Arsene Wenger’s comments raised a few eyebrows last week, as the Frenchman launched a stout defence of his record at Arsenal in the last seven years, a time period that has seen the Gunners fail to win any silverware.

Wenger said: “For me, there are five ‘trophies’ – the first is to win the Premier League, the second is to win the Champions League, the third is to qualify for the Champions League, the fourth is to win the FA Cup and the fifth is to win the League Cup.

“I say that because if you want to attract the best players, they do not ask ‘did you win the League Cup?’, they ask you ‘do you play in the Champions League?’.”

Interesting Wenger opted for that question, considering one of the biggest criticisms aimed at him in recent seasons has been his failure to lure big names to Arsenal, often reluctant to spend big money, alongside his inability to keep hold of the ones he has.

However, Arsenal have always managed to qualify for the Champions League, despite making it difficult for themselves on occasions. Wenger has been a master of ensuring his team finishes in the top four, and does deserve tremendous credit for this.

But whilst this is an achievement, it cannot mask the fact a club of Arsenal’s size and tradition have failed to win a trophy for seven years. Wenger is bound to take this angle in an attempt to cover his back. It is not neccesarily the right attitude to take, and is an opinion that reflects just how much football has changed in recent years.

A poll taken on the Telegraph’s website, showed that 64.2% agree with Wenger’s comments, and would rather qualify for the Champions League than win the FA Cup or League cup. Results I found very surprising.

I suppose the attitude will differ between fans from all clubs. Whilst Chelsea and Manchester United are clubs that qualify for the Champions League season upon season alongside winning trophies, they are fortunate enough to not have to wonder what prizes they would prefer.

Whereas Manchester City have yet to perform well in the Champions League, would more likely long to continue building up their trophy cabinet, which had been bare for so long before consecutive FA Cup and Premier League triumphs.

It is also a question you feel Liverpool fans would find particularly difficult to answer, and their predicament almost sums up the new found attitudes to this question.

Having had such tremendous success in the European Cup, it is a huge part of the clubs tradition and history to be competing in Europe year in year out. Rafael Benitez ensured European qualification in five of his six seasons at Anfield, alongside winning the competition in 2005. An appearance in another final, alongside two semi’s and another quarter final followed, giving Liverpool fans plenty of famous European nights to draw special memories from.

The absence from the competition is painfully felt on Merseyside, and the clubs supporters long for a return to the competition they have been absent from since 2009. Kenny Dalglish was charged with ensuring the clubs return to the competition last season, and despite guiding the club to League Cup success (the club’s first trophy since 2006) he was still sacked at the end of the season for failure to challenge for the coveted top four positions.

The absence from the competition has been felt at Anfield more than any other club, with less money available for transfers, and the world class players the likes of Javier Mascherano and Fernando Torres both leaving in search of Champions League football, with both subsequently picking up winners medals in the process. Perhaps Liverpool fans make up a large number of the 62.4%?

Traditionally, football is about winning silverware. Cup final days, trophies and winners medals hold more memories and more meaning than fourth placed finishes, unless you are competing in the latter stages or winning the Champions League.

The money aspect has changed things dramatically, and in many ways Wenger is right with his comments. But it still does not take away from the fact Arsenal, one of the biggest and most famous clubs in Europe has failed to win a trophy for seven years.

You can argue all day about which is more important, and which you would want more for your club. But the truth for Arsenal fans remains the same. Whilst Wenger may refer to fourth placed finishes as ‘trophies’, if the sort of trophies you can actually see remain elusive to Arsenal for much longer, you feel Wenger’s words will no longer wash.

Would you rather your team finished in the top four, or won the FA/League Cup? Follow me on Twitter @LukeGreenwood89 and let me know your thoughts. 

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  • Dave A
    1 year ago

    Finacially maybe bit perhaps if we won a trophy then we might actually keep the same team and just strengthen a little bit for the next season,or is that too much to ask.
    Yep every year we have to wait for the new team to gel,last year the year before etc etc,it is ridiculous and I am at the end of my tether,its Killing me.Last years panick buys were given time and they did well towards the second half of the season,so what do our elustrious leaders do then.THEY SELL THEM again.Now we wil have to wait again untill they get to know each other all over again and then it will be to late to win anything again.Fantastic we are.No we are not people and thats the truth so if you are willing to put up with this for the future do nothing,if your not then throw your RVP merchandise like scarves hats and shirts we all have bought at the pitch this weekend and those who go when he comes to try and score against us at the Emirates do the same thing,throw the crap away at the pitch.What do you say.Let our club know we are not prepared to continue selling our best players every year,its killing us.

    Reply
  • Ian R
    1 year ago

    A change is required, if you gained a CL place by actually winning something like the FA Cup, League Cup or Europa Cup and just have the top 2 in the Premier League. This would revitalise the cup competitions.

    Reply
  • woolz
    1 year ago

    Wenger has lost the plot.

    Reply
  • BlaDeBla
    1 year ago

    First & foremost I have no love for Arsenals “Prostitute” attitude toward SPORT !

    I also hate them for spoiling what would have been a sensational double by a sensational team albeit they done it in the most sensational way .

    That aside each club has to cut its cloth accordingly .

    Theres no point in Norwich talking about Champions League when survival is all they can afford to strive for .

    Similarly Arsenal have been in the top 10 richest clubs on the planet every year for this past 15 years & the fact that they gloat about not winning anything while penny pinching , raping the clubs heritage & ripping off their gormless fans who all must have been raised by prostitutes if their swinish attitudes to the wealth of the men in their boardroom is anything to go by .

    Qualifying for a tournament is not glorious it is merely commendable , competing to win it can lead to glory but competing honorably is a glory all to itself & if you are lucky enough to follow a club like that then winning something is a bonus , I point you in the direction of Leeds when they were in the Premier League , I point you in the direction of Ajax V Man City & I point you in the direction of Liverpool under the one & only “King”, Kenny Dalglish .

    Liverpool under Dalglish cut their cloth accordingly , nothing more & nothing less .

    Pre Kenny they dropped alarmingly from 2′nd to 7′th under the manager who actually assembled the very patchy , unbalanced hit & miss squad .

    The same squad that got Benitez sacked dropped into the relegation zone under Hodgsen & were only 4 points from safety when Kenny answered the SOS & stepped in as caretaker manager .

    No sooner than he arrived but they sold Torres & Babel & instantly he went about balancing & rebuilding that shoddy squad .

    He balanced it by bringing in known quantities who had proven their ability in the League & not only did they never return to the relegation zone , in their first season together they produced the 3′rd tightest defense in the league , they returned to European Competition at the 1′st available opportunity , they got to the finals of every competition open to them & ended a 6 year trophy drought all while playing excellent two touch football within excellent tactics burdening no single player with tha mantel of Saviour .

    The amount of bullsh*t printed about the absolutely fantastic job Dalglish done while only spending £30 million in 16 months after getting rid of 18 players , 15 of whom weren’t fit to sweep the streets around Anfield let alone play there for over £80 million & replaced them with quality players that balanced the squad at a cost of £110 million .

    Rodgers already has a net spend of £31 million .

    Dalglish being sacked for the excellent job he done in those 16 months is a crime against Football , a crime against sport & is a statement of how far the sporting integrity of the game has fallen in England .

    Clubs like Arsenal & Newcastle are mere penny pinching symptoms of the cancer that has destroyed the sport in this country .

    I hope Ajax’s result against City is the beginning of the financial side of the game balancing out throughout Europe & maybe once again we can enjoy genuine sporting contests & not mere political pantomimes bought & paid for by the richest boardrooms .

    YANKS OUT !

    Reply

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