Last night I read this that Ivan Gazidis had to say in America.
“Think about this club. In 2002 and 2003, it’s really at the top of the world. And Arsene is at the top of the world. We have fantastic players. It’s us and Manchester United battling at the top of the Premier League. It all looks amazing for the Arsenal Football Club. But what does the club do? And what does Arsene do? And what do the board members do? They say we’re more ambitious than this.
Most people would have just sat back and said, ‘This is great. Everybody loves us.’ But what do they do? They throw all of that up in the air, a massive risk. They say, ‘We’re going to commit all the resources of this club to building a stadium that we think we are going to need 15 and 20 years from now if we want to be a really global football club.’
It’s an incredibly bold decision. They do it, they see it through, go through all the difficult times. Arsene continued to do an incredible job, threading the eye of the needle on the pitch. The board does an incredible job threading the eye of the needle off the pitch. We are now, just now, all these years later, beginning to come out of that. Arsene navigated us through that.
Yet it seems people just assume, at Arsenal, we’re going to be in the Champions League. They assume we’re going to be near the top of the Premier League. There’s nothing that really distinguishes us from the other clubs in England, other than this man.”
Of course “this man” was Arsene Wenger
For years I’ve been banging on about Arsenal being the most ambitious club in the country. For the very reasons Ivan mentioned.
It still staggers me that our ambition is questioned.
If we don’t sign Cavani( insert any expensive player you can think of ) it’s a lack of ambition.
When I ask Arsene’s detractors why they think we should ovecome clubs with far greater wealth, they seem reluctant to say its Arsene. But its really is.
To be quite honest I’m sick to the back teeth of the stupidity. I think Ivan said it all in these few words.
” There’s nothing that really distinguishes us from the other clubs in England, other than this man.”
Every day we should thank some deity or other that we have him.
By me. pedantic george @Blackburngeorge
No chance Loomer.
That’s pretty daft, George. There’s definitely a chance. A smallish one if that but surely there’s a chance.
fair enough, A teeny tiny one then
Fins at 8:15 pm – That Sports Illustrated interview with Wenger and Gazidis is amazing. The rarest of occasions Wenger has given any insight to the challenges he personally and the Board faced. Yet none of the loudmouths and keyboard warriors in the media, on Twitter or on blogs have given it the slightest of attention. They have achieved what no other cub has done in the modern era; build a giant, brand-new stadium and remain solvent and among the top performing clubs in England and in the world. Only possible because of Wenger’s genius and his self sacrifice for the club. Exactly the reason the interview is ignored.
But truth cannot be denied. Neither can lies and hypocrisy. That is the lesson I learnt from 8 years of being active on that other blog. Most people will pretend that they support you but when the going gets tough you discover their true mettle. So it is with Arsenal supporters. Initially they professed support for the grand project but when the going got rough, some who once were enthusiastic advocates, simply turned on Wenger because he was the embodiment of the sacrifices necessary to reach the goal. I have found them wanting and they have lost my respect. At least Positively Arsenal will not conceal the genius of Wenger.
Well said Shotta.
Good posts, as always, Fins. I don’t know if you posted the SI article before but I’d seen it somewhere in the last few days. Great stuff.
Keep fighting the good fight. Thanks.
Chambers initiation song
Found this blog a few months ago and have to say thank you. So much sense and logic in one place can be disconcerting at times. It is shocking to me still that even though the club told people the “barren” years were going to happen and when the financial restrictions would be lifted some still want rip Arsenal and especially Arsene. The man has done nothing but work his ass of while being surprisingly honest about the whole process. The thing that really kills me is how everything bad is Arsenes fault and everything good was luck or down to someone else. Qed the change in transfer policy is because the board took power out of Wengers hands etc. That one kills me.
New post is up