One of the saddest acknowledgments in boxing – is when a boxer is described as the ‘greatest fighter to have never been a world champion’. In many cases, this failure to reach his true potential can come down to a variety of things, such as not being promoted properly, being held back by criminals, being black in the days of segregation, or being on the end of an unfair points decision. It’s not always the boxers fault, and in most cases it’s not down to any lack of desire or ambition.
In boxing terms, Arsenal FC is now just a journeyman, certainly as far as Europe goes. Happy to pick up the money – and there to get beat. That’s the journeyman mentality; there to get beat by those who have a genuine aim to be champions. Arsenal FC: the Journeyman that constantly gets knocked out, but somehow still makes the millions that champions do.
My issue with Arsenal is not the fact that we are by far the biggest club to have never won the European Cup/Champions League. My issue is that this doesn’t bring out the wounded lion in the management, or indeed many of the fans. All those who booed the Olympiacos defeat were not booing because their hopes of us winning the competition had been dashed. They were booing because they expect us to qualify from the group – so that we can then get knocked out in the second round by the first decent team we play. The journeyman tends to beat the ‘Tomato Can’ but then goes on to get beat by a world class fighter. It seems now that the Arsenal journeyman can’t even beat ‘The Bums’ anymore.
No serious football club has two multi-billionaires as the main shareholders – and then attributes it’s failures on not being able to financially compete. No serious football club leaves tens of millions in the bank, whilst being content with a squad that have been proven failures in Europe. A business will do that, but unless you’re a shareholder, then it’s nothing to celebrate or even take an interest in.
Enough gets said and argued about Arsene Wenger and I won’t add to that, because even with his departure (which probably won’t happen) there is a bigger problem at this club. You only have to look at Stan Kronke’s wig, to know that he likes to make money rather than spend it.
Silent Stan is no wounded lion. Fuck no, far from it; I doubt that ‘Dough Boy’ is even aware that Arsenal have never won the European Cup/Champions League. In fact doubt he’s even aware that we got beat by Olympiacos on Tuesday. This profit junkie has got off way too lightly, whilst the usual ‘F*** Off Wenger’ facebook posts do the rounds after every bad result. If a manager is making bad decisions, on a regular basis, then it’s up to the owner to take action. Nobody is going to voluntary leave a job that pays £8.5 million a year.
The problem is that Stan Kronke does not recognise that there is a problem. Why would he? He’s never been on the end of any meaningful protest aside, from the Black Scarf Movement, who are a small but passionate minority. The fans have to start making it clear to Kronke that Arsenal is about football first and profit second (or how about just screw profit and give the fans a better deal with ticket prices).
For all there is to dislike about Roman Abramovich, the reason Chelsea are successful is because the owners’ ambition matches that of the fans. He goes to all the games, whilst at best – ‘Dough Boy’ will turn up to one match which is usually around the same time of year as the shareholders AMG.
If Wenger does leave, and Stan Kronke stays – which is the most likely scenario in a year or two – then in the coming years, Arsenal will still remain the biggest club to have never won the Champions League.