The Unofficial Arsenal Blog
Even before Arsene Wenger took over the reign at Arsenal, he requested the club management to procure the signing of a rather unknown, lanky Frenchman namely Patrick Vieira, who, as we all know, went on to become a club captain and legend.
Through that move, he established a legacy which went on to much conquer greater heights in the years to follow. And now as we look back at the seasons gone by, we realize in admiration that le prof always had a thing for astute buys.
‘Deals’, which cost the club zilch when compared to the other astronomical sums doing rounds, ‘Players’, which fit perfectly into the ‘Arsenal Way’ and not the other way around, and most importantly buying them young so that in time they acquired a sizeable sell-off value.
One need not be a rocket scientist to trace the genesis behind his trend-defying methods – his colossal knowledge of the game and his degree in economics!
Players like Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, Freddie Ljungberg, Sol Campbell, Ashley Cole and so many more came and went during his spell at N5, winning lots of silverware and playing some of the most beautiful football the league has ever seen.
Despite winning the connoisseurs’ vote and enthralling football audiences across stadiums, success was never ‘bought’ under his able tutelage. He preferred spotting talent early (courtesy an extensive network of scouts across the globe) and moulding them as Arsenal players instead. This not only helped our youth team excel and ease their transition into the first team, but also won a lot of plaudits for it was financially viable.
Lack of silverware for 7 straight seasons meant the more ambitious (read: greedy) players chose to bid adieu to the club and the man who gave them a chance when no else would’ve even seen them dribble. This unfortunate turn of events meant each season an Arsenal team which seemed destined for some on-field success, disintegrated and withered at the very last moment, much to the anguish of the Arsenal faithful.
Arsene’s genius ensured that our team kept qualifying for UCL despite spending far less than some of our peers who failed in doing so ex. Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspurs, Liverpool, etc.
All along, Wenger got his economics bang on each time he decided to offload a player – earning the club big bucks and somehow managing to find other players to fit into the system immediately.
Here’s a look at some of the most profitable sales in the Wenger era –
Now those are astounding figures no matter which way you look at them!
Another of Wenger’s hallmarks has been his intuitiveness in deciding exactly when to sell off a player. In all cases (except for King Henry and Cashley Cole), the players found life difficult outside the comforts of Highbury/Emirates, with many fading away or not finding enough success (nor playing time). Notable examples being likes of A Hleb, M Flamini, N Anelka, etc.
It will be interesting to see what comes next, and online sports betting and casino sites are all abuzz with exitement. Some mobile casino sites already celebrate the past success of the team in a nostalgic slots game, and who knows what the future will bring. Arsene may well lead the time into success never seen before worth many slots games to come.
With the advent of FFP regulation around the corner, you have to doff the hat to Arsene for providing the club enough stability and maturity to compete within its means. And let’s not forget he won trophies, oversaw Arsenal’s smooth transition into the Emirates and helped envisage a world-class training facility, youth program and scouting network (which will keep the club in a healthy state for years to come) alongside keeping the finances intact. No wonder, ‘In Arsene We Trust’!
Disclaimer: Originally written for Top Korner!
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