The frustrations of Arsenal fans in the last eight years can be better imagined, some of them still find it difficult to believe that the now very chubby Manchester City Football Executive, Patrick Vieira was the last Captain to lift a major trophy at the club(Patrick has probably forgotten the last opponent he tackled for the ball in his last competitive game given his new role and physique)Eight years ago seem so long now and considering the successes enjoyed by the team at the time many Arsenal fans would’ve probably laughed off any suggestions that their beloved club will go trophy less for nearly a decade.
What a lot of Arsenal supporters don’t know is that the club’s current policy of younger, relatively obscure players with potential started way back before Vieira lifted that FA cup at Wembley in 2005,the idea found its way into Arsenal’s policy books immediately it became apparent that the club was to move from their historic Highbury stadium to the Emirates, Even though Wenger deserves credit for his enviable record of financial dealings with regards transfers, his real gems always have affordable price tags and the fans most a times couldn’t believe how good they turned out to be, starting from his first signing Patrick Vieira who he got for 2.5m,Nicholas Anelka came for .5m even the one who has brought Arsenal the most joy in recent years, yes him, Thierry Henry could be seen to be a huge bargain considering his 10.5m price tag.
The signing that kicked off Arsenal’s present transfer policy was the capture of Ivory Coast international Kolo Habib Toure from ASEC MIMOSAS (Cote d’ivoire) in 2003. Arsenal fans didn’t really notice the beginning of a new dawn at the time because all the “big boys” ,Dennis Bergkamp,Thierry Henry ,Patrick Vieira and one of my personal favourite of all time Robert Pires were still at the club and the fans were still basking in the euphoria of the league and cup double of 2002 and the yet to be equaled unbeaten run and league success of 2004 while the fans were being mesmerized on the pitch and celebrating trophies, the board were busy discussing the future direction of the club(the fans now know how effective that discussion turned out to be)
What really broke the camel’s back was the departure of long time Wenger’s ally and trusted right hand man, David Dein, whose partnership with the manager was said to be the backbone of the club’s successes over the years, immediately he left came an influx of youngsters at Arsenal, some turned real good(Cesc Fabregas, Robin Van Persie) then came the bad and ugly, Abou Diaby(nicknamed the new Patrick Vieira)Owusu Abieye, Emmanuel Eboue to the recent Aaron Ramsey and Carl Jeckinson not forgetting 20yr old Yaya Sanogo has joined from Auxerre this term, some of the aforementioned might elicit different reactions from the fans regarding their talents and contributions to the club’s cause, one thing is certain though they were clearly a step down from the kind of players expected at the club.
I strongly believe that Arsenal’s pursuit Liverpool’s Luis Suarez is a game plan by the club to appease the fans, who over the years have expressed their frustrations over the lack of real marquee signings that will sustain a real title challenge and bring the club back on par with their rivals (who seem to have increased in number since the last time they were really challenging..)
After declaring that he has 70m in the transfer kitty and ready to spend on new quality players, Wenger’s turnaround yesterday to say his present crop of players are good enough to mount a serious challenge for available trophies that confused a lot of the fans and confirmed what I have suspected all along. Arsenal knows getting Suarez from a “top four” rival will take some doing but to appease the fans given their frustrations the pretend to be trying (hence their strange, last offer)
The Club are very comfortable with the present bunch which will eventually mean another last minute jostle for fourth place and Champions League Qualification just like they’ve done in the last couple of seasons, some fans are planning a boycott of matches next season to press home their demands for better signings “we can’t be paying the highest match day ticket prices in the EPL and continue like this after several unfulfilled promises by the club, we have to do something about this, the power is in our hands” an avid supporter enthused.
Whatever happens, I think the club owe it to the fans to come out clean on the issues affecting the club and stop the double dealing acts, the fans are the backbone of every football club and resolving their concerns will help the club to move forward.