Is football all about trophies? Not any more it isn’t.

by Mahdi.

“We haven’t won anything in X years. Sack the manager as he has lost the plot and is not ambitious enough and won’t spend any money. I don’t care about finances but trophies. That is what football is all about.”

Now how many times in the last 7 years have we had the above thrown at our faces by the media and a section of our fans? Wait did I say fans? I meant the doom monging, misinformation spreading and defeat wishing AAA.

The media and the AAA alike have accused Arsene and Arsenal in general for the lack of ambition just because of our self sustainable model which means we won’t go out and spend stupid money on average players just because certain “journalists” said they were good or just because certain bloggers think they will suit us just because they played well in their Football Manager/FIFA teams.

As you must have heard by now Kenny Dalglish has been sacked by Liverpool owners even though he delivered the club`s first trophy in 6 years which is what the heading is all about. What is wrong here? Why did Liverpool sack their manager even though he met the supposed priority of playing football?

You know he won a trophy after all so are the Liverpool owners stupid or what? If you used a section of our fan base logic then Kenny was a perfect manager as he ticked all the boxes they have been demanding from Wenger. Let’s look at them shall we?

1. Spend, spend and spend

This has been a big cry among of the dear AAA. They have always accused our club on lack of ambition just because we don’t spend stupid money on average players. They always think that Arsenal should sign this and that player just because a certain paper linked us with him and had certain bloggers endorse them.

Also the availability of 5 minutes footage of said X player on YouTube doesn’t help either. From Lorik Cana, Felipe Melo, Miguel Veloso to Taiwe Taiwo and Joey Barton(ffs) all were a must sign for Arsenal just because the media linked them to us (or linked themselves in Barton`s case) to sell papers. No logic should be used just because I used him in football manager and he fits the bill

Well Dalglish did exactly what these people want at Liverpool. He spent a lot of stupid money on average players overhyped by the media and overrated by the fans. According to transfer league website he spent a total of £114,400,000 since he took over in January 2011. That’s a hefty amount considering the ones signed were not the likes of Silva, Aguero and Messi but Henderson, Carroll, Downing and Adam. Dalglish doings would make a certain blogger proud as he was showing ambition wasn’t he?

2. Win a trophy

This is another stick the media and their AAA counterparts use to beat us and in fact its their favourite one. The manager, the assistant manager, the physio, the groundsman, the board and the players should all get sacked because we haven’t won anything in 7 years.

The fact that we built a new stadium and that rich oil billionaires decided to take up football as a toy and play with it however they want. No we should compete with them why should we act sensible and not use money that we don’t have? How does it matter if our club ends up bankrupt as long as we win a few trophies on the way eh? That is what football is about; trophies and nothing else so we should just buy ourselves ones so we can gloat about them in short time while we suffer in the long haul.

Kenny Dalglish won Liverpool what they craved…a trophy and that also came after 6 years wait. Everyone was happy about it and they couldn’t have cared less if it was Carling cup or that it was a championship team they luckily beat on penalties. Of course our dear friends went completely mad with it claiming that Liverpool are now better than us and that they are more ambitious than us. The league table didn’t matter as it is all about trophies.

So what happened next?

He got sacked, but why? Didn’t he win a trophy at Liverpool? Isn’t that what football is all about? Well apparently not. The owners at Liverpool saw something else. They saw a fortune spent on a 6th & 8th placed finishes. The trophy to them didn’t matter that much and who would blame em? You get more money for qualifying in the champions league than winning the carling cup and to make matters worse Liverpool finished below Everton for the first time during the PL era.  So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that they had to sack him when they allegedly asked him to put himself in the fans shoes.

Now I’m going to ask this question again; are trophies all what football is about? Is there absolutely nothing else that matters? If that’s the case why are there teams remembered even though they won nothing? The 1974 Holland team comes to mind.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that  Arsenal should not try and win trophies and nor that I want us to stay trophy-less but its high time some people go back and learn the definition of being a football supporter. It is not only celebrating with your team in the good times but also sticking by them in bad phases, giving them SUPPORT when they need it and not acting like complete twats (can I use that Tony?) [yup – Tony] when things are not going your way.

This is just a bad phase and it will pass as the saying goes no matter how long it is there is always light at the end of the tunnel. I’m sure we are going to win trophies in not so distant future but that should not be what support is based on.

Trophies should not be your definition of football but the memories (good and bad) and the experience should. We didn’t win any trophy in the last 7 years but how many times have we been ecstatic due to the results we had? How many times have we been so happy that even not winning a trophy didn’t matter?

If football was all about trophies then perhaps Kenny Dalglish would have a job today.

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95 Replies to “Is football all about trophies? Not any more it isn’t.”

  1. What do you mean dont spend big money on average players ? what would you call Djourous contract extension!

  2. I think you will find that Dalgliesh got sacked because he spent pots and pots of money and the team went backwards in the quest for a top four spot. Did a carling cup plus 8th(or whatever) compensate for £75million spend plus a mimanagement of the Suarez affair ? Clearly not in the owners eyes. THe view of people such as I is that Wenger missed many obvious chances to improve the team by a moderate spend (top GK for example) and Arsenal will only improve when there is a new manager or Wenger is forced to spend. It is apparant to me that a great contribution this season has been by the last minute EXPERIENCED players, particularly Arteta. I doubt they would have been bought, had it not been for the 8-2 debacle.

  3. Is money spent on the following players stupid Money:
    Yaya Toure – (Barca to Mancs £20m+)
    Kun Aguero – (Atletico Madrid to Mancs £35m+)
    Vincent Kompany – (Hamburg to Mancs £10m+)

    If so then Arsenal is still in the right direction. If Not then Arsenal have to improve their transfer dealings. Note I say improve and not match.

  4. I totally agree with all that you have said. People are absorbed by what the media says and forget about the basic things in football. They want arsenal to copy what is done at city and chelsea. Where is leeds united today? who knows what the future holds for tomorrow. What if something happens globally and then the Sheiks at city suddenly decide to sell the club because their financial state is not stable. People must think and stop acting on emotions. the future is all that matters. Wenger should continue with the self sustaining model while building for the future. Trophies will roll in once the stadium has been paid off. For now just support the team and keep the faith.

  5. Doesn’t this site get tired of bashing the other side of the “supporters”. Personally it’s a bit old and totally not interesting anymore. As the AAA’ers jump on the blog when Arsenal loses, the AKB’s find any opportunity to show where they believe Wenger and the board are amazing.

    I think it’s time to stay away from this blog, same old shit.

  6. I think that you have tried to make an argument that isn’t really there by bunching all trophies together. Do you suppose that Dalgleish would have got the sack if Liverpool had won the PL this year? No, neither do I. The Carling Cup and the FA Cup are completely different to the PL title which is more difficult to win than either of those two, or the CL. Witness Chelsea in the final. I am closer in agreement to Alan Skirton and I find it hard to disagree about the goalkeeping situation that was allowed to drift for far too long. There have been times, in the last seasons, where I felt we have had a genuine chance of the PL title if we had tweaked the squad with the right players. But clearly, that hasn’t happened. We will have to wait and see what Arsene comes up with next season I suppose.

  7. Good point ! And remember Portsmouth! It is not so easy nowadays with all these money. A balance is needed.

  8. Football is a sport and like any other people crave a winning team and loath the reverse. Dalglish spend a ludicrous sum of money on average players that could only bring back alone worthless trophy and an 8th place finish. Man City spent the same on quality and the result was a 1st place finish and a trophy of immense value. Football is still about winning major honours and that’s why Madrid spent the way they did to topple Barcelona. If 3rd place finishes and the CL were all that mattered then Nasri and Clic
    hy would’ve remained at Arsenal.

  9. About the remark of the goalkeeper: We had one of the best talented young goalkeepers in Szczesny. It was clear for those who followed him in the youth and reserves that he could become a special goalkeeper. If we would have bought someone where would Szczesny be now? Maybe at some other team and our old experienced stop gap would be too old now. Don’t forget last season when his contract nearly ended he said that he wanted first team football as soon as possible and otherwise would consider leaving in order to get first team football. And when he got his chance he took it with both hands.

    We could have spend crazy money on DeGea for example… who is not as good as Szczesny in my opinion.

    This is a moment where as a manager you sometimes need to stay calm for a few months. Maybe Szczesny was not ready enough at the start of the season before this one but Wenger maybe knew he was very very close to being ready. We don’t know such things.

  10. Was it ever about trophies? At the moment the sign of success is not to go into receivership. Rangers are staring down at the barrel of a gun.

    There are a lot good and bad things that can happen over a season. Getting beat by the T*tts, bad. Beating them after being 2-0 down before half time, good.

    Being 13 points behind them then finishing above them and beating them to the last confirmed Champions League spot, good (I’d take that over a League Cup win in itself).

    Without trophies those moments are still priceless and draw a little tear.

    It’s not only about trophies. For me it’s about the ups (and downs) over the season and that we will be there for the next season.

    They say that no one remembers who was second. Tell that to the Holland of the 70s, to the Brazil team in Spain 1982 who didn’t even come second.

  11. Well written blog I have been banging on about this for a couple of years, Arsenal are an example of a well run club ( this is mostly down to AW ) I know lots of people want everything today I have kids who wanted everything when they were twenty plus now they are paying for it with massive debts ( does this ring a bell with any of you supporters ). Do we want to go down the same road as Leeds/Portsmouth/Rangers plus all the other clubs that has gone into liquidation I dont think so.
    Yes we have struggled to compete over the last 7 years firstly because of Chelsea’s Russian millions ( 800 and counting) and have they got a nice stadium NO, and more recently Mancity billionare (1100 million and counting ) It is impossible for any club to compete given these stastics but as the writer said they will eventually get tired and throw all the toys out of the pram then these clubs will come back down to earth with a bang. (Remember Jack Walker of Blackburn who bought the title in 1995 look where they are today)
    Saying all that I think RVP will re-sign and AW will open is wallet but it will be at least money we have in the bank not borrowing like Man Utd as done for the last 6 years.

  12. @Alan Skirton, have you ever thought that Wenger and the board are in lock step on the spending?

    Arsenal can not afford to pay 35 million on any player, we do not have that kind of money, We will continue to live within our means by spending what we make.

  13. Good article. And I agree wit it. Trophies are great but there are more important things in my eye.
    Slightly off topic when it’s Arsenal it’s always Wenger who refuses to buy big players or sell players but with other teams it’s always manager asking owners/board to do those things? Why the difference? isn’t it same for all the clubs?

  14. N4,
    I would call it a good thing to have a full international for his country as a backup centre back.

  15. @Cornelius,

    instead of just cherry-picking good transfers that man city have made, please could you list all of Man City’s transfers (and values) for the past 4 seasons and then point out who were the good (well valued) transfer’s against the bad ones. Does Robinho ring a bell who was bought for circa 27 million and on 100k wages….i’ll be waiting.

  16. The only once in the list of Cornelius that was affordable for Arsenal was Kompany. But I bet for a few pounds that if Wenger would have bought him the reaction would have been: oh another unproven youngster for that much money. Now it doesn’t look much money (compared to City’s overall spending money) but it still was a lot for a young defender

  17. Surely you are not comparing this Arsenal squad to Dutch teams of the seventies ?. It’s not lack of trophies that worries me, nor do I want Wenger gone either . What worries me is that we are being outplayed by sides like Wigan, QPR and Norwich . We haven’t been competitive when it comes to winning EPL title for many years before Man City struck oil. In the last seven seasons we finished some 15 points per season ( on average ) behind title winners. This year we finished 19 points behind what was widely considered the weakest Man United in years. As to your assessment of Liverpool’s season, it’s deeply flawed. By your standards of success , Birmingham had a great season last year. Dalglish got the axe for number of reasons, not the least of which was the worst home record in some fifty years , but also for the manner he carried himself on touchlines .

  18. A bit off topic but be it a barren trophy less 40 years, administration, relegation or whatever else…I will always love my Arsenal and my fellow gooners (both AAA and AKB) just as much as I love my beautiful Labradors. The first Arsenal game I ever watched live (never had satellite TV before) was a 3 nil drubbing at the hands of Chelsea on 29/11/2009 – somehow I was drawn to the Arsenal and I have never looked back.

  19. Any objective Gooner wil see that we shud hav won atleast one league trophy in recent times, were it not for the odds always stacked to high heavens against us; the referees (i feel my blood boil just thinking about the likes of Dean and Dowd), and the incessant injuries that just wont give us a decent break (like the season’s lengthy fullbacks crisis, and Wilshere, and Diaby…et al)

  20. TomW, some Arsenal fans last season claimed Birmingham was a successful team. Until they went down.

    And yes the average was 14,5 between our points and the champions.
    In 2006-2007 we were 18 points behind. Henry was sold and the next season 2007-2008 we would have been champions if the refs wouldn’t have stolen it. We went from 18 points behind to only 4 behind at the end.
    You surely can remember the cheating of the refs that season?

    In a way it doesn’t matter how many points you are behind in a season. After all we all start with 0 points the next season.

    Last year city finished 3rd. We just have to do what City did last season 😉

  21. &yes, good article Mahdi. One thing I would like to have cleared up though and I would be please if someone could answer is…

    “According to the Swiss Ramble our net debt was at it’s peak in 2008 @318 million and it is now 98 million. Is this the debt that needs to be paid off before we can begin to start spending larger amounts in the transfer window, I mean, is this the debt that wenger referred to when he said we need to make 20 million surplus a year (to pay down this amount)?”

  22. good article finally a blog that uses good thinking and anyalsis to match up with arsenals situaton, even if arsenal won a trophy eg carling cup one or even the fa cup youd still hear fans complaining that we need to win the premier league and champions league, it wouldnt surpirse if man city go broke, remember leeds? Champions league and even premier league contendors at one point, lets not get into a fantasty, arsenal are unique lets keep it that way and hopefully we can win a trophy next season.

  23. I agree with Tom .The gunners are being outplayed by Norwich,QPR,Wigan,Blackburn and other lowly teams.Remember Fulham were pulverised 5-0 by MU. Why can’t the gunners bet these so called lowly teams?
    I remember the gunners lost 3-2 to Wigan after leading 2-0.The buck stops with the manager.Dalglish was axed because he could not finish third or fourth after spending 199 million plus .
    Football is about winning and nothing else,repeat nothing else. Wenger has spent pittance compared to other managers.His record the last seven years is poor compared to the best unless the gunners want to be compared with Spurs.
    To win games you need a very good defence stating with the gk.
    If the gunners fail to challenge,let it be the FM’s last season .The rf has lasted so long because he he has been winning trophies and most fans believe the refs are on his side.Tht’s why his record in the cl is poor.

  24. thanks all for the compliments..ill try and reply to everyone when i get the time as i am currently busy with something

  25. Who said we’re going through a bad phase? We’re going through a period of transition. I am sick of stupid short minded arsenal fans who i hear at the stadium every weekend slating the players and the manager. I think arsene deserves huge credit for building a system that has kept is at the top level of the sport. If arsene wasnt our manager throughout this trophyless period we would on the bottom half of the premier league. And i think the comments above about mcfc are pointless. They have spent a huge amount to build a team not just a couple of players. And with huge salaries!! When will our supporters understand we CANT compete with the financial power of chelsea, mcfc. Wake up!!!!!

  26. What a pile of guff. If you think any top class player thinks like you that trophies dont mean anything then you know little about football. Fabregas, Nasri, Clichy and probably Van Persie all leavign because of a lack of silverware. The whole point of competetive sport is to win. As for the comparison between Holland 1974 and this current side is ridiculos our current lot dont deserve to be mentioned in the same breath. Teams that dont win anything are only remembered if their quality of football is exceptional and Arsenal’s current football clearly is not. Also how can anyone compare Leeds to Manchester City. One club borrowed heavily from banks and the other is funded by one of the richest families in the world.

  27. Don’t be …

    Sorry not a proper email address so we can’t publish this. Please make sure you enter your email address accurately.

  28. August 2011: John Henry Liverpool owner;

    “our main goal is to qualify for the Champions League. If we don’t it would be a major disappointment”

    Domestic Trophies alone are not what the game is all about anymore. Champions league qualification takes president over both cups.

    Bye bye Kenny.

  29. Some times this column is a total disgrace to Arsenal supporters. How many points did we lose in January because of lack of depth in defense department. We all knew in December that a loan acquisition at left back was necessary and who came in during January?? an 18yr old injury plagued Germany. Do you trust Djourou playing at Right back? What happened when Wenger looked at the bench during the Milan game and only had Park and Chamack to bring on. Can you be sensible enough. We are not demanding to spend beyond our budget. What happened to the money got from the sale of Nasir and Cesc. You are a disgrace you guys.

  30. One thing I can not understand…all these doomers and moaners wants the best for the Club, and in the same time they wants spending big money and get the Club in the debt. In my opinion, that is not caring for the Club, that doesnt make any sense.

    Another frustrating thing is that there are no arguments, suggestions, realistic critic. All we are hearing from these moaners is copy-paste from the brainwashed media.

    For me, as Arsenal supporter, Emirates stadium is the biggest trophy since I started supporting Arsenal (to be honest, I’ve never seen Arsenal to lift a trophy since I started supporting the Club 3 years ago and one day I hope to watch home game from the stands) and every next game is one trophy for me – because I love to watch this football Club.

  31. Also, I think that CL qualification against Udinese played biggest part in the late transfers, not the resulet against UTD. Players were waiting to see if we qualify or not. It was just coincidence to get that awful result after CL qualification and bring “panic buy” players.

  32. I have to admit though i am concerned with the talk about RVP stalling. How the hell (if it is true and he ends up not signing) are we meant to compete when we lose our best players every single bloody year. If RVP goes to another EPL club i will burn his shirt after all the crap about money not being important etc. We stood by the guy for 7 years when he should have been pulling us over the line but instead we ended up babysitting him…………now all of a sudden we are seemingly not good enough for his ambitions, before his ambition was to stay on the pitch for more than a 10 game stint. I know we can replace him and wenger is good at spotting talent but each replacement takes time to settle in. I am seriously fed up of players having a good season then leaving us in the lurch and if RVP does this to us after all we have done for him he wont be a legend for me and i will turn my back on him.

  33. The problem we have right now is misuse of internet technologies, especially the emergence of the blogging industry. Basic tenets of publishing be it a story or an opinion piece have been thrown out through the window. Unfortunately the traditional media have also followed suit. Take the RVP story of today. We are being told that talks that took place at Wenger’s house broke down because RVP wants Arsenal to show ambition. No source is cited for the news article yet the blogs are carrying around the news. Fans are also saying RVP “represents our feelings” etc. No one knows whether that article is true and we will never be told whether it was true or otherwise. Should it turn out to be false the same reporter will never say sorry but invent another story to psych up the fans.

    I remember sometime back this site carried stories about “talking points” being raised by the media to influence fans opinions about arsenal. The RVP issue is one case that vindicates such notion. What is coming out from the way the story is reported is that arsenal lack ambition and ambitious players are leaving arsenal for clubs with ambition. The other talking point is that ambition is shown by buying players.

    Unfortunately fans being fans (fanatics) go with anything that raises emotions. At some point the same fans wanted RVP to be offloaded but now they want the club to pay any amount for him to stay. At some point they criticized Wenger for “paying over the odds” for Ox but less than a year later they were baying for wenger’s blood for not fielding the Ox. Right now they want Arsenal to buy a player by the name M’Vila whose team is ending fifth so that Song will be the second choice and probably leave in search of first team football. If he excels wherever he goes and M’Vila flops they will blame Wenger. If Frimpong and Coqualen leave in the process in search of first team football and end up being successful as they promise, then Wenger will be to blame. The list is endless.

    The bottom line is that management at Arsenal must use logic when deciding whats good for the club not pander to fanatic views.

  34. I wonder…do some people who comment even read what was written?? I ..seriously.. wonder.

    @Cornelius: Kompany btw was under 7 million if I remember correctly. So he isn’t a BIG money buy; just a very good buy. He wasn’t BIG when he was bought and made his mistakes.

    @Bradster: Please feel free to stay away if it doesn’t suit your taste….much like I stay away from all those awesome AAA sites.

    @TomW: The point is that there is a super cool argument that the AAA trot out about how a trophy is better than most. Carling cup and FA Cup = Trophy. So why are Liverpool sacking Kenny? Just by that logic. Maybe its NOT only about trophies?

    And really…City scraped it through injury time goals on the last day. Quality ..yes. Deserved to win. probably. But they were THIS close … for that argument to be totally trashed ..totally. Its a huge risk to spend big and try to win. Plenty of sides who have spent much more than AFC have won nothing. And really football…is like a way… you have to base your existence on acceptable risk. Nothing more. Nothing less.

    Thank You for your article Mahdain. It should be an eye opener to the AAA …it wont though… dont worry. Its a good perspective. Maybe as some said.. there were more reasons why Kenny got sacked. But the basic point its..he won a trophy and got sacked. So trophies not equal to EVERYTHING. Your article clearly conveys that. keep writing.

  35. @Trophy worshipers: I really wonder, if you say “football is all about winning and trophies”, why don’t you just go support Man Urine, Man $hity or Chelski or Real Mad or Cheaterlona? Why have to torture yourselves (and us) by “supporting” Arsenal if you think they don’t have any chance to win trophies because they don’t buy enough or they don’t buy whoever you like? Or to make it easier, you can enjoy the football, wait until near the end of seasons and just “support” the teams who are topping the table. That way your teams will always win trophies, and you can always proudly say “My team won the league (again) this year!”. You will be happy, we will be happy, everyone will be happy. Hmmm?

  36. Off Topic: All AAA who come here can read this and go away. This is what is likely to happen in the transfer window.

    a) We might buy a backup goalie age 34 or above like Mart Poom. This is IF Fabianski and Mannone both leave.

    b) We will not buy ANY defenders as we do NOT need any. Djourou is as good as they get with 3rd/4th choice defenders. And no Jan Vertonghen will NOT come here unless we sell any of our current back 4 .. which is very unlikely. [Sorry Walter : ) )]

    c) We will not buy Yann M’Vila unless we sell Song and plan to release Coquelin as well. It is NOT happening. And considering that AW rarely stands in the way of really good young talent…I won’t even be shocked to see Coquelin be first choice..with Frimpong even IF Alex is sold. And that too is not very likely.

    d) We might buy one more striker if Joel Campbell is NOT coming in. Benik Afobe will get promoted too. If RVP goes we will buy someone.

    Now what I think will happen is – RVP, Theo and Alex will all sign. Yossi will sign a 1 year deal. We’ll get a backup goalie. Maybe some talent for the next year or 2 who is loaned out. And that will be it. Podolski WILL be our ONLY signing in this window unless someone leaves.

    Now if you are AAA and this post depresses you, I suggest you just go on to another site : ). Coz I think most people reading it… who are NOT AAA.. will agree ; )

  37. Yes, prudent management is required and esential. At the same time there must be a balance. Arsenal’s quality have been and are dipping badly. Although Arsenal won the last game and finished third on narrow basis for the season, the last goal was simply gifted, Arsenal very nearly finished fourth. Can anybody say that Arsenal played well in the last couple of games? The defense and midfield was sickening to watch. Too many mistakes by the GK. SOME TIME HOT SOME TIME COLD Same old crap all the time by Arsene, team and the board. Football is all about winning and wining is something that has become a rare commodity in Arsenal. This season was a narrow escape. What will the next season be? Can’t Arsene see this i believe not. Get real Arsene. Assemble a quality team and challenge for the trophies. The team needs to be overhauled, adjusted or twigged, do somethin now before it is too late. Bring the quality back.

  38. @SouthernGunner

    I particularly liked the Google Ads at the bottom of that piece!

  39. At the risk of opening a new can of worms, I ask what exactly have Messrs Kroenke and Usmanov brought to Arsenal Football Club?
    I know together they own something like 60% of the Club’s shares, Kroenke is a Board member while Usmanov isn’t….BUT what is their main gift to our Club, to date?
    Will one of them suddenly buy a player (that Wenger wants)?
    Will one or the other deposit billions in Arsenal’s bank account to buy players?
    Are these two guys philanthropists or what?

  40. Thanks Mahdain, good article.

    Win trophies every years, who don’t want it?

    But throw big money more than we have is very risky, take a big risk and gambling is narrow.

    Big ambition does not mean make stupid things like Pool. And stupid management will take you to Leed, Blackburn, Rangers position now. They win the league, in the past.

  41. Mahdain,
    Sorry to be pedantic but Everton has finished above Liverpool for the second time in the PL era; the first time being 2005, when Liverpool won the Champions League and finished at 5th, one place below Everton. It was this event which led to UEFA modifying its rules.

    Mr Broeckx,
    It is not that Wenger was completely confident in Szczesny that he did not buy a goalkeeper- it was because the goalkeeper he wanted to buy was not available.
    Arsene Wenger did try to sign an experienced goalkeeper in Pepe Reina in the summer of 2010 according to Bob Wilson. The transfer fell through, with Liverpool worried about selling top players when the atmosphere was already very disturbed. just because the transfer did not happen does not mean we did not try.
    I’m sure we all(I mean the supporters who do support the team)love the players but please let us not put subtle twists to facts.

  42. @arvind,

    I agree with every point you make except for C.

    Arsene did bid for Yann m’villa last summer but Rennes chairman confirms that Yann m’villa did not want to move yet (confirmed quote) and because of that due to the midf area still needing depth/to be strengthened, it would not surprise me if AW did move in for him again.

    If that proved to be the case, coquelin’s playing time in the EPL would be limited however, like song before him, AW may let him go out on loan for a season to a smaller EPL team and when he returned he would be a far more developed player who would be challenging directly for a first team spot.

    Though, if AW moved in for M’villa, I think it will only be after AW has moved on a few players off the wage bill (as quoted by AW himself).

    RVP to stay!

  43. My friend said wenger should buy owen. Well he is free , no other club will be after him and he could give few lessons to the yougngster if we do buy the likes of junior hoilett. He could even fire off, even if he dosent nothing to lose. 😉

    P.S. If RVP leavs, next season will only prove that no player is bigger than the club. And i think this is the only lesson that these so called AAA should learn. Buying big have never have been the Arsenal’s style and never should be.

  44. Psycho Pants

    ‎”If i want to see cabinets full of trophies I see ManUnited, Barcelona and Real Madrid, but when i want too see pure sensational football I see ARSENAL ” – Pele

  45. If M’villa was signed then it might signal that Wilshere would be moved/played in the ATM role, and if an ATM was brought in then it may indicate that Wilshere will continue his development in the centre mid role that arteta uses.

  46. …and although M’villa has 100+ games in ligue 1 and has 15+ caps for France he is still only 21 so if he was brought in he would take a few months to adapt to the EPL therefore I don’t think he would be a regular in the starting line-up until after Christmas therefore the whole doomer/AAA thought of Song leaving if we signed him is absolute nonsene

  47. King kenny messed up on a lot of issues, firstly the backing of Suarez, not likely to endear him to a us corp, then spending a fortune on less than wonderful players, and finally, was unable to make things up to the owners by winning a trophy they had never heard of. Wonder what those owners would give to have wenger?

  48. I’m AAAA (note there are 4 A’s) and I was very pleased to read your article Mahdi – thank you.

    It feels good when we win trophies, but I feel best when we play well and even when we lose I do not feel too bad provided that we lose fairly.

    I disagree with the sentiment that
    “Football is about winning and nothing else,repeat nothing else.”

    Football, for me, is about the love of the game – the expression of skill, talent and training; the dynamic of the team; the bounce of wall and the blow of the wind.

    Sure, winning is nice as (all being fair) it is an expression of how well you manage all those things – but it’s shit on its own.

    That’s why I am happy enough.

  49. Apologies..actually this is the 2nd time Everton finished above Liverpool during PL era and that was back in 2005 when they finished 4th but couldnt qualify for the cl as they were knocked out in the qualifiers(by villareal i think)

  50. @N4 you do know why Djourou got a contract extension right? or have you decided to forget that he was great last season when he got a run of games? another case of selective amnesia

  51. Excellent article Mahdi, i have had countless “debates” with Liverpool fans (and other fans) about what is more important, a minor trophy or a high league finish. And the actions of the Liverpool owners have just proven what the answer is.

    We are moving towards bigger things for years to come. If £110 million spent on players gets you the Carling Cup you can keep it.

  52. @Alan Skirton if spend spend spend didnt work well at Liverpool then why are people so sure that it will with Arsenal? massive spending doesnt guarantee anything..yeah you can take Man city`s example but untill the 91st minute of the LAST game of the season their spending was for nothing..they were about to end up trophy-less but for 2 crazy minutes

  53. @Cornelius but Arsenal are not in the situation of spending 25-30m on one player..there is that stadium debt that still needs repaying and its not like we did bad with our 10m players did we? Koscielny,Vermaelen,Arteta,Santos,OX and Mertesacker have all been bought in the 5-10m region but does it mean they were bad buys? and what about Podolski? we also bought him for a reported 10-15m region..

  54. @Austyn but Na$ri just wanted money and Clichy was sick of the abuse he got and hence wanted out

  55. @Walter glad you and all others liked it..been receiving very good responses on twitter and yet to get someone send me abuse which has to mean something…..

  56. @Tom W no i didnt compare our team to that famous Holland team rather was just making a reference

  57. @malaysian gooner what many people fail to see or choose not to see in those matches is the pure bias/bent refereeing that take place..the only reason we seem to not play well against those team is that they are allowed to get away with kicking us in any way possible..the refs will not call any fouls and as a result they send message that kicking Arsenal is allowed and ofcourse there is the issue of the non penalty awarding..want to see just how appalling they can get? take a look at ref`s review of Lee Probert`s “performance” in our away match vs fulham

  58. I don’t blame RVP for wanting to leave. He wants to win trophies .Wenger promised Feb he would get the quality players.The fm only bought kids.
    I believe Robin has had enough of this. Of course it’s not guaranteed he would leave.Obviously if he were to go Chamberlain and Walcott must start scoring on a regular basis. To do do this they must be given time to play.

  59. A good article Mahdi and I agree with the points you make.

    Part of the Liverpool backgroud is that the club was in a very poor financial position immediately before the present owners bought the club and cleared the debt. Administration was a distinct possibility.

    This situation followed a period of financial mismanagement. And, while I find it sad that such a great club as Liverpool was in that position, the lesson is there for everyone else, the sustainable model is the best one, otherwise administration is possible even for the biggest of clubs.

    Further, while the shortsighted AAA bleat for big money signings, (and spending beyond our means), AW’s policy of youth development is producing a fantastic array of emerging talent. This policy, supported as required by a few quality signings ( e.g. Podolski) will produce a formidable team. Lets be confident for the future. Lets also remember the present squad is well down the road to being a very good one.

    Unfortunately for Liverpool some of their stalwarts are fading, a lot of money has been spent unwisely and the owners will have to fork out on more and better players to prevent further decline never mind improvement. I think this may be a factor in the Dalglish downfall.

  60. Nice article!

    For me the AAA represents the spurs fans in disguise, the misguided/deceived (by schoolmates/media/internet/parents/friends/pets?) and ofc the kids with a big mouth (which is more often than not these days).

    Anyone I missed?

  61. In per business sense for a owner who doesn’t care about football then Robin Van Persie will be sold if he doesn’t agree a new contract. 25mill isn’t bad for someone with a track record of being injured.


    In my opinion the reason you buy a football club at the moment is for the capital gain or the change in the way the game will be broadcast. TV and streaming rights will probably change quite a lot in the future. I imagine that all the owners (especially the Americans) want to move to a individual TV/internet deals such as in La Liga.


    – A while ago a concerned arse put up a lengthy case as to why he thought we should forget about the CL, FA and finishing in the top four this season and just focus on winning the Carling Cup as this would get the fans off Le boss’s back. As we had lost about 5 games, he had already written off the season and thought only more embarassment lay in store for the Arsenal.

    Whilst Dalglish looked like a sorrowful, dejected figure after one year back in the game, Arsene Wenger weathered a just as difficult year, if not more and there are are many positive superlatives that can be ascribed to the man in comparison. The undue pressure on the Arsenal manager was intense and unrelenting, whilst Dalglish enjoyed almost universal endorsement and public support from Liverpool fans, ex players and the media.

    Yes, a bronze podium finish is to be celebrated and Arsene Wenger thanked as Dalglish is the fable of what might of happened to us.

  63. @ Johan you appear to banging a hollow drum there about RVP….why?

    He signs great, he doesn’t he see’s out his contract and leaves – Arsenal will go on. I don’t think he will behave in the disrespectful manner Cesc & Nasri did towards the end, so The whole thing is boring and not worth stressing over.

  64. thanx mahdi.

    oik awards-nice. 🙂

    think we only need m’vila and we’re good to go.

    get well soon mikel, jack, abou. we need you to win a trophy.

    i’ll be overly surprised if the thief leaves us.


  65. Mahdi….well considered article. Here are a few more points about the pitfalls of trying to buy trophies to appear ¨successful¨ to your fanbase:

    1)Teams that continually purchase top stars and sit them on the bench end up with a very caustic dressingroom and internal Club environment. Could you imagine Bendtner,Vela,Arshavin and Denilson being on the bench but never getting a game for 98% of the season, like some players did at City? The vibes would be rather negative to say the least….they already are from 2 of those clowns and they’re out on loan!
    2)Money spent on superstars who don’t achieve a la Torres, Adams, Carroll etc. can never be fully recouped. It leaves the Club with a black eye, the manager with a terrible reputation (aka Dalgleish, Ramos, etc.)and the fans whining and moaning even more….all things to avoid if possible.the only thing we have is the AAA babies crying all the time…but that’s unavoidable since that’s what they do best.
    3)A trophy is a on-off deal. It is rare, except in the case of Barca,Milan and United, to regularly win titles and trophies consecutive seasons. The Spuds won the League Cup in 2008 and that’s that, so does that make them winners? They have never come above in 15 years of trying…maybe that is the standard to measure their ¨success¨ against?
    4)Every EPL team (except Arsenal) that built a new stadium was relegated shortly thereafter and some went into receivership. Arsenal built the best stadium in the EPL and have remained in the top 4 for 15 years and in the CL for the same time. Is that not a measure of true success, not glitz tinsel ¨success¨as measured by the fickle,fairweather fanboys and AAA infants?
    5)Milan,Real,City and Chelsea rely on one source of revenue to support their profligate management style. Where will they be when one of two events occur: their owners decide to close the vault door and/or the FFP rules actually come into force? Could they go the way of Bolton or Liverpool?
    6)Arsenal’s frugal, balanced investment model has not brought us any titles or trophies yet BUT it has provided very enjoyable and easy-to-watch football played by skilled teams under a brilliant manager. When you buy your ticket, there is no guarantee that your team will win on that or any other day, nor is there small print on the back saying that trophies are guaranteed…this is an entertainment spectacle, whether you like it or not you, the only guarantee you get is for 90 minutes of Football. That’s all one can ask for but AFc give us beautiful Football and heart-stopping drama EVERY season.

  66. @Bradster: I bet 100% that you will be back under your name or another name. Plus the AAA are always going on about all AAA stuff every day, so whats wrong with this site bringing out a rebuttal to keep us from doing it ourselves? If it was up to me to do it, then I would always forget to say this or that and then get angry at myself for not thinking it sooner. This site is massive in the amounts of readers/commentators visiting, so its best if they do the arguing back but with actual FACTS and proper data!
    You know why, cos this site is for the real life, non-fantasy believing Gooners.
    Look at who the media/people are saying will be Liverpool’s next manager – Martinez, AVB, Lambert or bring back RAFA. they are the only options for a big illustrious, club like Liverpool! So if we got rid of God (I mean Wenger) who would our options be? I never entertain the idea of him leaving and they day he does will be sad but hopefully he can over see a good replacement just like he over sees our finances, recruitment and all round model.
    He is the best by far and away… Anyone can pump crazy money into a club and any decent manager can win something. Mancini is no genius, he didn’t plan to win the League in the last minutes, QPR just couldn’t do it with 10 men. Joey Barton had he been on, he might have taken Aguero out or just been an extra man for him to go around, unlikely to score…
    Long Live Arsenal, Arsene and Untold Arsenal!

  67. It wasnt so long ago that liverpool were deemed as relegation fodder, yet they have still not been able to steady the ship, we have managed to do this within one season. Do you think if Dalglish had got the FA cup aswell they still woulda sacked him?

  68. @goonergal i could add many more of those links but i think they get your points

  69. I think what a lot of people are forgetting is that not only have Liverpool spent a lot of money under the current owners, their player expenditures under the previous two owners was very high – anyone remember Crouch, Keane, Voronin, Aqualani, Sisoko, Cisse, Diouff, Diao, Torres etc.
    A lot of these players cost more than Arsenal’s transfer record on Andriie Arshavin. Yet despite such a huge outlay over the past 15 years, Arsene Wengers side has finished above Liverpool in every single season (except when Liverpool finished second a few years back!) and have consistently been playing in the champions league. Add to that Arsenal have moved to a brand new stadium – something the Liverpool fans can only fantasize about.
    In short my message to the AAA is that money does not guaranty trophies (not the important ones at least), qualifying for the champions league is a huge achievement (more than winning the mickey mouse cups) and Arsene Wenger is a genius who you will only appreciate once he leaves (what a sad day that will be).

  70. just when you think a part of our “fans” coudnt get any more pathetic they decide to abuse Rvp and his wife on twitter..what do they think that will accomplish? Twats

  71. @ Domhuaille

    I’m very intrigued by part 4 of your above post:-

    4)Every EPL team (except Arsenal) that built a new stadium was relegated shortly thereafter and some went into receivership.

    Could you qualify this any further?

  72. A very sensible post. Nicely put.

    I know a few Liverpool fans and all of them would trade the Carling Cup for 3rd Place or better in the league.

    Of course we, as supporters would like our team to win a pot or two but that isn’t going to happen for most seasons if we are realistic.

    They game has evolved and changed. International football isn’t considered by some fans as important as it once was. One of the biggest games used to be England vs Scotland every year. Now long gone (and how I miss it). Sadly the FA cup has diminished in importance. This was also going to happen with the scrapping of the cup winners cup and the rise of the Champions league. Certain types of people are attracted to the game now because they can smell money, lots of it. It’s the way it is. It will change, eventually.

    When I was a kid Arsenal went years without challenging for a trophy, finishing in the top 4 or qualifying for Europe. We have done that for 15 (I think) straight seasons. That is a hell of an achievement especially given the backdrop of change in the club. I am very happy with that.

    Do I want us to win the league next season? Of course! Will I get frustrated at poor performances and results? Of course I will but we are generally speaking at the sharp end of things. To be clear I don’t want to lose that. I would rather us not have Liverpools (or Everton, or Villa) results this season. But we have to be realistic. Keeping up with Joneses just doesn’t work in the longer term.

  73. mahdi, the first time everton came above liverpool (4th & 5th), liverpool won the champions league vs ac milan, i think, so liverpool went into the qualifying round at evertons expense.

    Agreeing with matt clarke, as long as the players play well and entertain, win, lose or draw, i will be proud to support the gunners- winning does feel “slightly” better though.

    great blog

  74. @FinnGonner:
    “..Slightly off topic when it’s Arsenal it’s always Wenger who refuses to buy big players or sell players but with other teams it’s always manager asking owners/board to do those things? Why the difference? isn’t it same for all the clubs?”

    The difference is Wenger is not accountable to anyone. Managers in other top clubs get the sack if they don’t deliver the results.

    Imagine you are the manager of Chelsea and Roman breathing down your neck. Would you give a F about $? You probably would be worrying about your freaking job, doing whatever it takes to keep your job.

    Yes… Real, Chelsea etc maybe interested in Arsene. But would he dare to manage Chelsea or Real? haha
    7Million pounds for no accountability. That’s the best job

  75. “Is football all about trophies? Not any more it isn’t.”

    So why bother about World Cup or any football competition then?

    Tell me which sport is not about winning, honor and trophy?

  76. Last 7 seasons:

    Chelsea: 10 trophies
    United: 8 trophies
    Liverpool: 2 trophies
    Man City: 2 trophies
    Spurs: 1 trophy
    Birmingham: 1 trophy
    Portsmouth: 1 trophy

    Arsenal: 0 trophy

    How do we benchmark success? Trophies or $?

    Ask any fan from any club how they rate their club. Do they rattle first on the trophies their clubs won or how much their clubs make?

    Talk about Federer… what’s the first thing that comes to mind? The 16 Grand Slams… no?

  77. @AC

    You forgot to mention the £2 Billion spent by Chelsea, United & Man City.

    Guess trophies can be bought afterall eh!

  78. @AC

    Oh, and let’s not forget those big-spending Spanish giants too. Even though they cant always pay their players wages. As Bill Clinton famously said, “It’s the economy, stupid!”

    Now that Chelsea finally “won” their £uropean$ trophy, shamelessly celebrated by their suspended captain (think he nicked the Man of the Match award while he was at it), we better start placing those early bets for Man $ity to “win” it next!!!

  79. @AC where are Birmingham and Portsmouth now? While we are at it what happened to Rangers again? If football was all about trophies then there would never be fans of clubs like Newcastle,Swansea,Everton,villa or sunderland

  80. @AC why dont you also add the obscene amounts spent to “win” those trophies by the teams you listed? and can you tell me which of them built a new stadium?

  81. Excellent article, Mahdi. When you hit these points about Arsenal spending and trophies, I think you’re hitting a lot closer to the heart of the matter than most people realize.

    For example, how could spending guarantee trophies? (Perhaps if trophies were for sale). Also, what motive would anyone have to engage in a concerted campaign to make Arsenal “spend, spend, and spend?” (Unless they themselves were guaranteed a cut of the proceeds)

    Again, great article. As I said, I do believe that these questions are getting to the heart of the matter, even if I’m way branching off here from what you were getting at 🙂

    Please keep it up, and keep sending in submissions.

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