You have to feel for Arsenal. All they’ve tried to do is play football, develop good young players, and run their football club with some semblance of respect for the concept of financial fair play; but sadly, they’ve had nothing to show for it.
Laurent Koscielny and Wojciech Szczęsny’s error to gift Birmingham City the Carling Cup trophy might have been comical, but that Arsenal’s six-year wait for a trophy has to continue – considering the manner in which they’ve gone about their business – is truly tragic.
[Their last trophy was the 2005 FA Cup, sealed by Patrick Vieira’s last kick for the Gunners during a penalty shoot-out which saw off Manchester United]
Part of me, the United fan part, is glad to see Arsenal mess up and looking all dejected. The human part of me enjoys that also because I know how much pain it’ll cause Piers Morgan. But the part of me that tries to be a neutral football fan feels really sorry for them.
While my beloved Manchester United has been turned into a commercial monster, their City neighbours now a grotesque caricature of the excesses of the modern football club owner, Liverpool were almost run to the ground by foreigners, and Chelsea are still looking like Roman Abramovich’s play-thing, Arsenal have continued to be a model for how a football club should be run.
At least it appears that way to me. I don’t know too much about the ins and outs of managing a football club, but Arsene Wenger has overseen a period of financial stability, one based on his much-lauded youth development policy, and a staunch refusal to give in to the current trend of skyrocketing transfer fees and wages. That makes sense to me.
For that alone, for their insistance on doing things the right way, even if it may be born of Wenger’s stubborn purism, I believe Arsenal deserve a trophy – never mind that they’re one of the best footballing sides on the planet.
The less sentimental fans out there would probably argue that there’s no such thing as a losing team who “deserved” the trophy, and it’s all about performances on the day and taking your chances.
Agreed. But I think if there was, Arsenal would be the club who deserved it. Which is basically the same thing.
Also, can someone PLEASE tell Barcelona that publicly, repeatedly and shamelessly encouraging a player contracted to another club to defect to yours is more “immoral” than signing a young player through completely legal channels?
That Barcelona president sure has some cheek now, calling Arsenal immoral. His club have been trying blatantly to unsettle Cesc Fabregas, Arsenal’s captain and talisman, for the whole season. But when Arsenal try to sign one of their completely unproven youngsters, who is free to say no to Arsenal if he feels his future lies in Barcelona, he calls them “immoral”.
I guess they’re not so much different from Real Madrid after all.