In Arsenal we trust

Arsenal, a club I admire; or rather Arsene Wenger, a manager who has built a club I admire. Under Graham and Rioch Arsenal were, well, just another team. A team that defended well and had some flair in attack but they never captured the heart of the football fan.

 

The admiration of the football fan is something which is difficult to achieve. Most have tribal instincts about their club and will not look to support anyone else. Wenger has forced most into accepting that the way Arsenal play their game and have developed without the need to expansive amounts of money is a thing to strive for. However, the old mentality of wanting to win trophies will always turn the football fan at the last minute. They could never commit their ideological view to Arsenal without the end product.

 

However, with shares in the club being purchased by American businessmen and Russian oligarchs can the ideology of Arsenal continue to exist or will it be driven away by the ideology of the aforementioned football fan – “yes great, but I want to win things”.

 

The chances are that it will because investors, like fans, want success. They, however, want it for a different reason; financial. You obviously get more money for winning a trophy than finishing second or getting knocked out in the semi-final but it is not enough to make a significant difference to the balance sheet. In addition, there are only a finite number of trophies available; four in England, three in Spain and Italy. Every team can’t win something every time.

 

Two cases in point are Porto and AC Milan. Both have won the Champions League in recent seasons but neither has gone on to great success, even though Milan had the foundation to do so. This is because the marketing brand which is Milan did not have anymore to give and a Champions League success did not sell more shirts in Africa and Asia. One unique selling point (USP) of Arsenal is their ideology, taken directly from the brilliant mind of Arsene Wenger. Lose that and more fans will dessert than will join.

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2 Comments

Filed under Premier League

2 responses to “In Arsenal we trust

  1. Nigel Fuller

    I’ve been an Arsenal nut for more than 30 years, and I must admit there’ve been times during the past 5 years when I would have preferred ‘Boring boring Arsenal’ with a couple of trophies, but you have to hand it to the man – what Arsene Wenger has done for the club is the stuff of legend.
    I know a few (honest) Chelsea and Man United fans who are prepared to admit that there is no more exciting team to watch on the planet, but where do we draw the line?
    Alex Ferguson has taken consistency to a new level, and it will take just as long to overtake United as it took him (Ferguson) to ‘knock Liverpool off their perch’, so at 60 Wenger is clearly not the man to do it.
    He might win the league once or twice in the next 5 years and maybe even the Champions’ League, but we need a long-term successor who will win trophies consistently. I had high hopes for Tony Adams, but alas…

    • thoughtsonfootball

      Hi Nigel,

      Thanks for the comment. I think that knocking Man Utd off their perch will not be as tricky as you make out. Whilst they have consistently won the league in the 90’s and 00’s Liverpool did the same in the 70’s and 80’s. Liverpool’s success stopped abruptly due to poor choice in manager to follow Dalgliesh, Graeme Souness. The same will happen with Ferguson’s successor – whoever it may be (Mourinho). However, will the period of dominance experienced by the two aforementioned teams be experienced again? What was the key to those successes?

      I’d venture that it was stability…the forgotten word in modern day football.

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