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No risk, no reward for Arsenal

If Arsenal end the 2012/13 season without a trophy there is certain to be another inquest into why the club has not added to the cabinet since their FA Cup success in 2005.
Have Arsene Wenger’s best days passed him by? Are the players good enough? They will be among the questions being asked, but the answer to their problems is more than just new players or, potentially, a new manager. This club needs a change in attitude!
Legendary manager George Graham hit the nail on the head back in December when he claimed the Gunners were happy to finish fourth because that guaranteed Champions League football. Unlike the Manchester Citys and Chelseas of this Premier League world, Arsenal are being run like a business from top-to-bottom and as a result they have fallen some way behind their rivals.
Now, I’m not saying for one minute that they should open the old ‘war-chest’ and start splashing the cash like confetti, but their problem is that they have taken few risks as a result of football’s love of rewarding failure.
No longer do you have to be your country’s elite team to feast at the top table on the continent, now you can be fourth best and still rub shoulders with the likes of Barcelona.
Get relegated from the Premier League and you get handed a wad of cash that immediately gives you an advantage over the rest of the teams in the Championship – although I don’t think Arsenal will be heading out of the top flight any time soon!
That’s right, no longer are teams rewarded solely for being successful in what they do. And in the ‘business-first’ world that is Arsenal Football Club, the board of directors will see a strong bank balance as a good result on a weekly basis, while other clubs around them paddle in the sea of debt – while picking up silverware.
In the likes of Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott they have two players that a successful team can be built around, but if the Gunners aren’t willing to take a few risks in order to supplement that talent, they could soon see the pair following the lead of players like Robin van Persie and Cesc Fabregas by heading for pastures new in the pursuit of silverware.
And if those two leave in the next few years, Arsenal may as well bolt the trophy room door shut because it could be a while before they need to open it again!

Written by Leigh Copson from

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