Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Just a rant...
I'm going to let off some steam here, because hell, my blog, my wish!
This Sunday saw the grand finale of the 2012/13 Barclays Premiere League Season. It's fair to say Manchester United laughed themselves over the line this time around. Well played, well deserved. The gaffer's on his way out, and I for one, am none too sad about it. Sir Alex Ferguson is surely one of the greatest managers of all time and I respect that, but I can't stand that arrogant, pompous old Scotsman and the fact that his leaving will cut the strength of this United squad to half is all the more reason that I am delighted that he's riding off into the sunset. Don't like the obvious lack of sympathy? Hey, my opinion. Write your own damn blog.
Now coming to the team that really matters to me. The one about whom this post is written. Arsenal.
Yes. Another season gone. Still empty handed. Arsenal's trophy drought is well documented and not a chance do rival supporters let go of ridiculing it. For those, unacquainted with this distinguished statistic, there is a website made particularly to bring you up to date on it, in a most concise manner.
The once invincible gunners, who boasted the likes of Henry, Viera, Bergkamp, Pires, Adams amongst others of the world's finest footballers. The team that once enthralled one and all with its brand of beautiful passing football, are now huffing and puffing through a season, getting beat black and blue and only a for last gasp dash to the finish line, playing for their lives, do they make 4th spot, the last spot that ensures qualification into the Champions League pipping their North London counter parts and fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspurs by a point. This is not vintage Arsenal.
However, all their fallacies over the last couple of seasons have been well documented and repeated over and over, so I am not going over them ( Google being your best friend ). I am however going into a staunch defence of the team that I have come to love since I was a kid of 9.
Arsenal football club moved from their, old home, Highbury, to their swanking new, 60,000 seater, gem of a modern football stadium Emirates in the year 2007. Now, to those saying, "so what? They just grazed into greener grass." Well, eye opener folks, the building cost of this modern state of art stadium was a whooping 390 million pounds. That is not loose change, even for one of the richest football clubs in the world. Ever since, they've been under massive debt, paying off a hefty interest every year. So while, the teams around them, have been spending millions of their own or billionaire owners money to invest in the best of players, Arsenal have been forced to sell some of their best player, to help balance the books. So, since 2007, we have seen the likes of Henry, Hleb, Flamini, Nasri, Toure, Fabregas, Van Persie and some not so big names, leave the club for greener pastures with the manager helpless against the financial responsibilities thrust upon him. I do NOT blame Arsene Wenger for this. Because, every year, even though our best players leave only to be replaced by half decent cheap buys, he still manages to rally the team into the top four of the English Premiere Division. Whereas the other clubs have a net transfer spend of over a 100 million in player buys, Arsenal's net transfer spend over the last decade has been a mere 9 million, and yet, the club is amongst the premiere clubs in Europe. THAT is Arsene Wenger's contribution to this club. Yes, he may not have won a trophy, but to consistently operate under such constraints, and still get the club firing in both England and Europe establishing them as one of the top 10 clubs in the CONTINENT takes a lot of credit. In Arsene, I still trust.
Now, the team scrapped it into the top 4 this season. Just about. Pipping Tottenham by a point. The same team that in December was languishing in 10th spot. So, having made that recovery, and to once again get one over our bitter rivals, the players had every cause to celebrate. But the media and the rival fans took it upon them to create controversy over it. How could a club like Arsenal, who 10 years ago were dominating the English League and Europe, be content and celebrating a 4th spot. Was it a sign of mediocrity, they asked? Surely, they have lost their winning mentality, to be celebrating coming fourth like they'd won a trophy.
Well GET A LIFE! People celebrate the culmination of their hard work. That does NOT make them mediocre. These players have slogged on the field for months upon months. They are the 4th best amongst over 200 clubs in ENGLAND, having reached the quarter finals of the champions league, they are amongst THE TOP 16 football clubs in all of FUCKING EUROPE! They get through more hard work and sweat in a year than what most of these trash talking journos get done in a lifetime. So yes, they celebrated. BIG DEAL!
Next season, with the debts finally clearing and a reported transfer kitty of 70million pounds available, I wish and hope that the Arsenal of old, the Arsenal of legends, comes to the fore once again, and the manager who led us to glory and then guided us through the turmoil of a financial crisis, and yet producing some of the most pleasing football in the world, I'd really hope to see that man, lift a trophy before seeing out a glorious career at the helm of one of the greatest football clubs in the world, Arsenal F.C. In Arsene I trust.