By Walter Broeckx
Sometimes lessons can be learnt from what happens to other teams. That is if one is interested in just more than ‘did we win anything this season?”. If not you can stop reading now. For those who like to see things in some perspective they can read on.
Arsenal supporters are so used to a finish in the top 4 in the Wenger era that we don’t even think about it any more. We talk about utter failure when we don’t win the league. And we don’t feel happy with qualifying for the Champions League any more. For me the day we get certainty over entering the CL is a good day. Not that I will be jumping around in my living room and open a bottle of champagne but I do find it a moment to enjoy. We still are one of the better teams in England and in Europe.
So when last year Tottenham booked a place for the CL at the expense of Manchester Richy we wondered about the celebrations going on in that part of North London. The supporters celebrated as if they had just won the league. We stood there thinking: what’s the big deal?
But Tottenham had made it in to the CL and the fans were happy. And as we have seen so often the Tottenham fans suddenly dreamed of a lot more. They told us that they would take our place in the CL from now on. They would finish above us in the league. You know the dreams Tottenham supporters are having every year and every year they have to stare at the league table in the knowledge that it was nothing more than a dream and that in reality they remained in our shadow.
But this season would be the turning point. And when they won at the Emirates Arry even talked about winning the league. I still wonder what he had been drinking that day before he said those words. Because as things are standing for the moment Tottenham are looking at the possibility of even having no European football at all next season. No champions league is a certainty since Tuesday so the big money is already gone. They might get the Europa spot – although Mr Redknapp said that he doesn’t want that.
The lack of a Champions League place will be a big financial blow for Tottenham and the risk that they have to sell their best players or the players that earn a lot of money is big. Bale leaving along with some other big earners will have an effect on their team next season. Arry said he didn’t know if there would be any money available for next season to buy new players. Cutting cost is likely the word the board of Tottenham will have to use this summer.
But after hailing Arry as the new messiah all season long the pundits cannot tear him down and admit how premature they have been shouting “hail Arry” this season. So in a remarkable attempt to still highlight the big achievement Tottenham and Arry had made last season they compare the way Tottenham are doing it compared to big moneys spenders. And then they name those big money spenders: Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United. Take note: no mention of Arsenal amongst the big spender teams.
Just to say: hey look at who they have to compete with. You cannot expect Tottenham to fight against such teams who can spend and spend without restrictions. And again all praise goes to Arry for even achieving one year amongst the big boys in Europe.
And then look at the contrast how they are describing Arsenal. Failure is the word for Arsenal and this season. Failure for many years is what they say about Arsenal since they last won a trophy.
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First of all I would say that Arsenal has done 14 years in a row what Tottenham have done once in those years. And yet we are failure and Tottenham is the best thing ever happened to football. But how can becoming a one year member of the big boys be that much better and being amongst the big boys all the time be a failure?
And how come that when they talk about the “failure of Arsenal” those journalists never take in account the fact we have to deal with the same teams who can spend money as if it is water in the sea? Why don’t they say: Hey look at Arsenal they have finished 14 years in the top 4 and in the last years they have to compete teams like City, United and Chelsea who can spend money. And hey look at Arsenal who have build a brand new stadium and still stayed in the top 4 despite having to pay a lot of money for that stadium and having to rebuild a complete new team in that period.
Hardly any of the pundits talks in this way about Arsenal. But when Tottenham is involved they show that they can have a broader look at things. So they are not really dumb as I have been thinking for many years. No they do know a bit more than just the score line on the field. But they just don’t want to use it when Arsenal is involved.
Because when writing about Tottenham and taking in account the fact that Tottenham has to compete with the big money plaything teams of billionaires who spend and spend is very correct. I totally agree with them. It has been an incredible thing for Tottenham to reach the CL even if it was just for one year. I have no problem in admitting this. But then why don’t we get any recognition from them for doing this year after year after year after year?
Why don’t those pundits and journalist not admit that Arsenal with their youth policy, their new stadium to pay for and their small amount of money paid for transfers is doing miracles? Year in, year out qualifying for the CL. But we don’t get any recognition for this.
So maybe we could read the consolation articles dished out by the pundits and journalists for Tottenham these days and then we as Arsenal supporters can say: Whatever they have achieved in the last year, we have done better. Far, far better. And the Tottenham supporters can only dream of what we are doing year in, year out. I bet deep down inside they would trade with our record of the last “6 years without a trophy” for theirs with a one time CL experience and being with the big boys once in an instance.
I wonder how many Arsenal supporters would trade our past 6 years “of failure” with the last 6 years of Tottenham?
So despite of feeling bitter about our lost game at Stoke and the defeat to Villa we should take a look around us. And see that we have been competing for a long time. Okay, the final success was not reached but I think some 16 teams would love to trade places with us.
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