What Is A Successful Club, And Why?




What counts more in a football team? Is it the quality of the players? The manager? The playing system? Stable ownership? The fans? Which one? All of them? Of course the answer is all of them how does each of the above measure in relation ?

If someone attempted to add up all the parameters, that’s after multiplying each parameter with a gravity coefficient factor, he/she’d most likely not conclude the equation, because simply the factors used would feel random, spontaneous and not very serious. What does “good ” player mean? What is a “good” manager and what is a “good” system? Does strong ownership also mean successful ownership? How does the fan help the team achieve VICTORY?

On to ours then, we need to let go of the dichotomy over ownership matters or managerial matters or players matters or formation matters. We need to stop comparing the era of riches (1998-2006) with the period of “saving” going on the past 7 years ( if more) and look straight at the truth. Good players are those who offer to the team and the cause. A good manager is one who gives to players the opportunity to offer to the cause of the team. A good system is the manager’s medium that will enable the players to produce deliver and excel. But for there to be an efficient system there needs to be planning. For this planning to exist you must have a director/owner hierarchy, a board, that supports the manager, and has the financial convenience to also support the manager;s choices in a depth of time and not knee-jerk and short-term. For all this to work though the team also needs the fans on their side. None of this can happen without the support faith and belief of the Arsenal crowd. It doesn’t matter what you have but how you combine what you have with HARMONY.

We get bombarded about tactics, about being weak as a system, that we don’t press or play high enough or deep enough or sideways enough or this and that. We read about players constantly , expensive and cheap, about managers who can do better and not, and so on and I have realised after many years that its all a bunch of crap really. I’ve seen players who have come from the unknowns and have become legends, players who were expensive purchases flopping miserably, coaches who didn’t exactly fill you with confidence going on and winning the lot, or leaving a mark behind imprinted in the memories of fans forever and other managers with high a profile cv destroying whole teams in the space of weeks. And why all this? Because the public wants “titles” that’s why. Because the pressure from people to win trophies has become unbearable, they want instant results, hungry for titles. Fair enough, but such mentality wont lead us anywhere.The fans of Arsenal need to stop looking at the past 7 years with scorn and hate for the lack of silverware and concentrate, as noted earlier, in becoming the factor that will push the team FORWARD for years to come.

18 comments on “What Is A Successful Club, And Why?

  1. I’ve been trying to say this to my football supporting friends for a long time. Unless you have silverware, you are not a good team, player, manager. A manager who wins league with a bunch of millionaire superstars is better than one who achieves financial stability and a reasonable position in the league with limited resources. Absolutely ridiculous.
    Just like everywhere else, people have an over inflated sense of entitlement. We all witnessed this with the shameful treatment of Arsene by our own “supporters”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. There in lies the truth and why simply comparing The Wenger era to now is naive as so much has changed in football that a different mindset is needed.
    The fans returning will be interesting and positive vibes in the ground need to be maintained through the this long and at times painful journey.
    I wonder if West Ham would have turned the corner performance wise if their crowd had been baying for blood when matches resumed?
    As frustrating as supporting Arsenal can be now is the time to remain a critical friend and not a poisonous enemy.


  3. Yes, well said.

    I agree, the role of the fanbase, as that apparently elusive ‘12th man’, is easier to define than to actually nurture and benefit from. That so many of the noisiest fans are so ignorant as to the positive impact the can have on a side is surely more than a coincidence?

    Nobody will pay the least attention if I congratulate the team on a well-earned victory but I WILL get all sorts of responses if I lay into Mustafi, Luiz, Bellerin etc. Social media will deliver those responses whereas in pre-internet days, slagging off your team’s players in, say, the stadium or nearby pubs, would have earned you a highly-deserved slap.

    So it’s safe to say that any club that can number it’s support on social media in the millions, can likely kiss goodbye to the fading force of the 12th man.

    And here’s a prediction – how well will Leeds do next season, with few ‘stars’ and even less PL experience to draw upon? They may not ‘win’ anything in their first season but few teams will enjoy a trip to Elland Road and everyone will know Leeds have been in town for their away matches.

    Will that make them a ‘good’ club?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. “So it’s safe to say that any club that can number it’s support on social media in the millions, can likely kiss goodbye to the fading force of the 12th man.”
    Oh I like that, I’ll change a few words and post it to twitter, claiming all the glory.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Interesting read. Success is very hard to define, especially in the “want it now“ era. I suspect some define success as what comes to those mainly state funded in this league.
    Others take a more hipster type view , and just love their beautifully run clubs, like St Pauli, possibly Forest Green , and the wonderful community run club at Clapton, and there are others. Of course none of these are likely to threaten City or Bayern in St Pauli’s case .
    Not really sure what some Arsenal fans really want, my guess, they have been spoilt, but ultimately, just want an excuse to feel miserable.
    But they need to get over themselves, as good as I am sure Arteta and some of the players are/ will be, we are just not currently set up to compete with some teams. It’s no coincidence our titles stopped when the oilers, launderers, tyrants and PGMOL assisted (under Mike Riley/ Scudamores auspices) came in.


  6. Arteta: “I know what Mesut brings,” says Arteta. “You only have to check his stats and look at what he’s able to do in those tight areas without any space…” But his voice trails off. “That’s all I can say,” he adds.

    “Look at the players that we had in the past at this club in those positions,” says Arteta. “You go back to (Santi) Cazorla, to (Tomas) Rosicky, to (Andrey) Arshavin when he played there, to (Aaron) Ramsey when he played there, to (Henrikh) Mkhitaryan when he came in. Even Jack Wilshere used to play in those pockets all the time.

    “That is a lot of players who are now not here. We have to renew that cycle, because if not, those kind of players won’t be there for us anymore.

    “They are a big part of what any squad needs.”


  7. Arsenal confirm new scholars – Gaspar, Henry-Francis, Lannin-Sweet and Sagoe Junior included

    by jeorge bird

    Arsenal have confirmed their new intake of scholars for the 2020/21 season in the official matchday programme.

    The full list is as follows:

    Zach Awe – defender

    The talented centre-back is an England youth international and has already featured for Arsenal U18s.

    Mauro Bandeira – midfielder

    An all-action midfielder who represents Portugal at youth level, Bandeira broke into the Arsenal U18 team last season.

    Khayon Edwards – forward

    A hard-working forward, Edwards featured for Arsenal U18s last campaign.

    Taylor Foran – defender

    A tall centre-back with impressive leadership qualities, he featured against Cheltenham in the FA Youth Cup.

    Luigi Gaspar – midfielder

    The son of Edu, Gaspar is a tough tackling midfielder and he will hope to feature prominently for the U18s next season.

    Omari Giraud-Hutchinson – winger

    A very skilful player, Hutchinson is expected to make a major impact for the U18s.

    Jack Henry-Francis – midfielder

    A fine passer, Henry-Francis impressed for Arsenal U16s last season.

    Henry Jeffcott – deender

    The dependable defender has already been involved with the U18s and can play at centre-back or left-back.

    James Lannin-Sweet – midfielder

    An attacking midfielder who can also play out wide, Lannin-Sweet has been capped by England at U17 level.

    Remy Mitchell – goalkeeper

    Mitchell featured for the U18s as an U15 player and the shot-stopper has also been on the bench for the U23s.

    Zane Monlouis – defender

    One of the most experienced players in this group, Monlouis was heavily involved for the U18s last season.

    Brooke Norton-Cuffy – defender

    A right-back who has been capped by England at youth level, Norton-Cuffy is also a threat with his crosses.

    Charlie Patino – midfielder

    Already a regular for the U18s, Patino has trained with the first-team and is potentially the standout player in this group. He could even push into the U23s as the campaign progresses.

    Charles Sagoe Junior – winger

    A skilful winger, Sagoe Junior is usually deployed on the left wing and will hope to impress for the U18s.

    William Vigar – forward

    Vigar is a hard-working striker who has performed well at schoolboy level.

    Mexican midfielder Marcelo Flores wasn’t listed in Arsenal’s article, but this is likely to be an oversight as he has previously stated that he will be part of the U18 squad next season. We will await confirmation of Flores’ situation over the next few days.

    The article also states there are likely to be a couple of further additions to the U18 squad ahead of the new campaign.

    Given the wide range of prospects that it contains, this intake could potentially be one of Arsenal’s best ever and certainly seems to be the strongest overall for several years.

    It is important to be patient with each of these players, but they will all hope that they can enjoy a successful first campaign as a scholar, with some of them potentially even pushing into the U23s.


  8. A few years ago, when the spirit of Arsène regularly moved me to write about Arsenal, I put together a piece on elite athlete psychology. I discovered evidence for a strong correlation between “social support” (friend and family networks, as well as fans) and the performance of elite athletes. This supports George’s statement that “for all this to work, though, the team also needs the fans on their side.”

    My impression is that out of laziness, peer pressure, sense of immediate entitlement, or easy manipulation in the age of social media outrage, many so-called supporters have lost sight of this relationship. But to be part of something bigger than our individual selves and therefore something successful, we have to reestablish it.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I was a season ticket holder at the Emirates from the start but redundancy saw me have to give it up. To be fair the toxicity in the Stadium at time made me really angry. People spending whole games on players backs. There’s 11 opposition and a clown with a whistle and a couple with flags, have a go at them first FFS


  10. Think I recall that article, 900ft, and very good it was too.

    Mark – think I gave up my season ticket around 2016 before the poison got too much. It had to be seen and heard to be believed, even at that stage.


  11. Just trying to think if any of our rivals have anything as watched, as destructive, but ultimately, as fuckwitted and attention seeking as AFTV?
    For all their rank stupidity, I believe they have also done a lot of harm


  12. The latest information on our current injuries and suspensions ahead of Sunday’s match.

    Bernd Leno

    Right knee. Sustained moderate ligament sprain during Brighton & Hove Albion (a) on June 20.

    Now participating in outside running and ball drills.

    Aiming to be back in full training next week.

    Shkodran Mustafi

    Right hamstring sustained during FA Cup semi-final on Saturday.

    Will miss remaining matches of this season. Further details on recovery programme will be confirmed in the coming days.

    A status update on the following players with longer term injuries:

    Calum Chambers

    Left knee. Ruptured anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee during Chelsea (h) on December 29.

    Latest update on Calum:

    Progressed to the next stage of his recovery and is now running and integrating outside with light ball work.
    Will continue to work hard throughout the new close season period with the aim of being back to full training as soon as possible this calendar year.

    Pablo Mari

    Left ankle. Sustained significant sprain to ankle ligaments during Manchester City (a) on June 17.

    Latest update on Pablo:

    Now off crutches after surgery and moving freely without aid.
    Has returned home to Spain for a short period, where he continues to receive specialist attention and extensive therapy.
    Will return to the UK later in July to resume his rehabilitation at our training centre throughout the new close season, with the aim of returning to full training in September.

    Gabriel Martinelli

    Left knee. Sustained injury during training on June 21. Successful arthroscopic procedure undertaken to repair a lesion in the cartilage of the left knee.

    Latest update on Gabi:

    Currently recovering in a knee brace after his operation, which took place during the last week of June.
    Surgery was successful, with consultants and the Arsenal Medical team very encouraged with Gabi’s current progress at this stage of his recovery.
    Currently at our training centre every day receiving specialist attention and support from our medical team.
    Will continue his recovery throughout the new close season period, with the aim of a return to full training by the end of the calendar year.

    As part of Premier League protocol, all members of our first team squad and support staff continue to be regularly tested for COVID-19.

    Copyright 2020 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source.


  13. Jeorge Bird
    Including the new scholars Arsenal now have 85 full-time players on their books, which is certainly too many for their three squads. There will surely have to be quite a few departures.


  14. Arteta: “If we go into the market and we have to do things, to decide which ones to do and how quickly we can do them. We are completely ready for that, and I also have a really good understanding with Edu. We have been working together very closely to put together a plan.”


  15. Thoughts on how to approach last league game?

    Pretty sure result means little to us, potentially huge in relegation battle…but should we risk any of our vital players given season hinges on the final (again!)?

    Partly through player’s importance, partly because of injuries, might be as many as 6 or 7 who it would be massive blow to lose for final, with a number of them dramatically lowering chances if miss out.

    Xhaka, because no Xhaka and we don’t play well without him; Luiz ,and Holding to only slightly lesser extent, because I think Sok (or Kola!) only other cb options, Martinez because otherwise it’s putting in Macey for biggest game of life by factor of about 100; Auba; Tierney, Dani,too, way he’s played lately.

    I expect we’ll risk keeper, maybe bench some of others…Watford’s main tactic likely to be huge aggression.


  16. Really gutted for Mustafi, 2nd time missed out with injury I think. our record of players injured by contact is incredible. only Luiz and Sok I can think of who hasn’t had serious injury with us after contact. Though even latter had concussion I think.

    Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Tierney, Ainsley, Kola, Mari, Mustafi. Defenders, who normally have such an edge in who gets hurt in contact! Imagine dangers for our attacking players then!


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