Its the new stick used by the malcontent to beat Arsene with. They are turning Leicester’s miracle season from their success to Arsenal’s and Arsene’s failure. “Arsene said we couldn’t compete with oil money” they squeal with glee. “George, this destroyed your argument that we needed oil money to compete” my own personal hoard of following halfwits screech at me on Twitter.
Well they would be right, had I, Arsene or anyone else said that. The problem for them is, we didn’t say that. Or anything remotely like it. In fact here is exactly what I said on this very blog last July.
“There have been studies done that show an 85% direct correlation between spend and success, across all major leagues. This isn’t my opinion, it is fact. It may be a sad fact and one we wish didn’t exist, but a fact it is and being a fact, we have to acknowledge it and until it changes, accept it. In simple terms that leaves you a 15% chance of beating the odds. So yes, it can be done. Again I ask though, not why Arsenal ‘could’ be the team to do it, but why they ‘should’ be the club to do it?
People will point to Atlético Madrid as an example of how it can be done. Yes, but they are the 3rd biggest club in Spain and have done it once in 20 years. That is 5% of the time and within the previously mentioned 15% window.However that simply proves the maths, it does not mean they (or anyone else) should be expected to do it. Just that its possible. No one is saying its impossible.”
So there we have it. A correlation of 85% between spend and success means that 85 times out of 100, money wins. For the slow of learning, it doesn’t mean 100 times out of 100. The debate has never been whether its possible to compete with less money, but rather how much of a disadvantage it puts Arsenal (or any other team for that matter) at.
If Leicester do go on and win the title, it will do nothing more than confirm that it is possible, but as I said, that was never in question.
The fact is that since Roman and Mansour tipped up with their ill-gotten gains, they immediately made it (this is simplistic) 85% more difficult for teams that can’t match their spending, to win the league. No one was making it up. Chelsea, and City have won it with United being the only team that was able to have a squad that matched their’s on cost. Only those three clubs were able to pay the wage bill that allowed them to compete for the League Cup and Champions League. The two exceptions, so far, have been Leicester and Liverpool, coincidentally both teams that had/have no interest in any competitions other than the league itself. I’m not imagining this, it happened. Honestly, its in history book now.
If we glance across The Channel we see that PSG are 21 points clear after 24 games. Is anyone going to tell me this is down to anything other than “oil money” ?
The rarity of what Leicester are doing does not show how easy it is to do, the very opposite in fact, it proves how difficult it must be.
People will say “if Leicester can do it , why not Arsenal ?” Well the truth is there is no reason why it should not be Arsenal. That said, you must accept then that any team can do it. Not just Arsenal. Why should Arsenal be the one club that should have been expected to do it?
So let all the malcontents climb back on their perches and wait until they can find their next stick.