By Tony Attwood
We are used to the notion that fourth is not a trophy, but the idea that the FA Cup is not a major trophy is new. But that is what Just Arsenal is proposing when they say “Arteta has been successful as an Arsenal manager even though he has not won a major trophy yet.”
The report then condescendingly also states that Arsenal have made “a solid start to this season.” That is statement is made without any analysis. With analysis we preferred to say that the stats show “that Arsenal are on course to win the league,”
Plus there is the article Then and Now: How Arsenal 2022 compare with the Invincibles, which shows that although we have had one defeat the Arsenal figures so far are better than those for 2003/4.
So what are we to make of the faint praise and error in the “has been successful even though he hasn’t won a trophy” type of report?
Well, they quote a report from “Sport” in Spain, that Barcelona want Arteta as manager, as well as suggesting that Manchester City are after him.
This combined with the headline that Arteta has “no appetite to sign a new long term deal at Arsenal” suggest as has so often been done in the past that Arsenal is not a good employer and that the owners of the club have no desire or ability to push the club forward. In short, there is a distinct impression that the club really is inept and unwilling to invest.
Now this second argument that Arsenal don’t spend, and so players we do have will leave because they become disenchanted, is one that we have heard for a long time. It is also accompanied by a view that the owners are stingy with their money, and the transfer team are inept and lose out on players they could have had because they waste time arguing over details.
A look at last summer’s spend from Transfermarkt might indeed suggest this
|3||West Ham United||€182.00m||9||€17.80m||10||€-164.20m|
If we were to put that table in “net spend” order Arsenal move up slightly to 7th. Except for two things. First, perhaps we should not just consider one transfer window but instead include the previous summer as well.
Now let’s try a table of our own showing the clubs net spend over two summers and compare league position and spending position.
|League pos||Club||Net Spend||Spend Pos|
The fact is that seven of the top eight clubs in the Premier League are also the top spenders over the past two seasons, which shows that at the moment (although it has not always been the case in the past) buying players can help take a club to the top The match is not perfect, and there are questions about some clubs’ declared expenditure as they seek to avoid Fair Play restrictions, but it gives an indication.
Interestingly the criticism of Arsenal compares with the acceptance of Newcastle as with headlines such as Newcastle-ready-to-not-spend-in-january and Newcastle not intending to spend ‘big’ They are the second biggest spenders.
Indeed this notion that Newcastle are not spending has been running for quite a long time with the BBC even running Newcastle defend lack of transfer spending at the end of the summer window in 2021.
What we can see is that there has been a clever propaganda campaign by Newcastle which has gleefully been taken up by the media, to the effect that Newcastle are not spending when in fact over the last two summers they are the second heaviest spenders.
Against this is the story that Arsenal won’t spend despite the fact that the club is the third heaviest spenders. But then, the media, well… what do you expect?
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