A guest post by Seebs @arse_or_brain
Apparently, according to many ARSENAL fans on twitter, our 3-0 win away at Villa was just a blip and we will soon be back to losing ways. Quite how despondent people can be after a good win to a team having only conceded one goal in a good start to their season amazes me and so I thought about what really is their logic.
In 2004 we won the league without losing a game, a considerable feat, the year after we won the F.A. cup and then in 2006 were unlucky to lose the final of the Champions’ League after having a player sent off at the start of the game and only conceding at the end of the game.
I believe it was around this time Arsene lost his mind and lost all football knowledge.
So 2007 until now we have been failures, the story goes, but how many fans and teams have bettered us and how many would switch places?
Well in that time we’ve won one cup, come close in the league a few times and been consistent in qualifying for the Champions’ League. So the only teams domestically that have done better than us are Chelski and the two Manc clubs. All three massively funded beyond our capability and so you would expect them to do better unless they were underperforming by a large margin, considering it cannot be us that has overachieved.
We have built and self-funded a new stadium. This has not been achieved by any other club in this time and so any arguments about how much money we have is largely dispelled as this handicap, along with the arrival of the sugar-daddies makes the spending argument largely irrelevant as whatever we forked out, the other clubs would still be able to find more.
In these failure years the likes of Alex Ferguson have said ARSENAL would have won the league if it wasn’t for injuries; so that blows the ‘tactics falling out Arsene’s head’ theory out of the window. I’m pretty sure even the most ardent wobs would admit you can’t win the league without tactical knowledge. This is backed up by the great Johan Cruyff who thinks Arsene is a great tactician, although the critics do have Piers Morgan in their corner.
This brings us to those injuries. Again, Arsene’s fault apparently, as his training methods are to blame. Incidentally these are same methods that brought us the doubles and invincibles, although we still do well at the end of games and seasons, so fitness can’t be a problem, surely a more logical reason would be the style of play we use draws more fouls both punished and unpunished and a build-up of these leads to injuries. This is just an assumption of course but then no one knows the reason behind the larger than usual amount of injuries we suffer.
- So in summary only 3 clubs have bettered us in the failure years.
- All three clubs can outspend us on the pitch and behind the scenes
- We are still servicing a debt and the fund comparison with the other clubs makes the argument about our cash reserves irrelevant.
- Injuries have impacted on our success.
- All of the above makes the tactics argument a myth
- I haven’t mentioned we consistently played the best football in the league
So what are people groaning about? Well could we have achieved better in the last few years? Maybe.
Could we have bought better? Maybe.
Could we have set up better in some games and even made better subs and tactical switches? Maybe.
But all those are assumptions and even if they were correct, would that make our manager a lunatic or our club a joke?
Quite clearly not.
But it does call into question the metal astuteness of anyone who suggests this is the case.