Date:Tuesday September 4 2007
Ladies & Gentlemen, football supporters are proud of their clubs for a lot of reasons. Spurs fans are proud of the number of players they have in the England squad, no matter how mediocre the players, Chelsea fans are proud to win trophies no matter what the cost, even if it's the very soul of their club, Liverpool fans are proud of their fantastic history that can not be matched by any other English club, but me? I'm so very proud of the way in which our club is run.
We have already been written off by almost every media source, football pundit and football fan across the land, indeed Wenger's reluctance to spend money saw the odds on the Gunners winning the title shoot out to over 25/1 at the beginning of the season, yet the Arsenal already sit proudly in second place playing the best football of any team in the PL so far this season.
Arsene Wenger is not only a genius, but also a very stubborn man. A man who will not betray his beliefs no matter how much pressure is placed upon him to 'spend big' or to devise a plan B. Le boss has often been criticised for detracting so much from the English game despite statistics proving that Mr Wenger has pumped more players into clubs around our nation than any other manager, a man who has taken flak despite having more English players in the national youth teams than any other club bar Boro.
This man has more honour than any other manager in football.
Arsene Wenger is a firm believer in, what my nan calls, 'living within your means', which basically means don't spend what you haven't earned. Since AW's appointment 10 years ago, the Frenchman has spent a net total of around £2M (Shaun Wright-Phillips cost £19M more than that). It was at £13M up until this summers transfer activity. In that time we have seen great players such as Patrick Vieira, Sol Campbell, Robert Pires, Thierry Henry, Freddie Ljungberg, Ashley Cole, Cesc Fabregas, etc etc.
Today Arsene Wenger reaffirmed his stance that he doesn't buy stars, he makes them.
"We want to be faithful to the policy in the Club," he said on the clubs official website. 'We have a team that can develop in the next four or five years. I feel we are in the process of turning Cesc Fabregas, Denilson and Abou Diaby into world-class players.
"It may not be so long before we are on top again. If you ask me if we have the potential to achieve success this year then I say 'yes without a doubt`. It is important not to relate only success with money. I feel we make superstars. We have a feel for the game and the way we want to play football is linked to development and therefore you have to take your time a little bit. If you find an extra special player then OK.'
"But I have not seen a number of what you might call world class players. World class prices maybe but not world class players."
So while I'm extremely proud of the football our team plays and what it has achieved, the thing I'm most proud of is our manager, what he stands for and the belief he shows in his charges.
Date:Tuesday September 4 2007
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