Following on from a conversation yesterday between Franchise and London, they touched upon a point I was going to write a post about, but was having trouble structuring, but it prompted me to have a bash so here goes..
When we had a team full of world class players, Vieira, Bergkamp, Pires, etc, we reached the Champions League final just as that team was breaking up.. But at their peak that team or Wenger’s teams before them never really achieved what they should have done in Europe, going out in the quarter finals etc on a regular basis or not qualifying past the early stages.. Okay we were the best in England every now and again.. Which was nice!! But were we Champions or runners up of the 3rd strongest League in the world?
These days the Premier League is the strongest in the world, the anti has been upped and we are 3rd/4th in that and also regular Semi Finalists in the Champions League, which brings me to the point..
It is really a series of questions for debate..
Are we actually any worse in real terms?.. In fact I would say we are relatively stronger than we were when we had all the big names..
All teams in Europe can pick from the same pool of players.. We used to be in the top 16 in a good campaign in Europe.. now we are top 4.. So although we haven’t picked up any silverware, I suggest this is because our domestic League is far stronger.. That makes our League the hardest to win in the world.. Unlike it was in “98” the good ol’ days..
So from having world class players who only made the best 16 in Europe we now have crap players who are now getting us up to the dizzy heights of the top 4.. How does that work then???
If we had “crap” in our team like Ade, Denilson, Song, etc .. and we are better than 5 years ago that must mean that some of our players are far better than our best players were back then, to make up for that deficit..
Another point is these players who are performing at least as good as the invincibles were virtually unheard of, so perhaps it sort of makes us feel inferior as supporters that the other teams seem to pick up the expensive signings and we don’t, but because our players are young and we haven’t been watching them play for other clubs on a Tuesday or a Wednesday night for the Meeelans of the Humbugs of Italy before we bought them, do we think of them as not as good as the players other clubs pay £10million or more for??
So Arsene Wenger OBE has made us a top 4 club in Europe.. he has made us a top 4 side even with Song in it.. He has done this spending less than £3 million pounds a year on transfers.. (after the comings and goings) .. We also have a stadium to be proud of..
But we haven’t won the cup of the strongest League in the world.. I suggest we are as good as we was… but the goalposts have moved..
Where we are going against clubs that are not generating their finances within football I will save for another post.. But my feelings on that are quite depressing..
If that made no sense, I am sorry I wrote it under the influence.. lol..