Today is Arsene’s Wenger birthday and today it’s all about saluting the boss… (or yesterday if you’re reading this on Friday)… and in a timely manner, the AGM was held today, and was much more positive AGM than the last… although was the last one wasn’t 12 months ago was it?
Well, it was certainly was an interesting discussion and very positive words from Arsene Wenger.
“This year I am convinced we will win a trophy,” Wenger said. “It will come down to how resilient, consistent, intelligent and united we are until the end because there will be tough times. There will be periods when it will be difficult, but we have to show our strengths that have always made this club special.
“This team is now ready to go for it and I am convinced we will perform throughout the season.”
Now that’s a statement and a half. Normally Arsene isn’t so forth coming with statements such as “I am convinced we will a trophy”. It’s very positive and sends out a very strong messages to the fans and the players too that our time has arrived and that the team is ready to kick on and win a trophy. The last four years has seen us unable to get our hands on any trophies, but that fact deludes the truth behind our progress. In the last four years, we’ve competed with the top teams.
We’ve got to the final of the Champions League and defeated teams like Real Madrid and Juventus who have arguably spent a lot more than us and have greater resources. In order to do that, it’s no easy task, it requires careful understanding of the bigger picture and a level of patience that has seen us prosper. The “kids” have grown up. How much is Cesc Fabregas worth now? £40m, £50m? We’ve trained him from his school boy days and been able to compete with the Liverpool’s, Chelsea’s and now the Man City’s of this world whom have all had heavy investment. And we’ve done this whilst also buying a stadium.
“When we moved from Highbury to the Emirates I knew it would be a sensitive period,” said Wenger at the Annual General Meeting on Thursday. But I know as well that the most important [thing] is to stay at the top on a consistent way and that’s where you see really the quality of the Club. Can you maintain through ten years, 15 years to play at the top of the game in Europe? That’s where you see if the Club is managed well or not and I believe that we will achieve that together.”
Looking at the squad and attacking talents we have as well as the defensive talents, that’s an accolade to the policy the club has taken and the rewards we’re starting to see.
“We are in the middle today of two different ways to see the development of the game. One is people with unlimited resources who do not care about balancing the budget and one, an attempt from the European Union to regulate that, control it, and get that out of the game. I believe that will happen and fortunately we are on line with the modern development of the European game and that is why I believe to keep a club strong is essential.”
Looking at our squad, the players such as Arshavin, Rosicky, Cesc, Eduardo, Van Persie, Carlos Vela, Theo Walcott and Samir Nasri, which other team can boast such a vast array of attacking talent? And if you look at the last 3 years, we’ve made a profit on our player sales every year.
“When I arrived here 13 years ago I could sense that this Club had values, tradition, and strength in their belief and in their values. When I travelled at that time to Derby or to Coventry when they were in the Premier League, they always told me it is the ‘Arsenal way’ to do things. They do it their way and it was always respect and admiration in their statements and I believe it is essential and important that we keep that inside the Club.”
I have a lot of admiration for Arsene Wenger, 60 yesterday… for what he’s brought to the club. I have a lot of admiration for the board of directors for their work behind the scenes, the contribution of David Dein, Keith Edelman and Peter Hill Wood, but to name a few.
If we do go on to win a trophy this season, then it’s be Arsene’s greatest trophy yet, and we will only build from it. Arsene is always confident going into a season, but this season I have seen on the pitch that there is something different, and have seen in Arsene that there is a genuine sense of coming of age.
Arsene, I am also convinced this season we’ll win a trophy.