Seasons come and go, and like the inevitability of Christmas, Easter or your birthday, a trophy-less season for Arsenal is becoming something that should be marked on all official calendars. If the Gunners failed to win a trophy this season it would have been 9 years without one. A huge disappointment for any team considered amongst the world’s elite, made worse when in that time Pep Guardiola has won 18 trophies himself and I have gone from being scared of girls to actually being in a relationship with one. Not too shabby.
Arsenal fans will fight you to the death defending their team’s credentials, clutching at straws with the likes of ‘we moved stadiums’, ‘we can’t compete with the moneybags of City and Chelsea’ or ‘Fabregas and RVP left’. Realistically speaking though, I think the trophy drought is down to one factor, Wenger’s Pride.
Wenger is placed upon a pedestal in European football, seen as a genius and a nurturer, moulding young players into some of world’s finest and of course he has every right to. But Football is no longer that game anymore. Money talks, and only money talks!
Despite this, Mr. Wenger has claimed that constantly finishing 2nd, 3rd, 3rd, 2nd and 4th is a trophy in its own right. But there goes that pride again Arsene. If you want to be the best you have to be the best. As good as a Champions League spot is, fans want quality players, beautiful football and trophies, big shiny trophies.
How many times have you seen transfer windows come and go with little or no substantial movement at the Emirates. I remember listening to transfer deadline day on the radio at work, when a news flash was announced:
‘Stay in tune for big Arsenal news’
Of course, it was nothing and turned out to be an ironic jab at Arsenal who had signed 17-year old Macedonian goalkeeper Deyan Iliev. Not such a blinder.
Similarly Arsenal fans wince at the memories of Korean striker Park who graced the Emirates for all of 2 minutes during an FA Cup match against United. Wenger should be on the phone all day everyday of a transfer window, fighting for the best, not looking for teenage hopefuls.
The arrival of Rango lookalike and tormentor of England’s 2010 world cup campaign Mesut Ozil was a surprise to everyone involved with football. Never before had Arsenal forked out that much for a player and it looked like Arsene was starting to ditch his pride and starting to use cold hard cash. After all, Arsenal are one of the only teams still in the black, so of anyone, they have every right to ‘treat themselves to something nice’.
Despite the shock of a trophy, I still think very little has changed.
Yes, all those affiliated with Arsenal are rejoicing, awakening from FA Cup glory with sore heads and happy memories. Glory which has resulted in Mr. Wenger putting pen to paper on a brand new contract, something which just 3 months ago would have seemed like black magic to an Arsenal fan, but football is a fickle sport.
A trophy, regardless of size or stature surely won’t change the mindset of Arsene, once a transfer market genius, now a shadow of his former self, without big money investment this summer and a slice of pride removed, I think Mr. Wenger should be ready to step down from the helm.
I hate to say it, but I think it’s the only solution.