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Gunners fans better get used to Arsenal decline

Date Added: October 05, 2011 08:35:33 PM
Author: Drew Swainston
Category: Teams: UEFA: England: Arsenal


Losing to your derby rivals is bad enough, but for a side used to competing at the very top, to sit in lowly 15th place must be a bitter pill to swallow for Arsenal fans.


Arsene Wenger was quick to criticise the officials for not disallowing Tottenham’s opening goal on Sunday for handball, but the reality is their defence was once again all over the place.


If Wenger can’t correct the flaws in his defence then they have no chance of challenging at the top end of the Premier League.


Their decline has corresponded with progress among their rivals – most notably Spurs and Liverpool. Who look the favourites in the Premier League betting to battle for that elusive final fourth spot in the Champions League.


One of the biggest frustrations from Arsenal fans is Wenger’s apparent reluctance to spend, despite bringing in million in transfer fees.


But, as one of the few clubs who operate a sane financial strategy at the top of the division, they are a good barometer as to where things are going.


With the imminent financial fair play regulations and the global financial crisis playing their part, money is tight at the Emirates. It seems strange given the huge stadium and regular Champions League money, but the cost of building the ground was a choice made by the directors in the knowledge that spending in other areas of the club would be hit.


And so the steady decline in football scores from invincibles in 2004 to four defeats in their seven games in 2011 began. Arsenal will not bankrupt their future by chasing the dream, but in doing so they are going against the tide of a division that seems determined to eat itself.


The losses made by the majority of the teams are staggering. Man City and Chelsea are bankrolled by owners willing to make losses while Manchester United earn enough to keep trading despite hefty debts that would prove insurmountable for small countries let alone football clubs.


Therefore all Arsenal fans can do is sit, perched on that uncomfortable moral high ground, hoping the Premier League ‘bubble’ will burst. You feel something has to give – though it has felt like that for a while – and if it does, then Arsenal’s frugal and self-sustaining policy will pay-off.


Not that it offers much consolation to the Arsenal fans at White Hart lane on Sunday.


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