The truth about Arsenal
Call me a biased supporter, but the way the press have targeted Arsenal's manager of 16 years is ridicules. The recent form of Arsenal that lead to the team temporarily being 10th in the table and the shock loss to Bradford City in the Capital One Cup, has meant a manager who was under far too much scrutiny from pundits and some Arsenal fans already, has become the first person people name responsible for every possible problem the Gunners have had and some people have even suggested he should be replaced.
The fact that Wenger has an amazing ability to spot and build talent at the highest level of football and make huge profits for his club is apparently irrelevant. The main reason Arsenal haven't won anything in since 2005 is money, not Wenger. The Arsenal manager bought and taught, young unknown talents such as Henry, Fabregas and Van Persie just to name a few, and made them into world-class stars.
The most recent example shows how Wenger's efforts aren't always rewarded fairly. Van Persie, who was bought for a mere £2.75 million in 2004 as a winger, and who Arsène saw the potential to convert into the dangerous centre forward he's become, left Arsenal without their captain at the end of the transfer window for the second year in a row. People have said he didn't leave over money or he would of gone to City or Chelsea and that he left because Arsenal showed no intent to win anything, and simply isn't true.
Over the course of the summer Arsène bought the french league top scorer Olivier Giroud, and two established internationals for Germany and Spain in the way of Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla. At his peak at Arsenal and with the knowledge of the new signings, Robin was offered around a £130,000 a week to stay captain which he declined for 250,000 a week/£12m a year salary without bonuses, easier option at Manchester United .
Realising Van Persie wouldn't stay Wenger knew he had to sell and managed to get 24 million for the then, 29 year old striker (albiet selling him to one of Arsenal's biggest rivals). Losing his captain again, Wenger still gave the Arsenal some prospects for the coming season. Arguably the signing of the summer, world-class midfielder Santi Cazorla was bought for just £16.5 million which is Arsenal's record signing. That can't be said about any other top clubs such as Chelsea, United or City who have spent hundreds of millions on their starting 11, or many mid table sides either.
This is what Wenger had to say after being asked constantly about his decisions after the Bradford game.
"What is important is I love football, I love this club and I give my best for this club. I am very determined and very hungry. "Our season will not be judged on how well we do in the League Cup but how well we do in the Premier League, the Champions League and the FA Cup." - arsenal.com
Although Arsenal's form of late hasn't been where it needs to be, and although it's true that losing a cup game they were definitely expected to win is not good enough, Arsenal should be back with a vengeance in the new year. After a great 5-2 victory against Reading which saw Cazorla get his first hattrick and with good starting goal from Podolski and Walcott scoring in his first game as a central striker their are many positives to look at.
With just one more game scheduled this year, (because Arsenal's West Ham game has been called off over Underground strikes) Arsenal now sit potentially just one game away from being third in the table (dependent or Chelsea and Tottenham losing of course). All of the negative press Arsenal have got could mean Arsène really buys big this January and adds a few top additions that could end Arsenals drought, and with the FA Cup, Premier League and Champions League all still in contention, who knows what's possible.
As far as current contracts go Theo Walcott has not signed a new contract yet, but after finally being played where he wants and after a strong performance he might be getting close. Finally great news today that Aaron Ramsey, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere, Carl Jenkinson and Kieran Gibbs have all signed new Arsenal deals. Some of Englands most promising talent have signed new contracts and that will guarantee Arsenal have a strong English element to side in the future and this will hopefully persuade Theo to sign.
Wenger is quoted as saying: "We are delighted that these five young players have all signed new long-term contracts. The plan is to build a team around a strong basis of young players, in order to get them to develop their talent at the Club" "Gibbs, Jenkinson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey and Wilshere represent a core of the squad and it's an extension for a long period for all of them. I'm a strong believer in stability and I believe when you have a core of British players, it's always easier to keep them together and that's what we'll try to achieve going forward." - arsenal.com
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