning the league and winning the champions league.
So let us take a look at the two teams that have bought every big name in the game that was willing to sell his soul to that old devil called money.
Let’s start with Manchester City. They did what Arsenal fans demanded from Wenger. They bought every mercenary to be found wandering around in the game. Tevez, Adebayor, Barry, Santa Cruz, Lescott, Sylvinho and Touré. Most of those names were must buys for Wenger and many fans shook their head in disbelief that we let go Toure and Adebayor without replacing them apart from that to short unknown player from Belgium, Vermaelen.
By the start of the season last year it was thought certain that City would take our place in the top four. And when City team loaded with big name buys beat our youngsters in the Carling Cup another storm came up against our manager. He should have bought like City in order to prevent Arsenal going out in the Carling Cup.
But City also went out of the Carling cup, against United, and then went out of the FA cup against Stoke City, again with a full team. And in the league… they couldn’t even finish in 4th place.
So did big spending give them an advantage towards our prudence spending? No, they ended up with an empty trophy room – and that with a team that has cost almost as much as all the other teams together in one transfer window.
Another team that was going to win it all by signing all the big names that one can think of was Real Madrid or Real Mad as they are called over here.
If City spend an enormous amount of money then what can we say about real mad. If you think Kaka and Ronaldo would be enough then in Madrid they thought to be. They also bought Benzema, Arbeloa, Alonso, Albiol and Granero. All big names and all big money. More money than any team had ever spent in one transfer window. This would be a team that would beat anyone. That is if you believe in spending big money as the answer to get success.
The goal was set out and was simple: just do better than Barcelona. Which meant winning the Spanish cup, the title, the champions league at least.
In the Spanish cup they got beaten in two games by a team from the Spanish third division. In the Champions league they were beaten by Lyon and in the league it was Barcelona that clinched the title again.
When our season ended with no silverware some fans were telling us: I told you so with that bunch of players we would win nothing.
But tell me what have City won this season with all that money spent? Tell me what have Real Mad won with even more money spent? As much as we did: nothing.
So for those who really think that we should have spent like mad and buy players in an over inflated transfer window I can only say that it would not have been a certain guarantee for us to win anything. In fact it will never be a certain guarantee. The last season has proved once again that buying a lot of big names and spending an enormous amount of money does not win you titles immediately and for sure.
We achieved as much as Real Mad – that is we qualified for the Champions League next season and we did much better than City who can try again when playing in the Europa League next season.
But much more than that, we have done it within our own means. We didn’t break the bank. We didn’t borrow any more money. We didn’t get money out of nothing from an owner who could walk away any day and leave us with the broken pieces.
And though I feel pain about missing a trophy this season, it is nothing compared with the feeling of pride I have when I think of what we achieved with a team that at times had more injured players than Real mad and City buy in one transfer window.
No we did it our way, The Arsenal way. And with now more money available it seems that we can buy a bit. We will not overspend and bring our future in danger. We will do it within our means and keeping my club safe for the future is a very important thing for me as a fan.
The Index of Indexes to Everything Positive and Nice (except we have occasional mentions of Fifa and its bent world cup)
Woolwich Arsenal – now there is a club on the brink of disaster
The Book – not as useful as the Hitch hikers guide to the Galaxy, not as awe inspiring as “1001 Things You Know about Tottenham but Wish You Didn’t”, but still, quite good for a read during the summer break.