Date: 13th October 2011 at 4:59pm
Written by:
Arsene Wenger

Arsene struggles to understand how his team have fallen so far behind

It would be so easy to laugh at Arsenal right now. In fact, I have, in the not so distance past. Financial restrictions, injuries at the most inconvenient times and your star player wanting to leave. The truth is, it could so easily be us in Arsenal’s place right now.

A couple of important things happened in 2005.

Arsenal won their last trophy and The Glazers took full control of our club, placing a massive debt on to us. Then, in 2006, Arsenal moved from Highbury to The Emirates Stadium, which also put Financial strain on them. At the time, Manchester United and Arsenal were the two teams in the league who were battling it out for the title and the trophies, year in, year out. Chelsea had just started to find their feet after the injection of Abramovich’s cash and won the league in 2005. The difference in Manchester United’s and Arsenal’s fortune since 2005 has been like night and day. While Arsenal have not won anything, Manchester United have won 4 Premier League trophies, 3 Carling Cup trophies and 1 Champions League trophy. Arsenal have not spent much since their last trophy win (if Manchester United had spent as little, I am sure we would be struggling too) They have instead decided to give their young players a chance to shine. This is an ideology shared by both Manchester United and Arsenal.

Whether the lack of spending is down to Arsene Wenger or the Arsenal board, you have to say, it is a problem. The Glazers have taken a lot of stick since they took control of our club. Personal abuse, TV documentaries and fan protests about how they run the club, have been common place over the past couple of years. However, the way they run the club since, is the difference between us and Arsenal. Well, that, and of course, the absolute brilliance of Sir Alex Ferguson. Despite the huge debt we have, the Glazers have made sure that we have kept competitive, not only in the Premiership, but also in Europe. They have made a lot of money available to buy some of the best young players in the world. They allowed Ferguson to spend £30 million on Berbatov, while we still had Rooney, Ronaldo and Tevez at the club. They have even allowed Ferguson to take risks in the transfer market, with the signing of Bebe being the biggest example of this.

While Arsenal still boast to have the best young team in the Premiership, they have slipped behind on this front too. They have two of the best young mid-fielders in the world in Jack Wilshere and Arron Ramsay, but beyond that, and the possible emergence of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Wojciech Szczesny, you have to say that Manchester United have the better young players. Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans, Fabio Da Silva, Anderson, Nani, Ashley Young, Danny Wellbeck and Chicharito would each walk in to the Arsenal first team, with David De Gea and Tom Cleverley probably on a par with Arsenal’s first team. The future off the pitch also looks great for Manchester United. With the sale of a relatively small percentage of the club, it looks as though the huge debt on our club, may be cleared.

This would probably mean even greater power in the transfer market for years to come. It would also mean that the Glazers would own the majority of a club, and in the end, not paid any money. In fact, they may have even made a profit. While Arsenal have fallen behind over the past few years, Chelsea, and now Manchester City, have emerged as our main rivals. While Manchester United and Arsenal both used the money gained by their success to get by, Chelsea and Manchester City are both bankrolled by their rich owners. That is why I have a little soft spot for Arsenal. If you get past the dislike for some of their players, they are a club a bit like Manchester United. Giving youth a chance and using success as a springboard for even more success is the way football should be done.

As a Manchester United fan, I miss fighting for the title with Arsenal. I would much rather have them as our main title rivals, than Chelsea or Manchester City. I find their recent demise really sad, and, although I don’t like to admit it, I really hope they turn things round.


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39 responses to “Why I’m Not Laughing At Arsenal Football Club”

  1. georgian says:

    great post , you are fair man , can’t agree any more

  2. Ez says:

    Ok Arsenal fans don’t get carried away by our sympathy, Still your first team will never be better than man utd. Remember the Invincibles, man utd trashed them 6:1 and even on the unbeaten season they never beat Man utd, only for Man utd coming to stop the unbeaten record at Battle of Buffet…
    Our only rivals are Liverpool, and just like Chelsea and City your rivalry with us was just tempory. We just sympathise same way we did with Leeds, but for some fans to start posting here “Our first full fit team is better than Man Utd” is Pathetic, cos your Best ever were the Invincibles who we still put them in their place.

    • Bryan says:

      Very honest article, the Man Utd 1st team is miles better than our 1st team at the moment there is no doubt about that & I have been so impressed with Chris Smalling & Wellbeck out of all your youngsters. I do feel it is the Arsenal board that holds us back, wish they would all leave & bring back David Dein – Ez you are a total idiot & get your facts right you did not beat the invincables 6-1 we had Luzhny,Grimandi, Stepanovs & Silvinho playing that day, hardly invincables.

    • ScotchEggsRule says:

      You didn’t beat the invincibles team 6-1 you mug, heck trhe team line ups for that day. Such an ingnorant comment doesn’t deserve an explanation, just do your home work properly next time son. The unbeaten record game at OT wa s ashame, Ferdninand brough tLjungberg down 1 on 1 with the GK and got ayellow, Rooney dive dot win a penalty etc. These things you seem to have mysteriously left out of your post. better luck next time boy.

      Great article and appreciate the sentiments, proper clubs should always be encouraged, not that fake, chav shower of sh*t that Chelsea and Man City stand for.

  3. Sebastian Q says:

    despite Arsenal’s recent troubles, the thing Arsenal and Man Utd have in common, is that they will both definately win titles in the future. Every team goes through highs and lows, but the thing about Arsenal and Man Utd is you know they will always be there. (and although utd had dominated the last 20 years, Arsenal have never been relegated, and have won a title in every decade since the 30’s other than the 60’s)

    Arsenal will win the title again at some point, as will Utd. Chelsea and City? This is just a purple patch for 2 small teams that have won the lottery.

  4. EZ EZ says:

    The reason for united’s success and amazing luck is due to the sacrifices you made in munich. They all died so manchester united would continue being the biggest club in the world.

    Luck does not come naturally. You create it. They worship a devil, wear red, and sacrificed their best players for ongoing success.

    No-one mentions it. But that was the deal.

  5. Ez says:

    EZ EZ now you are being paranoid. Scotcheggrule and Bryan still 6 of your players went to be the invincibles. And 4 out of 5 games after the Battle of Buffet (which still had many invincible players) Man utd were still beat them…
    Anyway no need of calling each other mugs or idiots. And I respect how you two commented, and as many United fans, we all agree Arsenal just molds its players like we have done for years unlike some City and Chelsea.

  6. Anneeq Anwar says:

    You lot may be sympathetic but i certainly aint! Man Utd have never been given the credit and plaudits that they deserve for the football we’ve played over the years and for our success. We’ve never been given credit for our academy system either, it fails to get noticed just how much QUALITY comes out of it. Especially the British talent. It speaks volumes that we have more players from their City in the Man Utd squad than the rest of the top 4 combined! Its a joke that the pride of London were marvelled about their academy for BUYING a grand total of 3 players, Wilshere, Ramsey and Walcott! We always got this ‘scum’ title from the cockneys in London. To me this decline of the most over rated team ever is sweet karma!

  7. Jules says:

    You’re SO right, I wish Arsenal would spend money that’s borrowed on vastly over-rated players, putting us into even more debt! If Fergie wasn’t able to spend the stupid money he does, he would be out of a job by now!

    • Anneeq Anwar says:

      Lol u support a team with players like Walcott, Vermeulen, Arshavin, Chamakh, Szczesny, Koscielny yet you’re talking to me about over rated players????????

      Btw apart from veron and good old berbs whos the over rated player u speak of?

      • Bryan says:

        Szczesny will become the best keeper in the Premier in my opinion, didn’t cost 17M like your highly overated keeper – & I don’t know what planet your on if you don’t think Man Utd are not given the credit they deserve.