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August 2021

The Long View: how many trophies in the next eight years?

The Long View

By Pete

Further to my previous articles on how match assessments are unfairly influenced by the result of the game (links to the earlier articles below), the other related major issue I see is that of completely over the top responses to a single result.

One defeat after a series of wins does not make a good team bad, even if that defeat was deserved.  And vice-versa.

What is important is the long-term trend.  I was talking to a friend a couple of weeks ago – an intelligent and knowledgeable Arsenal fan – who opined, “I don’t think we were as bad as people were saying after the Villa game and I don’t think we are as good as people are saying now”.

I must confess that I don’t completely agree as I do think we are in the process of making a step up, but I think the broader thrust of what he said is reasonable.

Unfortunately, with both the new and old media continuously making snap judgements based on the most recent result a febrile atmosphere is created.  Most don’t consider even the medium term (months) never mind the long term (years).  As a consequence many poor decisions are made.  It is as if we all have the memory of a goldfish!

A good example is Chelsea.  Their net transfer spend on players since 2006 is £294m, as compared with Man C (£514m), Man U (£132m) and Arsenal… (-£8m!).

Chelsea spent a further £300m net in the preceding three years (Arsenal £25mm) (figures courtesy of the Transfer League website).

But that is not all.  Chelsea have also forked out another £100mm or so on compensation to managers and clubs, and as for their wage spend…

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However, Chelsea have not finished much above Arsenal in recent seasons (and were below us the season they won the European Cup).  I know they have won several trophies – but haven’t won the League since 2009/10 and before that 2005/6.

So it is worth asking, has Abramovitch damaged Chelsea’s long term progress through a continuous rapid turnover of managers, and hence players?  I would say yes.  If you had his amount of money to spend there were much wiser ways of spending it.

Therefore, in my opinion, it is important to decision makers that they

(i) are patient,

(ii) value stability and

(iii) maintain a focus on long term goals.

To my great satisfaction and pride, the Arsenal Board and management have clearly demonstrated these qualities.  We now move into a period where we have the stadium, have the training facilities and now have the team – give or take – to compete successfully with not just Man Utd – the commercial superpower of English football – but also the sugar-daddy clubs Man City and Chelsea.

I am not saying that we are going to win everything this season – although we have a decent chance of a pot or two – but I am very bullish over the longer term because we have not just focussed on the very short term.

A couple of years ago I wrote an article for the Gooner where I forecast four league titles and two champions leagues over the next 10 years (and got absolutely slaughtered as a result!).

There are only eight years left and I think I may have been optimistic – but I am confident we will be closer to those targets than some of my critics would admit!  My big hesitation is that it is unlikely Wenger will still be around in 8 years time so we are dependent on the Board making a good decision when the time to choose Arsene’s successor finally arrives.

Part one: “Its the defence stupid”, is here

Part two: “It’s not just the result”, is found here


Recent posts

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26 comments to The Long View: how many trophies in the next eight years?

  • Matt

    4 League titles and 2 Champions leagues in 8 years? Really?

    Look at the other clubs that Kroenke owns and you will see the error of your ways young one.

    To win that many trophies would take serious investment and i just dont think he or the club are up for it. Say what you like but money is a big factor in football these days.

  • para

    Quote: forecast four league titles and two champions leagues over the next 10(is 8 now) years.

    I completely agree that Arsenal will achieve that as we are now into phase 4 of the Arsenal plan. Only opponent we have to remove and/or pinpoint is the one of the establishment/media/refs and Untold is doing a very good job to highlight them, so let’s all get behind both teams.

  • Matt

    He wrote the article 2 years ago so by my maths that leaves 8 years left?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Very nice Pete ,like you I too think there is light beyond this tunnel we have been traversing these 8 years .
    Whatever we win , it will be a bonus – the cherry on the icing of the cake !
    What I fail to comprehend is the so called fans who shoot down whatever optimism an article such as this puts out . Anyway I really couldn’t be too bothered with their negativity and brickbats .Sad really .
    Maybe the may find solace , peace and meaning from these passages from Desiderata …

    Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

    Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

    for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

    The full poem is at ..

  • Brickfields Gunners

    “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye.”
    ― Jim Henson

    “The reason I talk to myself is because I’m the only one whose answers I accept.”
    ― George Carlin

    “The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four people is suffering from a mental illness. Look at your 3 best friends. If they’re ok, then it’s you.”
    ― Rita Mae Brown

    “Reality continues to ruin my life.”
    ― Bill Watterson,

  • Tom

    Enjoyed your article thoroughly even though you seem to be more optimistic than I, about the titles Arsenal might win in the next 8 years.

    Say, did you by any chance write “Dow 36000” ?. Just kidding!

  • Tom

    @ Brickfield Gunners.
    You are a true breath of fresh air and an asset to this site.
    I told some of your jokes and quotes to my kids and they laughed their asses off, I hope you don’t mind.
    Keep up the good work and take care.

  • Arvind

    Thank You Pete. This was a nice positive article. Sure you might be horribly off and we might win nothing, but all the same – we are trying and proceeding in the right direction, trying to do things the right way (I hope and think) – If that results in trophies, great. If not, we tried.

    Thank You Brickfields too… a lot of your jokes crack me up and I quite enjoy the bits of philosophy you drop in too : )

  • WalterBroeckx

    I agree with the sentiment of your article (and the other 2) Pete.
    I even think 8/10 years is not enough for me.
    Who knows maybe in 20 or 30 years time the grandson of Tony will be writing an article about how we just won our 30th league title and that it all began in the era when his grandfather defended the great Arsène Wenger who’s name is now given to the stadium.
    And my grandson will write an article about how efficient the new refereeing system is where the video ref can correct any wrong doing of the ref on the field in a blink of an eye and inform the stadium about the correct decision and all can see it on the big screen.

    Our club is moving in the right direction. At slow pace but fast runners often stumble on a hurdle and never make the finish line.

  • Yassin

    @ walter,
    and my grandson will comment on here on the 33 anniversary of untold, the site that changed football world, while brickfields grandson will post jokes of his grandpa, as a classic one….

    but please no AAA grandsons please, even if i am not alive

  • Pete

    Thanks for comments.

    I did attempt to row back from my forecast a little – but who knows?

    @Matt – “Young One” – that is very kind!

    @Tom – As for comment about Dow 36000… quite the reverse. My economic predictions are unremittingly gloomy – but that is quite another story! A pity that Arsene is already fully engaged – the world economy could certainly benefit from his attention!

    The lesson I need to learn for future articles is to make provocative comments about other clubs (or Arsenal trolls) – that will have the comments column on fire!

  • Gord


    I guess a lot of people know that Mo Farrah is a Gooner. In searching for news about Arsenal, I ran across a story about a female boxer who is a Gooner, and in her latest fight she won the decision at 67 seconds.

    I gather she is from the south of London, England.

  • Tom

    If it’s ratings you’re after then yes, you have to tweak your style a bit.
    Not a major overhaul but rather small adjustments, maybe something like this?

    “How many trophies in the next eight years, and who stole them from Arsenal in the last eight years?”


    “How many trophies in the next eight years , and did SAF retire to avoid the scandal of illegal referee tempering , and should Man U be stripped of their trophies?


    “How many trophies in the next eight years?. None? Well, at least we still finish above the Sp..s”

    You get the idea.

  • Pete

    Although I acknowledge our esteemed Ed’s assistance in spicing up the headline!

  • Stuart

    I don’t think Pete has been unrealistic here. The stability we see at our club puts us in a favourable position where we can dominate Domestic and European football for a while.

    Due to instability, Man Utd have faltered & Man City are under-performing, Liverpool, well they are Liverpool. The premier league looks set to go back to a two horse race for a while between us and Chelsea – this is assuming they don’t fail FFP and have to make major adjustments to fit back in.

    In Europe, Real Mad are around half a Billion in debt according to news reports out today which will need to be paid back at some point (maybe we could be getting a top scorer in January), Barca are in not much better shape and in dire need of major renovations at their ground also. The economies have collapsed in Spain, Portugal, Italy and in France their economy is not looking too great whilst the Benefactors model is also not working whereas the economy in the UK is growing with forecasts by the IMF revised upwards today (whereas the rest of the world and Europe have been revised down) and Germany is a well run and stable economy so thanks to the stability and buying power that will afford us and German clubs, the Champions League will be between us and Bayern Munich mostly as we can both qualify properly and control the money in Europe.

    Although the UK is out of recession and the outlook remains very positive, football will still be in it’s own little recession whilst clubs balance their finances by cutting costs – this could take some time. Arsenal have nothing to worry about here as we have surplus cash in the bank and enough to cover our debts for years to come having also reduced our costs massively this year.

    If you want a safe bet, you could go for 3 league titles in the next 8 years but four is also realistic, 5 is quite optimistic. Whilst the 2 Champions League titles is a tough call but certainly 2 for us and 2 for Bayern as a minimum and maybe some more out of the other 4.

  • Ivans bonus

    Stuart wind yer neck in,what a load of twaddle.The League between us and Chelsea? Ha Ha Ha.Pl clubs are spending more than ever and there are other well run clubs whose owners are determined to get CL football and are willing to back their managers in the transfer market eg Southampton.FFP will not work and Madrid and Barca will be fine and as for PSG and Monaco…….No wonder other fans take the mickey out of Arsenal fans.A few wins against poor opposition and suddenly Arsenal are going to dominate football!!Liverpool are playing better!!Arsenal will win nothing with the disaster that is BFG and Koz at the back and the donkey Giroud up top.As you all love stats and comparisons heres one for you.This is the worst start Arsenal have had in terms of clean sheets in the PL.So if you can’t stop Sunderland,Fulham and West Brom from scoring what the hell is going to happen against the likes of Chelsea,City and Liverpool?We will soon find out.

  • elkieno

    Stuart: over top a bit in my opinion.
    Ivan’s bonus: you are very negative who is your team?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Am glad you guys like that which I had posted .Do feel free to pass it on to others .
    @ Stuart – Do wish that which you predict/hope for Arsenal will come to pass ! Its never wrong to hope .
    Smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
    Whispering ‘it will be happier’…”
    ― Alfred Tennyson

    And also from……

    “The Paradoxical Commandments

    People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
    Love them anyway.

    If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
    Do good anyway.

    If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
    Succeed anyway.

    The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
    Do good anyway.

    Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
    Be honest and frank anyway.

    The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
    Think big anyway.

    People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
    Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

    What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
    Build anyway.

    People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
    Help people anyway.

    Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
    Give the world the best you have anyway.”
    ― Kent M. Keith,

  • Pete


    Was reading yur comment respectfully until I got to the bit about Kos/Per/Giroud and realised we finally had a troll!

  • Stuart

    For all the doubters, I can understand that, I mean, in 2004, who would have predicted that we would go 8 or 9 years without a trophy? For this reason, I can understand why you would doubt it to happen but as part of the long term view, it makes sense. Can you honestly see Man Utd being up there? What about City? Can you see City up there? – I can’t. Choose to ignore the problems other clubs will be facing in the coming years if you wish, they have which is why they are seeing this mess.

    I’m daring to stick my neck out for what I believe in, you can criticise if you wish but this tells us more about the type of person you are.

    So yes, lets go with Pete on this. Troll.

  • elkieno

    I saw the troll too Pete, he lives under a ‘Bridge’ at Stamford! He jumps out and attacks innocent folk walking past all the time. However, we have a knight in shining armour named Sir Arsene Wenger and his private army of battle hardened soldiers, fighting hard non stop since last year!
    Always remember, we fight the good fight and shall never waiver from supporting The Arsenal!!!

  • elkieno

    Stuart: I hope maybe even more than you, that we will dominate in the coming years, but I just can’t see us doing it like utd have.
    Everything is going against us with Refs, media and our own fans just waiting for us to slip up. What’s saying City and Chelsea won’t just spend more knowing that utd are out the way (if utd do drop down a few spots). In fact all European teams will stil be as strong as they are, it’s all relative.
    I believe that we can and will be more competitive (all I ask for) and might even win a trophy or two but to think that it will be us and Chelsea this year is surely inaccurate and wide off the mark. We will need Wenger to stay longer to take advantage of this next chapter in our history.
    How I hope you are right, but the refs will never allow it unfortunately. And as we know, to be dominant like manure, we need the refs to aid us and that is not what I want at all.
    Anyway, COYG!!!!

  • Stuart

    I don’t think we will see a domination like Utd had for some time (plus they didn’t do it on their own anyway). I think we will be back to a two horse race between us and Chelsea with England and Germany being the dominant forces in Europe.

  • jambug

    I too cannot see this happening. I am, as I have said before, by nature a bit of a pessimist but I can only say it as I see it.

    As much as I would like to see the likes of Madrid fall I cannot see it happening. They corrupted there way into this miss, they will corrupt there way out of it. Spanish football, Spain itself even, cannot allow Madrid to fall.

    The same is true for man utd. They are, like it or not, our ‘Shop Window’ Club. They too CANNOT be allowed to fail. That is part of the reason why the Media/Ref bias is so previlent. Under no circumstamces can the PL flagship Club be allowed to be tainted or fail in any way. It just wont be allowed to happen.

    City, Chelsea and all the other bank rolled Clubs will just keep on rolling. There pockets are very DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP !!!

    As for FFP. No cahnce it will work. Well not as it should and we hoped it would. Come on, you all know what it’s like with money. It goes to money. Look at Google et el, these money guys pay less tax than me. Loopholes, backhanders, corruption, they will circumnavigate the FFP.

    My most optimistic prediction is that we will be at least competative. I feel given a fair crack of the whip, although I even doubt that will happen, we should at least now start to pick up the odd trophy. Possibly win a PL and at a push a CL but that I really doubt as the Germans will dominate that for years.

    Just being competitive is the best we can hope for. It’s sad because wengers and Arsenal Fc’s deligence, hard work and stoicism these last years surely merits more than that, but alas I fear the dice are too loaded against us.

  • Stuart

    Lets be clear on this though. When you say about clubs falling, it brings up the thought of Leeds or even Wimbledon and their falls from grace. This is not what I am saying. All I am saying is they will no longer be the dominating forces and other people will be able to have a go. Real Mad for example, with their huge revenues could choose to spend but more wisely and still afford to repay its debts. This will handicap their development slightly. I suppose the best way to put it is they will become the Arsenal of the last 8 years : There or there abouts but not quite far enough. On the subject of Man Utd, they now seem like the old Everton. Fergie did not leave the club set up for the future, hence the need for RVP, they need a major tranformation now.