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Silverware doesn't always sparkle

How you win trophies is more important than whether you win them Robin van Persie seemed to be saying as he arrived in South Africa to compete for the World Cup with the Dutch squad.

While there is some speculation that our recent trophy drought may affect the willingness of some players to stay with the club Robin seems to have a comfortingly mature outlook on the issue.

"I`m 26 and have won three trophies; the UEFA Cup, the FA Cup and the Charity Shield. Yes, I class that as a trophy too. It`s a one-off game with 80,000 people watching and a lot of pressure. I`ve always said that I want to win as many trophies as possible in my career, but not at any price.

"What I am trying to say is that I will work my socks off to get the maximum out of my career, but I won`t move to a club which does not play my style of football.

"Dennis Bergkamp is, in my eyes, still 'The Master'. The fact that he never won the Champions League, the European Championship or the World Cup does not take anything away from his greatness as a player."

It`s refreshing to hear that any player, many of whom are branded as mercenaries, can see beyond the collection of medals to appreciate that it`s what you do to earn them that can mark you out as a great player not simply the quantity of medals you have gained.

Liam Brady has legendary status at the club though he left at much the same age as Fabregas is seeking to leave us. Like Cesc he also only has the one FA Cup medal to show for his time here. So he left to find fame and fortune elsewhere but despite a couple of Serie A titles in Italy with Juventus he didn`t stay more than a couple of seasons anywhere and became something of a Serie A journeyman before ending up as part of a relegated West Ham side 10 years after he left the club. In truth he isn`t really feted anywhere more affectionately than at Arsenal, despite his Italian title medals and having spent the greater part of his professional playing career away from the club who, before his career ended, had picked up league cup and title trophies.

David Platt won more medals with Arsenal than Liam Brady did but doesn`t make anything like the same connection with most Arsenal fans. Teddy Sheringham won many more medals as a ManU player than George Best but his contributions to winning those trophies were on nothing like the same scale.

Thierry Henry has written his chapter large in the annals of Arsenal Football Club. His achievements and the memory of them can never be erased but for him too, that legendary status wasn`t enough as he went in pursuit of medals in Spain. He got them as anyone joining either Barcelona or Real are pretty well guaranteed in Spain to much the same extent that anyone playing for Celtic or Rangers are likely to pick up a few local medals at least. As Wenger observed recently "I cannot see anybody who has a competitive edge to [want to] go to Spain. They have two good teams, I confess that, but the No 3 is 27 points behind." Thierry won his medals in Spain as a squad player, a fact that might be lost as he tells the stories to his grandchildren but his contributions to those Spanish triumphs will live longer in his memory than they will of those of the club he won them with. Though he did start in a good proportion of the CL games and scored enough to feel contented with his role in their triumph the season before last he`ll know most Barca fans will probably still see it as Messi`s triumph.

Hlebs career at Barcelona hasn`t yet ended so it might be a little premature to say that his grandchildren will be surprised that he even played for Barca let alone won a treble with them. But if his career there is to end here then there`ll be little reason for Barca fans to remember him while he is also little more than a footnote in Arsenal`s history. Did his collection of Barca medals justify his decision to leave Arsenal? Not according to Hleb himself apparently. "When you mostly sit on the bench, winning titles brings very little joy, while getting to the last eight of the Champions League with Arsenal was unforgettable" said the Belarus midfielder.

It`s a sentiment echoed by Gio van Bronkhorst about his time at Arsenal claiming recently that "During my time there Arsenal won the league twice plus two FA cups but it didn't feel as if they were my prizes."

I'd like to think it is possible to spend a fulfilling career at a club even if the trophy count is relatively small at the end of it. Though Robert Pires won a few trophies with us he has said that the ovation he received at the end of the CL game at the Emirates while wearing a Villareal shirt was a moment he`ll carry in his mind forever. Cesc said recently referring to Arsenal`s fans that "Sometimes not even in my house I've felt more loved than I've felt at Arsenal."

It`s probably a romantic notion but maybe there is more to gain that validates the silverware you would hope to win rather than just winning silverware itself. Without an important sense of being an integral part of the club and its triumphs maybe those trophies don`t always carry quite the same sheen.



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The Journalist

Writer: Amos Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday June 7 2010

Time: 10:32AM

Your Comments

A mix of the 2 is required, style and winning trophies for me. Barcelona & Real Madrid play his style of football and i imagine that if he keeps up his great form with less injuries one of them will get him unless we win something within the next 2-3 seasons.
paul_ownz
Wow. Have to say RVP's comments are very heartwarming indeed. I think with him its more a case of being able to play the style of football he wants as opposed to going somewhere just to win trophies. He wouldnt be able to play his free flowing football elsewhere as effectively as he does at Arsenal and it is good that he understands and embraces that. Also agree with what Hleb said in that if you are chronically warming the bench, can you really say that you majorly contributed to your teams on pitch success? I think he is truly regretting leaving Arsenal and now realises that the grass isnt always greener. Cesc should think long and hard about this too.
True-Gooner-Blood
Nice piece Amos. I recently attended a charity sporting event and Alan Shearer was the after dinner speaker. The room almost fell into an awkward silence when he was asked if he regretted turning down the silverware of Man Utd, for the trophyless years at Newcastle. " Not for one second " was his heart warming answer. His 'goal fest' days on Tyneside, without personal medals or trophys, were THE happiest days of his life. He want on to explain why he " would take the love of the fans and the pride in wearing the shirt over medals any day of the week ". Good man Alan.
Cockney Rich
Wonder how many more articles are gonna have to be written to justify our failure on the pitch.....No one complained at our set up or brand of football in our last trophy (not including top 4 finishes, Arsene) the FA Cup.
shewore
On the contrary that 2005 FA Cup win is often overlooked. The defeat in the CL in 2006 is remembered with much greater pride - quite rightly too.
Amos.
Hmm, pride, i'd say people look back upon it with more regret than anything else.
shewore
Well written Amos, I always wonder how players can throw in the opportunity to become an 'immortal' with one club for the sake of a cheap fling with another. Of course, they have to look out for themselves but I really admire those players who commit to a club because it made them, and because they love playing there and are also loved by the fans.
whitelinefever
I don't think our "failure" needs "justifying". We're not a failure, we're a great club. Whilst it's great to win things, there is only a very very small minority of teams who actually win anything. Football, as in life, isn't always about the desination, its about the journey, and regarding Amos's comment on the 05 FA Cup and the 06 CL, I remember clearly every game and goal from that CL campaign and moments like Henry's goal at the Bernabeu, the final whistle at Highbury to Real Madrid, Pires tackle on Paddy, Cesc rise to the occasion, the first ever European Cup semi final goal at Highbury, the Squirell, Jens Penalty save, Jens' sending off, the euphoria of big Sol's goal, the deflation of the ultimate defeat ..... it all still makes the hairs stand up on the back of my neck, but when we won the FA Cup in 2005 I remember van Persie scoring a couple of goals and then getting floored in the semi, and then us getting battered and winning on penalties in the final. All I want is to see is our players giving 100% every week and then I'll be happy. And for the majority of last season they were briliant at doing that, just a shame that the "colapse" of effort came right at the end.
Rocky7
I look back on it with great pride SW, it was an unforgetable run, and I loved almost every minute of it. I'm sure if Rob can get a full season or two under his belt without any lengthy lay-off he will go down in Arsenal history. He's already scored some of the best goals we've ever seen scored by Arsenal players.
Rocky7
Yes, the squirrel, now he was a legend. I even remember Senderous playing a great CL campaign. Nuff said.
whitelinefever
Regret certainly but pride also. It was a good performance overall - far more memorable than 2005 FAC - and far more to take pride in.
Amos.
Nuff Said about what? The CL run is most definitely an enormous sense of pride, without a doubt, i maintain that the final is a real source of regret though. Compare the whole run to the CWC of '94 - we definitely didn't play brilliant football then, first european trophy since the Fairs cup, that'll have better memories for people that were there for both - i'm 99% certain of that without conducting a straw poll. And i never said as a club we're a failure, we've failed to win trophies for 5 years, that's what i was referring to.
shewore
The CWC in '94 in many ways was a similar performance to the '06 CL final - except that we didn't concede two late goals. The point though was whether it's possible to take more pride in the CL final defeat than the FAC win the season before. Is RvP right to say that the lack of trophies doesn't take anything away from the greatness of the player? Do great players put more of a shine on trophies than trophies put a shine on players?
Amos.
Without digging out old videos i'm pretty sure there's a fair amount of difference between the way we played with 10 men in Paris vs 11 men sans Wrighty in '94. Not sure to your question Amos, seems like a rhetorical one to me, each to their own i suppose. Personally I put players like Shearer, Le Tissier etc down as bottlers who never truly wanted to step out of their comfort zone and battle for major honours.
shewore
Whatever conclusions you come to about the relative performances in the CWC in '94 or the CL in '06 you can take more pride in either performance than the '05 FAC. Looking at players as bottlers because they wish to pursue a career in a 'home' club is a little harsh. The one thing I do believe is that Cesc's desire to move is based more on an emotional allegiance than trophies. But whatever view you take of Le Tissier and Shearer it doesn't detract from their perceived greatness in which case they may feel they got more out of their careers than others who have picked up more medals have done.
Amos.
Nasri made similar comments at the end of the season. Although it's refreshing that they are commiting themselves to the club, the mentality worries me! The 'winning at all costs' attitude is synonimous with success. It doesn't mean playing poor football, it's just a state of mind. It's something we need if this team is going to win some silverware.
navydave
Yep, in their home towns, which is all they wanted as they clearly weren't going to win anything with them (could make a case for maybe a cup - fair enough) and fair play to them.
shewore
SW, I was just pointing out the fact that for me, at least, and as just one small example from the entirety of that 06 CL campaign, I will always remember that Senderous played exceptionally well throughout but I don't remember with any additional respect any one Arsenal player for winning the 05 FA cup.
whitelinefever
I don't think there is anything in RvP's style of play that suggests for one moment that he lacks a winning mentality.
Amos.
Amos ---- right on cue & bang on the defensive. He said "the" mentality worries him. I'd rather go & see us win the league grinding out 1-0s all season than massive eff ups like 2-0 at Wigan, any day the week. The best thing to remember is the celebrations, hiding in a shroud of "playing the right way" is a worrying trend that i've been noticing a lot of Arsenal fans all too happily portraying as an excuse for 5 years no silverware.
shewore
Not for the first time (or the last time) you're splitting hairs SW. It's clear that "the" mentality navydave referred to was that displayed in the comments by Nasri and RvP - there's nothing defensive in pointing out that their actions speak louder than their words. I don't know that anyone is offering "playing the right way" as an excuse for not winning silverware just simply as a celebration that when we have "played the right way" we have invariably been able to maintain the ability to at least compete for the major trophies consistently - if not with total success as yet.
Amos.
You should take every post on its own individual merits Amos. Assuming for "total" you should read "any" as well.
shewore
I'm comfortable with "total". It's not like we haven't had "any" success playing the way we have (unless of course you're only counting trophies in which case the '05 FAC was a greater triumph than the '06 CL final). It's brought us a greater level of consistency in challenging for major trophies than at any other period in the clubs history.
Amos.
You sure about that? More than the '30s? Last time we came second in the league was '05, we haven't gone the distance challenging for that since, we've been smashed out of the CL the last few years by teams we're not near in terms of football. You can remain happy with the progress Amos, but realistically, i feel your bar is set rather low.
shewore
"Thierry won his medals in Spain as a squad player" -- what an utterly LUDICROUS comment, yet another example of a gooner sniffing dismissively at any player who leaves the club. Too many gooners do this and it's incredibly annoying. You're clearly uninformed. In no way, shape or form was Henry a "squad" player at Barca in 07-08 or 08-09. He was a quad player this past season ONLY. In 07-08, Henry was Barca's top scorer. He made 47 appearances (most of them as a starter), scored 19 goals and made 11 assists. In 08-09, Henry made 42 appearances (nearly ALL of them as a starter), scored 26 goals and made 12 assists. I'd love to see one of our squad players do that. Really dum comment. Anyone who watched Barca in their most successful season ever (08-09) saw that Henry was a regular starter in the team's 3-pronged attack.
jaelle
An in 08-09, Henry and Messi both made 12 starting appearances in the CL. Henry scored 6 goals and made 4 assists, while Messi scored 9 goals and made 5 assists. Hardly a dramatic difference. If you don't think Henry wasn't a critical part of Barca's most successful season, if you really think Barca fans put it all on Messi's shoulders, then you clearly weren't watching Barca in that season, and you don't know what most Barca fans thought about him in 08-09, and in 07-08 - a poor season for Barca in which Henry was one of the few players who kept them in the title chase.
jaelle
"The one thing I do believe is that Cesc's desire to move is based more on an emotional allegiance than trophies" -- Right, and I'm absolutely certain that Cesc would want to leave if Arsenal were at least starting to win trophies. Sure, and I have a bridge I'd like to sell you.
jaelle
"It's brought us a greater level of consistency in challenging for major trophies than at any other period in the clubs history." -- yes, and a thoroughly predictable consistency in collapsing against the better teams, a consistency in conceding huge numbers of easy goals, a consistency in not showing the grit and toughness and ability to do anything more than entertain. And a consistency in collapsing in March/April. Except for 2 seasons ago when we were out of the title race before Christmas. RVP's comments are all very nice and I agree with them in part but I've had enuf of gooners being thoroughly satisfied and complacent with the attractive football (except for 2 seasons ago when we played horrible football most of the season), finishing 3rd or 4th and reaching the qfs and semis of the CL as if that's all we aspire to.
jaelle
Relative to his role as an Arsenal player TH14 was far more of a squad player at Barcelona which was the point I was trying to make. In his first season in La Liga he made 27 starts but was taken off 8 times - in his 2nd season he made 24 starts in La Liga and only finished 13 of them. I pointed out that he played a fuller part in the CL triumph but I don't think it's overcooking it to say that he was seen as a secondary player compared to Messi or even one or two others. In fact he started 9 games in the '09 CL season not 12 - (he made 3 sub appearances) but of those 9 starts he only finished 2 games. Messi started 10 and finished 9 of them.
Amos.
Yes more consistency than the '30s though it was interrupted by the 2nd world war but we've never had as extended a period of consistency as we have had over the past 14 seasons. There is nothing predictably consistent about us collapsing against the better teams at all. We had a better PL record the season before last than ManU did. It's a complete nonsense to say that by taking pride in the team and its achievements even when we haven't won a trophy is somehow the same as being satisfied in not winning trophies - or that it indicates some sort of complacency. We all want to win trophies and its disappointing when we don't but unless you're supporting a team in a gimme league then statistically you are going to have to learn to cope with more seasons without trophies than ones with if you are to support any team for any length of time.
Amos.
Better PL record? What are you on about? That the season when they won it and destroyed us in the CL?
shewore
I dont think any gooner can be very happy about the last 5 years. But then neither is the pall of gloom which seems to have descended on some completely understandable. The margin between title winning teams and other top 3 teams is slim and while we haven't bridged that all important gap yet there is no evidence that we are going backwards either. Finances were an issue, as was the speed of the dismantling of the 2005 squad. We all know where we stand, why be depressed about it though?
Deltaforce
That's the one. ManU won only one game against the other top 3 sides we only lost one PL game (to Chelsea) against the other top 3 and took 4 points of ManU. In fact I think our record against top half of the table sides season before last was pretty decent we were let down by results against the lower sides but however you approach it the claim that we "predictably collapse against better teams" doesn't really stand up when taken in the round.
Amos.
With regard to the Barca 06 final I also feel a mixture of pride and regret too. Pride that we had such an epic run to the final knocking off two giants of Europe (and comprehensively beating Juve I might add) and overcoming a very resilient and hardworking Villareal team in the semi's who were certainly no pushovers, made all the more epic by Jens penalty save. Regret about Jens being sent off in the C/L final and what might have been if he stayed on. Even though if he stayed on, Guily's goal would have probably stood, I think we would have got back into the match and even gone on to win. It was the man advantage that got us in the end more than anything, not neccessarily because Barca played better or wanted it more. But when the smoke cleared and I could see past my disapointment, I think the pride did eventually outweigh the regret because we did unbelievably well to get to the final in the first place.
True-Gooner-Blood
Nor does your claim that "We had a better PL record the season before last than ManU did" stand up at all.
shewore
Ah I see - you're missing the context shewore. You have to join the sentence "We had a better PL record the season before last than ManU did" up with the one that preceded it (you'll find it's usually good practice to do so anyway). A better record against the better teams in that seasons PL but not a better record overall of course.
Amos.
Not really Amos, still nothing at all to shout about whatsoever.
shewore
No but I wasn't necessarily trying to find things to shout about simply pointing out that "playing the way we have" has had its rewards and that "predictable consistency in collapsing against the better teams" isn't all that predictable.
Amos.
I think it's fair to say that Jaelle's assessment there is accurate at the business end of the season. Please prove me wrong though, i need something to be positive about here.
shewore
Far be it from me to try to prove anyone wrong. I'm simply offering my opinion. Anyway I think you're far happier in your normal cynical state of mind. Jaelle's assessment is a popular one among certain sections of our support.
Amos.
lets face it, we (gooners) have drastically lowered our expectations over the past 4 years. And why not? Mr. Wenger comes up with statements like "there are only 2 trophies in england,, winning the PL and qualifying for CL" - some crap like that. Not verbatim of course , but meaning stuff like that. Every summer - inspite of chances to rectify previous mistakes, I havent really seen Wenger do anything of that sort.
Sajit
Sajit, we have finished 4th, 3rd, 4th and 3rd in the premier league in the last 4 years with one CL final, one semi and two quarterfinals. A lot of gooners on blog message boards, phone ins and in the stadium are not happy. It does not look like expectations have been lowered at all. On the other hand it seems that expectations of supporters over the last 3 decades have never been higher.
Deltaforce
These are good comments by RvP, and tracing the comparison to Bergkamp is telling. I think he's quite happy to stay until he puts in a couple of injury free seasons, and his focus is more on that, as it should be. If that happens, and he doesnt win a trophy at 28-29 and realises that he has only 2-3 good years left to win something, perhaps, his view will change. But till then, this is a good positive outlook which is refreshing to read.
prits
If fans are feeling disappointed about another trophyless season and finishing 3rd in the PL, how exactly does it mean that expectations have fallen?
prits
I'm not sure I agree that Cesc's desire to leave is more down to emotional allegiance to Barcelona rather than a lack of trophies. He's a winner but he's not winning anything, that's the simple reason. I'm sure RvP will be the same if things are the same this time next year, i.e. looking back at another nearly season.
Gooner_Vin
If Cesc's motivation was only a lack of trophies then he would be just as happy to join Real or Inter or other such currently dominant side. Trophies didn't prevent Cristiano Ronaldo from wanting to go as close to home as he could manage. If we'd have won a major trophy this season Cesc is just as likely to have said 'job done' as justification for returning home.
Amos.
True, but that doesnt mean he is not frustrated with the lack of trophies ( as evident from his many interviews)
Sajit
jaelle is 100% right, this article is almost propaganda, no offence but its also typical of the author. It might aswell read "Cesc dont leave because everybody who has ever left the mighty Arsenal to achieve has failed". Im glad to see not all of you buy it. With Fabregas its clear its more about just trophys (although he must be a little sick of not winning anything). I felt exactly the same with Berbatov and Keane though and sympathise totally with your predicament, i always thought they could and should have stayed and been legends. They both found out that the grass aint always greener. However both wanted to move to bigger clubs and i totally accept that, however others have left like Carrick & Teddy and were successful, Cesc who hasnt even peaked yet would surely be just as loved at Barcelona and be even more successful at Barcelona. The "silverware doesnt always sparkle" point seems like denial to me like Utd fans who still tell themselves that Ronaldo flopped at Madrid despite the second highest points total in europe and many, many goals and assists.
HuddersfieldYiddo
shewore, if you can't look back on that CL campaign and final with pride than you're a sad and bitter man
Ozi Gooner
Edit ~ Should clearly have read further before comment, sorry shewore
Ozi Gooner
Ozi, Shewore feels pride at the 06 CL campaign but looks back upon the final "with more regret than anything else". No need to apologise I think.
Naijagunner
You've misunderstood the point completely HY or maybe your mind is just closed to it. That's not altogether unfamiliar territory for you. It isn't about whether Cesc should go or not at all. I happen to think he should and if we can get anything like proper value for him then it should be sooner rather than later. The whole piece expands on RvP's point about how he wins his medals being more important to him than how many he wins. As the article points out it's an observation also being made by a player who has won medals with Arsenal.
Amos.
Yeah its a refreshing attitude that hes got and i wish Berbatov and Keane thought the same.On the article though you didnt just expand on RvP's comment, you listed every decent player thats ever left you and shone a negative light on each juxtaposed with a little Cesc paragraph at the end.
HuddersfieldYiddo
Every decent player thats ever left us? Vieira? Anelka? Diarra? Ashley Cole? Andy Cole? or even further with Stapleton? You do talk some tosh HY - or maybe you are just feeding your own propaganda.
Amos.
Ozi - no dramas as you'd say down there. Naja - quite simple i'll break it down for you. Final = regret. Campaign = overwhelming pride. Amos - just because i don't buy all of this "right way" nonsense doesn't mean i have a cynical state of mind, bit of an arrogant thing of you to say really, judging my state of mind like that.
shewore
If you can judge me as defensive or arrogant there isn't any reason why I shouldn't judge you as cynical. You do have a tendency to sneer at anything even vaguely positive such as RvP's view that there is a "right way" (to use the expression you yourself introduced) as though it were some heinous failing. It's a little like Chicken Licken getting upset if someone were to suggest that the sky isn't really falling.
Amos.
Fair enough, you have an overly defensive mindset, why bother bring up that "arrogant" accusation, anyone with your brainpower can clearly see that's a reaction to your labelling of me as cynical. Which I am to an extent, I am positive about a hell of a lot of things Arsenal as well, i just don't see why you have to be in one camp as you clearly are.
shewore
The only camp I'm in is mine. Why should anyone necessarily have to be in one camp or another in order to express any view? The only defense I put forward is when I think a view I have or might share is worth or warrants defending. You agree with me that you are cynical (to an extent in your view but overly in mine) but reacted to me pointing that out by introducing an accusation of arrogance which you don't feel I should then react to? Not too much logic there.
Amos.
You paint the picture that you're 100% happy with the roses that are in Arsenal's garden, you bob & weave at certain accusations with stats, such as us having a one off better record against the top 4 one season when we got slaughtered by them in the CL & finished 4th ourselves, you justify absolutely every decision made at Arsenal. My cycnicism towards your posts is mainly reactionary towards your propaganda. I don't sneer at positive things at Arsenal at all, just when people polish up pointless tid bits & position them as something they're just as proud of as they would be a trophy.
shewore
Complete tosh! Propaganda for what? To what purpose? That's just hysterical rubbish. Arsenal don't need me to defend them or anyone else. Why is it so unlikely that a current view of the club is likely more positive than negative? Other than a shortage of trophies over a relatively short period the club is on very positive ground. It's the overly negative view that is the more illogical and hardest to justify. As you yourself demonstrate by failing to see that RvP has a point and that anything that supports his view is sen as a pointless tidbit and players that don't count their glory by the number of medals they've won but by the quality of their triumphs as 'bottlers'. It's you that isn't giving enough room to other views as you admit you react automatically and cynically by sneering at a view you can't accept rather than consider whether it has any merit.
Amos.
I maintain that Shearer's a bottler. Van Persie's comments here aren't so necessarily positive as you may think, he's talking about trophies not being the be all & end all, yet counts the Charity Shield as one, playing a certain "style" of football, yet there was definitely no style in that final. If he has a cracking, injury free season in N5 this year & we win nothing again & Barce or Real (who'll have won La Liga) come knocking, that'll be the true acid test.
shewore
If Barcelona pursue RvP like they did with Henry and are currently doing with Fabregas, then I think he might change his tune. To have a big club like Barcelona after you must turn your head particularly as they play exhilarating football and are regarded with high esteem in world club football. The trophy thing is only part of the picture because the association with a leading club and the kudos that goes with it must be extremely attractive and winning silverware is an additional bonus. Obviously the money is a big influence. I wonder though, as Arsenal fans, if we were playing for Barcelona (in out dreams) whether we would respond to the calling of our beloved Arsenal and seek a transfer in much the same way as Cesc is (albeit the other way) at the moment?
Sir Henry
The most I claimed about RvP's comments were that they were 'vaguely positive' but irrespective of whether he is at Arsenal or moves somewhere else in the future his point, that how you win your medals is important, remains a valid one. A view also shared by van Bronkhorst in respect of his Arsenal medals. Those that find it impossible to consider a view without first deciding whether its positive or negative are always likely to struggle when they come across a point that is in fact neutral towards the club itself and applies equally validly to players of other clubs.
Amos.
Come on guys, your ideas are just miles a part like Arsenal & Barcelonas valuation of Fabregas. Somewhere in the middle is probably right
paul_ownz
well done RVP nice to hear comments like this from a pro and you boys need to keep telling barca to feck off we want the best players in the epl aslong as he has a calf strain on derby days
jljyid
I wonder how he'll feel about Uncle Arsene and his eccentric 'project' when he's forty and in his rocking chair without the medals a player of his talent deserves to own. He may remember with pride all that flowing, 'attacking' football. He might also feel absolutely bitter and disgusted that he was restrained from leaving for a real contender, and then flogged to the highest bidder when the old man decided he was past his best.
Tony Rocky Horror
Wenger's strategy of developing players and then selling them on at premium rates later on in their careers, worked because he always had the insurance policy of trophies won to fall back on. When the going got tough and the players' heads were turned by the prospect of playing for a mega-club, he could point to a bulging cabinet of silverware and say "Why would you want to leave all this, there's so much more to come"!! Now that the cups have dried up he's left with the 'we play great football' line. Whilst this may be essentially true, it isn't much to bargain with in the context of the bigger picture because players ultimately want glory, victory and, above much else, trophies. Before you know it the club finds itself caught in a spiral of decline because the better players up and leave BEFORE they reach their peak (a'la Fabregas) and others (players) who could take you to the next level don't want to come and win nothing. This is why the Fabregas 'crisis' is a watershed moment for Wenger and his policy, and indeed why those who suggest that Arsenal's failure to win trophies is of no great significance, are doing perfectly marvellous impersonations of sand-headed Ostriches. I'm afraid.
Tony Rocky Horror
 

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League Results (view all)

Latest Results

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
1. Arsenal 0 0 0 0 +0 0
2. Aston Villa 0 0 0 0 +0 0
3. Burnley 0 0 0 0 +0 0
4. Chelsea 0 0 0 0 +0 0
5. Crystal Palace 0 0 0 0 +0 0
6. Everton 0 0 0 0 +0 0
7. Hull City 0 0 0 0 +0 0

Breaking League News

Distin pleased with Thailand trip
» Everton : 29/07/2014 11:00:00
Güten Morgan, Good Jay
» Spurs : 29/07/2014 09:51:00
The sacrificial case of Vlad Chiriches!
» Spurs : 29/07/2014 09:47:00
Could Eto`o Move from West to East?
» Chelsea : 29/07/2014 09:20:00
Proving Your Point
» Man City : 29/07/2014 09:16:00

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Which area does Arsene need to strengthen next?
Suggested By:  
Keeper 7%
Full back 6%
Defensive Midfield 63%
Wingers 4%
Striker 20%