There’s altogether too much doom and gloom going around at the moment, too much criticism of Wenger’s transfer policy by the very same people that praised him for it when the season was looking rosier. At a time like this, it can be difficult to get past the dissenting voices and retain a bit of optimism. Here are ten reasons to win that particular battle.
1. We are better than Liverpool
That might seem like a strange thing to say after not beating them in four matches this season, but it isn’t sour grapes to say that was purely down to extraordinarily bad luck. We dominated the league game at Anfield before Christmas, hitting the post twice, dominated the Champions League first leg, being denied by a referee and a less than balletic teammate, before two much closer matches. The league doesn’t lie – two years ago Liverpool were better than us (briefly), but not any more.
2. Luck has to change
I was going to write a piece on how since the Birmingham game, we’ve had goals wrongly ruled out, goals against us wrongly allowed, dodgy penalty calls at both ends, and a stream of bad luck, but Goodplaya’s beaten me to it, and put it better than I could, so I suggest you have a read.
They say luck evens out in the end, so next season should be a cracker.
3. Theo Walcott’s a bit good
Witness the terrified Liverpool players the moment he came on the pitch. See the directness of his running, as if he’s cottoned on to his greatest asset. See the determination in his fight for a first team place. And he’s only just 19. Anyone think the criticism of him this season was premature?
4. We’re coming higher in the league and we’ve gone further in the Champions League than last year
Last season we came a distant fourth, 21 points off the pace, and got deservedly knocked out in an appalling display against PSV in the last 16. This season, we’re fifteen points closer to United, got a round further in Europe, and at least put up a decent fight against Liverpool.
5. We’ve proved the media wrong
They said Wenger was wrong to sell Henry, as no-one could step in and score 20 goals, let alone the 25 Adebayor has. They said Cesc couldn’t score. They said we’d drop out of the top four. They were wrong, oh so very very wrong.
6. Cesc Fabregas is still only 20
Hard to believe, isn’t it, that our midfield talisman is younger than Nani, Babel, and so many more of the ‘up and coming’ players at other clubs. Even better than that, he’s a true Gooner, who dislikes United, Ferguson, Hughes, Savage and Chelsea. The man has good taste – how long before he’s captain?
7. Wenger has money to spend
That doesn’t mean he’ll spend it, of course, more that he isn’t restricted by it. He’ll bide his time, go for the targets he wants, but he isn’t financially constrained any more. If he thinks 10-15m is a bargain for a player, he can pay it.
8. We have the happiest hierarchy in the top four
Chelsea have trigger happy Abramovich, a manager who the fans can’t stand, and Peter Kenyon playing the role of the weasel. United have the ever-popular Glazers, who are currently surviving financially thanks to their on field success but are relying on that a little too heavily, while Liverpool’s board room battles are the stuff of playground legend. Meanwhile, Wenger has the time and space to work his long term magic by his English, and Arsenal attached, board, who are resisting the foreign invasion with everything they have. The heritage of this club is secure.
9. Robin Van Persie will play some football next season
Oh yes he will. Don’t forget what a talent the man is. Clichy had to bide his time to prove it. Van Persie will too.
10. Tottenham and the top four
August is a month of brave and stupid predictions, and last summer’s common theme was Spurs finishing ahead of us and reaching the top four. If that isn’t something to chuckle at, I don’t know what is.
Keep smiling, Gooners.