April 7, 2012
Tomorrow’s match with City is a big one not just in the context of our push for third place but also in terms of their league title chances. Lose tomorrow and United have the chance to go eight points clear with six to play and you can pretty much guarantee that they’re not going to throw it away from there.
I know a lot of Arsenal fans that would like to see that happen. Not just us beating them. That’s a given obviously. But City losing out on the league. Personally I’m not sure how I feel about it. I can see that it would be hilarious for them to have spent so much money and still end the season empty handed. I could certainly derive a fair amount of pleasure from seeing Samir Nasri potless and heartbroken and trying to find new ways to redefine his move as a roaring success (no doubt it would involve some business about how being left on the bench to watch while his teammates threw their title challenge down the toilet had improved him as a player because he was able to analyse the psychology of choking under pressure).
But equally I’ve always maintained that City winning the league wouldn’t count really. If you’ve just bought your way to success with Monopoly money I erase you from from my own internal history books. It’s buying the league, it’s not winning the league. Not really. If we’re not all playing to the same rules then what difference does it make if they win it?
Anyway, tomorrow has plenty of spice about it and despite the fact that it would be playing right into old Ferguson’s hands I’d love it if we could get the result.
Arsene Wenger got a bit het up in the press conference when asked about the possibility that City might make a bid for Robin Van Persie in the summer:
Van Persie and Manchester City? The question cannot be asked because you cannot at all contact anybody who’s under contract. Van Persie’s not at the end of his contract, despite what many people might think. He has one year to go. I don’t think it’s the best subject before Sunday’s game.
You can understand his ire. His approach to the Samir Nasri transfer last summer suggested that he expected him to sign a contract and stay at the club but the player’s head was turned like so many before him by the wads of cash on offer at the Etihad. The prospect of the same thing happening with Van Persie doesn’t bear thinking about. Le Boss said:
Well, they have enough players there now. Already [Emmanuel] Adebayor, Kolo [Toure], [Gael] Clichy, [Samir] Nasri; they have [Patrick] Vieira there, that’s five. They have quite enough players from Arsenal now.
The press are spinning the story as Arsenal getting routinely screwed over by the oil barons, that we’ve become just a feeder club for those monied upstarts. But the truth of the matter is that we’ve done pretty well out of them over the past few years. Look at the players we’ve sold.
That’s a grand total of £72 million we’ve got out of them in the space of four years. £72 million that’s allowed us to remain in the black despite one of the most testing financial periods in the club’s history. Essentially we’ve been using that oil money to help pay for our stadium. Construction costs on the Emirates were around £390 million so they’ve contributed around a fifth of it. Thanks very much! Maybe we should name a stand after them.
And who’s had the better end of those deals? They’ve got themselves three benchwarmers and a man who scored a grand total of 19 goals for the club before being sent out on loan while City still pay a large chunk of his ginormous pay packet.
When Financial Fair Play finally comes in we’ll find ourselves with a 60,000 seater stadium and the means to compete with other big clubs around the world while City will find themselves with a squad full of players that they need to shift on or risk getting slung out of European competition. And if Sheikh Mansour ever tires of his plaything, then the problems really begin.
As far as I can see there’s only one club getting screwed over in this arrangement and it ain’t Arsenal.
Right, I’m off to get on with my day. Spurs face Sunderland in the early kick off today and I’m sure I’m not the only one praying that Nicklas Bendtner can keep his recent goalscoring form going and finally make up for that missed opportunity late on in the Nou Camp last year.
Come on Nik. There’s still a chance you could contribute more to our season than Marouane Chamakh and Park Chu-Young put together and without ever pulling on an Arsenal shirt. Surely that must appeal to that ego of yours?
If You Liked This...
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- Finally Wilshere’s seven month investigation comes to an end. Let’s all try to get on with our lives.
- Opportunity knocks + I’ve got a wager for you, Samir