Monday 21 May 2012

How will Chelsea's win affect Arsenal?

The football world feels a different place now that Chelsea are the Champions League winners. The bitter side of me says, it's just another cup. Under Roberto di Matteo, Chelsea have become a cup team: draw specialists in the league but domestic and European cup winners. Obviously we wanted to be the first London club to lift the trophy. Had we invested more perhaps we would have been. Roman Abramovich has invested one billion pounds since he arrived at Stamford Bridge. How much has we invested in comparison? Yet we shouldn't lose sight of the facts: we finished higher in the league and that's more of an indicator of strength. Cup competitions are about luck to some extent. Chelsea had their fair share.

A lot of fans, as well as the legendary Ian Wright (read more about it on: Insidearsenal), have been sounding off about Ashley Cole's post-match comments. He moved away mainly for money not for trophies, in my opinion. Yeah, he's won trophies since he left. But when he left we could have gone on to bigger and better things. But we didn't. Why? Lack of investment in the squad.

I just can't blame professionals for moving on for more money, especially when we have a board that make their decisions based on profits rather than points. Back in the old days, it was the board who made money out of football clubs rather than the players. The players had to get public transport to go to a match. The wage caps meant they'd have to don their caps to 'Mr Chairman' and risk their knee caps (as many ended up crippled) in the name of club loyalty.

Of course, the lack of loyalty in the game nowadays is upsetting for us fans. We want one-club players, but what about when a player starts to play badly? Then we want him out prompto. Is that loyalty?

Anyway, if players were loyal then we wouldn't have a transfer market would we? I'd miss that! Except, in recent years, we've had to watch while other clubs do most of the business. Apart from that panicky day last summer when we bought five players in the space of 24 hours or less!

Looking at this summer's transfer activity, fellow guests on the Gooner Podcast have mentioned Eden Hazard as a potential target, but I reckon he's likely to seek his 'Garden of Eden' elsewhere, judging by this report on Football Talk. Unless we're the 'mystery club' in the running for his services, that is. Sounds like he'll go to Manchester United.

Going back to Chelsea for a moment, Fernando Torres could be up for grabs. He wants clarification on his future. Their cup team could break up this summer, and if Abramovich brings in another AVB-type manager they could be in trouble. Torres is a player that a lot of fans would like to see at Arsenal. I can't see it myself. If we still had fellow Spain international Cesc Fabregas, maybe. But at least he could chat in Spanish or Scouse-as-a-second language with Mikel Arteta. We can always live in hope!

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