Should Arsenal go where Liverpool and Manchester have gone?

I suppose in the end it is a matter of one’s perspective over time.

The media aided by the PR machines of Manchester, Liverpool and Chelsea, and supported by a number of Arsenal blogs, have suggested that we must win something this season otherwise it is all some sort of unspecified disaster.

Who knows – we may well do.  When the current period in which shots, which at any other time in the season would go in, but now suddenly hit the bar or a defender’s leg, comes to an end soon, and is not repeated, we might well win something.   We’ve certainly come from much father behind much later in the season in the past.   And although it is not dead certain it is possible that other teams will have their usual blips too.  (I say not dead certain, because during the Unbeaten Season we didn’t have a blip – but I don’t see anyone being that good this season.)

But let’s assume, just for a moment, that we don’t win anything.   Will that be the proof that wholesale changes should have been made this season, and because they were not, should be made in the close season next year?

For Chelsea supporters one blip means mega-crisis.   Losing their long running home record and losing in Europe has sparked all sorts of gnashing of teeth, the scouting system is being junked, and people are being asked to account for their actions.

I don’t like that style.    Clubs should not think of only one season – even if it comes on the back of 3 bad seasons (and our last three were hardly bad).   What should also be taken into account at this time is also the financial situation.

It is most likely that something dramatic will happen with Manchester and Liverpool over the next two or three years.   Before the credit crisis began, they could not pay the interest on their debts.   That is still the same, but now it is worse because other sources of money are drying up and the obvious plan of building the club up and then selling it on with all the debts inside it,  is clearly not on.

Only a few Russian oligarchs and Arab royal families have the money  to bail out a club any more – and interestingly they are not circling around the likes of Manchester  or Liverpool.  They have started to look at smaller clubs – and it is the likes of QPR and Charlton who are getting makeovers, along of course with the odd case of Manchester City.

Arsenal, as we all know are stable.  Their interest rates are fixed, the bulk of the property has sold, and the clubs finances don’t depend in any way on further property sales.

So the overall question is, should Arsenal venture into the world of Liverpool and Manchester with its total debt crisis, or stay where it is.  I’d go with the latter even if it means no trophies for several years.  I intend to be supporting this club for quite a few more years to come, and I don’t really want to have to support them in a lower division, after they’ve gone bust.

Of course Wenger could have brought in more players – and the injury crisis of today suggests he should have done that.

Except… supposing he did have top players ready to slip into the positions where players are injured.   What would these top players have been doing all season?  Sitting there happily waiting their time?

I doubt it.

Of course I left the Ems on wednesday saddened by the draw, rather than a victory – but most seasons have blips – and for Arsenal they are often around this time.  I’ll be there again tomorrow, doing my bit for the team, but perhaps more than anything I want to make sure that my club is still there in five years time and not blown away by a credit disaster.

I absolutely have not given up on this season, but even  if it didn’t work out this time around I know that, unlike the media who need a story a day, I can afford to bide my time.

One Reply to “Should Arsenal go where Liverpool and Manchester have gone?”

  1. I like your blog a lot, for its positive outlook, loyalty to AW, and your refreshingly different coverage and analysis of what’s going on with the rest of football. You’re one of the few sites I’ve seen discuss Everton’s recent financial problems, for example. You’ve quickly become one of my regular visits for Arsenal blogs.

    I would, however, like to challenge you on this and other similar posts. Ignore the immature crybabies and hysterics out there who have no clue what it means to truly support a club, who want to splash the cash and think buying big names is the easy answer, who are incapable of knowing what it’s like to support a team that doesn’t win anything for decades, never mind a couple of years. No club has a right to win trophies, this is something they’ll never understand. I do not take them seriously.

    There are others, however, who are getting short shrift from gooners who call us traitors. There are those of us who passionately support Arsene Wenger, who are not demanding his head. Many, like me, believe it would be insane to fire him because it would be an extraordinarily risky to do. He built this team, he’s the one to fix it. Arsenal and Arsene are simply too interconnected, his eventual departure cannot be abrupt. Otherwise I fear for the club’s future far more than any existing worries right now. Nor do I want him to leave, I wish he were younger so he’d have more years with us.

    Your point here about going the route of the Chelseas and Pools and Uniteds is totally irrelevant to fans like me who have very serious concerns about this team. I completely agree with you, I much prefer the Arsenal route of financial stability. I for one can handle more years without trophies, I’ve done it before, I’ll do it again if necessary.

    A lot of fans like me hoped that after last season we’d continue with the progression and evolution we showed so well last season, to come so close to winning the title and becoming serious challengers. I feel we’ve gone backward this season. But ok, even there, I can argue that young teams like this don’t progress on some magical straight line. It’s naive to expect evolution to happen in straight, linear fashion. Often it happens with one step forward, two steps backward. Youth is inconsistent, always has been.

    Again, I can accept this.

    But will players like Cesc accept this? How long can we bank on his patience?

    I notice that those who constantly trash gooners like me with serious concerns about the team and its future never address this question in any serious way. They just dismiss us all as fans who want to splash the cash when that is simply not the base. It’s easy to dismiss with such a red herring.

    I can accept that the team needs more years to evolve before they start winning trophies. I strongly believe that IF AW CAN KEEP THIS TEAM TOGETHER OVER THE LONG HAUL what we are seeing is the development and growing pains of a brilliant, title-winning team that will generate headlines around the world. I do believe these kids are that good.

    But it all depends on keeping them together. That is the issue we are facing here. These kids are not developing with older, experienced players around them. They’re maturing while learning hard lessons all on their own. You’d expect Kolo to be one of those mentors, he’s not. Kolo was a brilliant member of the Invincibles but he thrives on playing with older, stronger, commanding personalities — he’s not a leader. I don’t doubt this team will eventually learn those hard lessons but without older, experienced mentors it means they’ll learn all on their own — which takes more time, more mistakes, more inconsistency.

    Yet again, I can accept this.

    But if it is all to work — THEN THESE PLAYERS MUST STAY TOGETHER AT ARSENAL. Otherwise, this brilliant team AW is creating will never reach its potential. A prospect that would be more than tragic.

    Given the realities of today’s football market, how can we blithely expect so many talented kids–incl. a world class young creative midfielder whom any top class club would take right now–to stay together in the first team, with grasping agents constantly in their ear tempting them to leave for better money?

    I’ve heard gooners say “so Cesc leaves, so what, we have Ramsey behind him.” I can only shake my head in despair at this. And what if Ramsey leaves? It’s this complacent belief that these players will stick together at Arsenal without winning trophies, and this complacency that is just willing to accept losing our best players because we have some talented kids behind them, that is baffling to me.

    What we have is a manager who’s developing world class talent who are not winning trophies — and who all the top clubs want in their teams. You do not see this as a problem?

    If you’re going to tomorrow’s game, please cheer and shout doubly for me and others who can’t be there. The filthy mancs must be told: NOT ON OUR TURF!!! NOT NOW, NOT EVER!!!!

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