Posted on Tuesday, 10th April 2012 by Steve Wellman
Waiting until early Monday morning for the weekend game to kick off gave me time to reflect on a point of issue that keeps raising its head.
We all know that the silverware has dried up since the FA Cup victory over Brand United in 2005, but has our record over the past five full seasons (2011/12 excluded) been as bad as we think?
Since Wenger’s first full season in 1997/98, we have played 513 games in all competitions, with Highbury as our hallowed turf. Arsene’s record over this period is as follows:
Since retrenching to The Emirates in season 2006/07, Arsenal have recorded the following figures:
This gives the comparison of the two homes (in percentage) as:
Highbury: win – 59%, drawn – 23%, lose – 18%
The Emirates: win – 56%, draw – 24%, lose – 20%
Over this period the league has been won by an average of 6.8 points so a 3% drop in form would still put The Arsenal in the baulk seat.
So, maybe, it’s not that Arsenal have regressed as much as we think over this period, just that the pitch we compete on has been widened. Before we were battling out for top dogs with just Brand United but now, with the dirty/oil money bankrolling cash whores at Chel$ki and Middle Eastland’s, the viable alternatives for silverware has doubled. And, if you take into account and the unlevelled playing field we find ourselves competing on, the odds are even further inflated.
No matter what you think of the policy Wenger has invoked, it works and sets up the philosophy and identification that clubs like Chelsea and City can only aspire to.
Wenger has been forward thinking in the ‘making of, not buying stars’ philosophy and in the development of the legacy that is The Emirates Stadium.
In a few years, when UEFA’s new rules start to bite and when the Sheiks and Tzars move on to their next flights of fancy, only the clubs who have boxed sensibly and not externally bankrolled themselves into a corner will survive.
Then we will look back and brush off a couple of seasons of relative misfortune as worth it. ‘No gain, without (relative) pain’.
The Arsenal philosophy will then be the blueprint that will cement the clubs identity for years to come.
I’m not claiming I’m happy with the lack of silverware, just trying to highlight that the position we find ourselves in may not be as drastic as some fans make out.
TheSundayMorningGooner, optimistic as ever!
Like what you read? Then follow me on Twitter – http://twitter.com/wellmington
Visit and Join our Facebook page, click HERE to do so.
Gunnersphere is currently looking for new writers to join the squad. Contact via twitter or at Gunnersphere@snack-media.com for further details.