By Sir Hardly Anyone
When the phrase such as “The mistakes made by Arsenal in the transfer market over the past decade-and-a-half are well documented” pops up on the internet we all know what will happen. Soon site after site after site will copy it and use it.
And we know that because that is what journalists and bloggers do.
So it went this Saturday morning with that phrase used by Football London, Flipboard, Arsenal News and Archysport, within a couple of hours of each other.
It was Football.London who spelt it out with… well two examples (Fabregas and van Persie) both of whom were players who made it clear that they were not going to stay no matter what. We’ve examined the RVP case in depth in the past – he moved to Man U on a long term contract at a very high salary, and delivered 18 months of quality football for them, but then sat out the rest of his contract, collecting that enormous salary, while hardly doing the business. Man U had the money, Arsenal did not.
Fabregas himself wanted to move on because he felt Arsenal with their financial constraints could not emulate Chelsea, and he too did not want to re-sign. We benefited when Barcelona didn’t give him enough time, we lost him when Arsenal couldn’t afford the salary he wanted and didn’t look like they could buy the players who would win the league.
And this is how it works – a business situation which the club can do little about (at least in the case of Fabregas not if they wanted to stay within the terms of their agreement with the banks) is turned into a “mistake” – two “mistakes” become “mistakes over the last decade and a half” – leading to the vision that so many bloggers have that while the rest of the world is out there picking up all the super talent and holding onto them, Arsenal can’t hack it.
That would raise the question, how come we got all the useless negotiators? Do we deliberately go out and hire rubbish directors and managers?
In fact we didn’t and of course we don’t. Players move every summer, and all clubs get players like RVP and Fabregas who want to move on. The reality is that for years Man U have had more money than Arsenal because of their worldwide marketing started in the 1950s, they kept their capacity when all-seater stadia came in, because they had the room (Highbury you may recall is hemmed in by houses) and they didn’t have to build a new ground.
If you want to blame some Arsenal directors it would be those around from then on, and you could blame managers like Mee who after winning the double thought he knew everything and that the military way of handling conscripts was the best way to handle the likes of Charlie George. He saw the future in terms of contraction, cutting out the youth teams and running the club like an outpost of the army.
So we get the usual approach of knocking Arsenal on the internet. And the headlines show how that’s going. Here are some of today’s pieces…
- Where are they now? Arsenal’s wasted talent Peter Marinello
- Arsenal and Arteta missed a trick in calling off pursuit of potential Aubameyang replacement
- Mikel Arteta cancelled Arsenal approach for Kevin Volland
- Newcastle seizing on Arsenal transfer call to send statement to rest of Premier League T
- 11 Arsenal youngsters who bounced back after failing to make the grade
- Does Sanllehi’s comments show Arsenal still have no ambition
- Sky Sports pundit says £9m striker would ‘walk into’ Arsenal’s best XI – Odsonne Edouard. HITC
- ‘Incredible talent’: Keown loves reported Arsenal target, but fears he will reject Gunners – (Willian). HITC, Football Addict
But to be fair, Football London do have a good word for Arsenal’s decision making just occasionally, as with the line “However, there are some players Arsenal were right to let leave, despite their rivals’ joy at securing what they perceived to be a coup.”
They go for Iwobi, Alexis Sanchez, Alex Song, Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere. And maybe with those, the club did get it right.
- The home and away scandal: ignorance, or cover up?
- The reason why Liverpool and Man C are ahead of Arsenal.
- How which referee a club gets has a major impact on the result of each game
- The statistical evidence that shows PGMO are biased against Arsenal
- How European football has taken up the fight against clubs breaking FFP