by Tony Attwood
The notion that if only Arsenal could replace the manager we would then have someone who will ruthlessly identify the players needed and bring them to the club, is, in my view, not a reasonable one. The expenditure by Manchester City and Manchester United is now getting so far ahead of Arsenal, that it would need a takeover by a state such as Saudi Arabia to make that sort of expenditure viable.
Saudi Aramco is expected to have a $2 trillion value and they have to do something with the money. Of course they could take on world hunger and poverty, or beat the shit out of Qatar, but if neither of those is on the shopping list, why not a football club like Arsenal.
Man City spent £128m net in the summer, Man U spent £136m net. And they both look like they are going to go on doing this. Even if we had had a manager whose modus operandi was spend spend spend we wouldn’t be keeping up with them – not without a compliant country on board.
Of course we can blame Kroenke for this – he doesn’t put lots of money into his clubs. And we can blame the board of directors of the 1950s and 1960s who on seeing how Manchester United started to promote themselves with worldwide marketing failed to catch on to the potential.
We’ve survived thus far with a great youth policy and clever buying of players who are off the radar. But the radar of all clubs works better these days, and the youth policy can only do so much (we might see how much in the League Cup fixture this week). But a net spend of £100m plus in each transfer window? I suspect not.
In fact after five games this season only Manchester City and Manchester United are actually better off than they were last year, among the clubs with thoughts of winning things.
After five games last season the league looked like this… with the “end” column showing where each team ended up at the end of the season.
|10||West Bromwich Albion||5||2||1||2||6||5||1||7||10|
So far this season Man U are four points better off and Man City are two points better off than they were at this point a year ago. Watford are one point better off than a year ago. Liverpool, Arsenal, West Brom and Chelsea are each two points worse off than a year ago at this point.
The big losers however are Tottenham who are five points worse off than they were a year ago and Crystal Palace who are seven points worse off.
Tottenham’s problem is their home form. A year ago they had played three at home, winning two and drawing one. This season they have played three at home and won none.
Now it is considered in many cultures that saying “told you so” is a bit rude and not very tasteful, so in terms of Untold’s prediction about Tottenham vis a vis their move to Wembley I won’t say I told you so. I’ll let you work it out for yourself.
So can we learning anything from all this?
Obviously the position after five games is not a particularly good indicator of where clubs will be at the end of the season. Last season’s champions were five points off the top after five games; Arsenal are currently six points off the top team.
Everton are the big sinkers currently lying 18th out of 20 clubs with four points, nine fewer than this time last year. And why is that? Maybe (and just as my view about Tottenham struggling at Wembley was a view based on what has happened in the past) this is what comes of bringing in 14 new players over the summer. Maybe that wasn’t the best idea going around.
- Chelsea on track to get 23 red cards this season and Arsenal to get 53 yellows.
- Chelsea – Arsenal : 0-0 – the Untold match report
- Chelsea’s problem with the Reds and a red, and China’s problem with Arry the Red.