by James Burnett
Although Arsene Wenger has admitted that he thinks Arsenal are still in a weaker financial position than rivals Manchester City, he maintains that his club has come a long way from the days when their best players were departing for the Etihad Stadium.
Between 2009 and 2014, Wenger lost five of his players to Manchester City, with Emmanuel Adebayor, Gael Clichy, Kolo Toure, Bacary Sagna and Samir Nasri all left the Emirates for the Etihad. And, during a period in which Arsenal were struggling to cope with the financial strength of their Premier League rivals, Wenger made the decision to sell Robin van Persie to Manchester United where he would become one of the top players that season at Old Trafford, although just for one season. After that he became a financial millstone around the neck of the club, paid far more money than he could ever possibly be worth.
During his Friday press conference, Mr Wenger joked about City, describing them as ‘good clients’. However, he went on to assure fans that the club is in a much stronger financial position now, as he feels that today, they are able to give financial satisfaction to players whilst supporting further ambitions and values that make the team happy. But, although the financial gap, which once made it difficult for Arsenal to compete, has been reduced, Wenger is under no illusions and admitted that it ‘is still there’ at least to some degree.
Wenger’s reflections on the improved financial situation at Arsenal comes amid a backdrop of media instituted uncertainty surrounding the futures of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. Although Arsenal are attempting to secure two new deals for two players with contracts ending in 2018, the story is they are yet to find a breakthrough.
Recently, Sanchez is understood to have received a staggering offer of £400,000 per week from the Chinese Super League, which he is reportedly using as leverage in order to gain a pay rise. And, the situation at Arsenal is not being helped by the absence of financial regulations in the Chinese transfer market, which have distorted the usual expectations in European dealings.
But the problem is facing Manchester Utd, Chelsea and Manchester City too. They have become utterly used to being the financial superpowers, able to manipulate the market to their own ends. Suddenly they are minnows compared to Chinese state funded football. The difference between Arsenal and Man City is nothing compared to the difference between Man City and any club in China that has access to state money.
The Race is On
Arsenal have just lost two games in a row as we all know, and have slipped to fourth. Suddenly all the anti-Wenger campaigners are out in force again – it only took two games. 10 wins and three draws and they stay quiet, two defeats and they are out in force.
Wenger may have been disappointed with the results, however, he stated that he knew his team managed to remain in control despite losing the first game and noted two offside goals causing Arsenal to lose in the second. To place a bet on either side in the next game, check out Bookmaker Ratings.
Learn from Mistakes
Speaking of the defeat from Everton, Wenger said that during the second half, his team were ‘completely in control of the game’, putting it down to sheer bad luck that they lost. His reasoning for this was that it was not a corner, and he also reported that after watching the video footage of the game back, it was clear where the mistakes had been made. But, he still believes that his team did have what it takes to win despite that.
In the next match he admitted the team did not play well but noted the way decisions went against them. He says that at this point, it is important for Arsenal to look at their past games objectively in order to analyse what they do well, and what can be improved for the future in order to claw back some points from the next match and improve their chances of winning the Premier League title this season.
He’s also reportedly encouraging his players to not look for excuses, but rather to be analytic and see what they did and where they failed to win the game.
Arsene Wenger may have seemed hopeful that he’d lead Arsenal to another victory three years ago, but with his time almost up, this has yet to happen. Do you think he can do it this season?
In the end it may all depend on the fans.