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Old 05-23-2016, 03:24 PM   #51
celluloid hero
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Cincinnati
Posts: 9,796
Originally Posted by usfice6 View Post
Oh I know, I was more taking a cheap shot at Arsenal because of Arsene Wenger's quote from a few years back referring to finishing in the top four as a "trophy."
Upon re-read, it's more of a rant on our year, but whatever...

Yeah, no problem, part of being a fan is laughing and poking at your rivals. Even though Arsenal are a big club with a lot of winning history and they make a shitload of money, they played for 7 years paying off the new stadium. When we officially announce the Xhaka signing tomorrow or whenever, he is set to be the third highest transfer fee the club have ever paid after Ozil and Alexis, both in the past 3 or 4 years. Before that, the most they spent on a transfer was 15M on Jose Antonio Reyes in '03/'04. While United brought in 3 players just this past year higher than that, City got oil money, Chelsea spend freely.

So I think a few years ago, when the quote is from I guess, I don't know the quote myself, you're absolutely right. They built a stadium out of their own pockets, impacting their ability to sign players, forcing the sale of their top players and not only never dropped below 4th, but qualified for knockout stage each year. They've done a lot with what they had and 4th was good enough because that Champions League cash was vital to them recovering from the move to the Emirates.

However, they are now out from under that weight, have replenished their cash reserves, and should be competing for a title. The mistake this year was thinking that the outfield was fine and Cech was the missing piece. That's all well and good, but Welbeck never got healthy, we lost significant time from anchors Cazorla, Alexis and Coquelin, let's not even start on assuming health of Oxlade-Chamberlain and Wilshere and Giroud & Walcott's streakiness.

What I don't think is exactly fair is fans calling this year a failure. They say because even though they were second, it was Leicester and a year that United, City, Chelsea and Liverpool are all down, Arsenal should win. We lost the same dumb points that United did, but did very well against the top 4. Swansea at home, West Brom (ugh), draws vs. Norwich, 0 points vs. Chelsea etc. But Leicester didn't win the title because other teams were down. After we got within two points of them on Valentine's Day, they didn't lose again. They earned the win with only three losses on the year. Replace the name Leicester with Manchester on the table, and it's another step towards winning and a positive year.

At least it sounds like this was the last straw with them as well, with a center back and striker also on the shopping list.

(edit - oh yeah, I forgot, I'll get pics from my England trip up tonight)
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