I will make this the greatest club in the world – Sir Herbert Chapman
These were the words of the legendary Herbert Chapman. And he stood true to them. Arsenal dominated the 1930s football like no other club had done before. He introduced shirt numbers to the game and instituted the tradition of the goalies wearing different coloured shirts. He also proved himself to be an astute operator in the transfer market, with signing after signing proving to be successful. He gave the legendary status to Arsenal Football Club.
A status which was never fully justified after Chapman died suddenly until a Frenchman came in from a Japanese club. He instantly provided success. And started a new culture at the club, of youth promotion, new training methods, salary caps, and god knows what not. So it really hurt me when I saw a lot of supporters literally “booing” him last season after loosing to Swansea. Not that I don’t think that the fans have the right to voice their opinion. But unfounded accusations remain unfounded, no matter how loudly it is expressed.
The situation right now must seem ironic to most of us arsenal supporters. With the team managing to finish 3rd even after having gone through some very tough times in terms of squad fitness, finances and contract situations. Then, suddenly, Wenger comes out, starts listening to the chants of “spend some fuckin’ money” and does just that, spends money. And how! Two signings even before the pre season tour had started, and another one to satisfy the build up, Mr. Wenger has broken bank in an unprecedented manner this season. But here we are wrong.
Wenger has not suddenly adapted Mancini-esque tactics in the transfer market, nor has he crumbled under the fans’ pressure. Its just that Arsenal have money to spend this year, which they did not have last year. Thus, the signings came after the transfers of Nasri and Fabregas were complete, because they finance came from there. This time however, the finances were available, and the credit for that goes out to the board as well as the manager. The board was proactive this year and and they managed to sell off some liabilities which were eating funds, especially the real estate business which they were involved in was sold off, bringing in around $20 million which was why Giroud and Podolski came in so quickly. And Cazorla’s expense will be financed by the departures we will see, which have already begun with Vela moving to Sociedad. I believe that Bendtner and Denilson will not be in London for too long and Squillaci is in the line too. That should just about cover Cazorla’s cost and if any other players are coming in, that would mean more sales.
I know this sell as you buy system is a bit irritating and seems out of place in the age where PSG just spent 40 million on a Brazilian I have never even heard of a month or so earlier, but Arsenal are a self-sustaining club and we must remember that it is this system which has provided us with the sexiest stadium in England and a world class training facility without selling the club out to some tycoon who just wants to make a few bucks with some popularity for his business. I would like to state here that i don’t believe in selling the majority stake to Usmanov even if he is what he says he is. It will put us in the league of Chelsea and PSG even though we will win the trophies, those won’t be as enjoyable if we win them like we play now.
Just think about it. We as fans complain about the trophy drought, but Wenger, Bould, Pat Rice, Neil Banfield along with some of the players and board members have put in so much effort into this system, so much work and planning, that it would be impossible for them to leave it in the middle and switch tactics. It would be like someone trying very hard to make a cake manually but after putting in so much hard work, just backing out and ordering one from the bakery. So idiotic, right? That would be what Arsenal will be doing if we change our policies now.
So fans, stop worrying about the “Arsenal way” and have faith. Hard work always pays. And more importantly do not mislead yourself into believing that three transfers before the start of the season means that we will be spending like mad now. Nothing has changed, and though I do think there would be one more transfer before the period ends, but it would most likely be a Goal Keeper. Any further additions would be a bonus. And we need no “New Arsenal”, because we are great however we are, something which the Manshitties and Che$eas will never be, no matter how many wins they register.
P.S : As I was writing this, Sushil Kumar lifts and thumps his opponent from Kazakhstan emphatically marching on to the Finals of the 66 kg men’s wrestling at the Olympics and thus ensuring India its 6th medal, the highest ever tally for the country.