Sunday, August 14, 2011

Arsenal Are Becoming a "Feeder" Club

Today, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is expressing his concern (here) that the Gunners have become a "feeder" club for richer sides, as he is about to lose Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, two players who are entering their footballing prime, to Barcelona and Manchester City, respectively.

Wenger should appreciate that this is what happens when you don't win trophies for five years running. When they were winning, everyone wanted to play for the Gunners. But, as a general rule of all team sports, talent flees less successful clubs for more successful clubs. Another rule is that talent goes to the highest bidder; and Arsenal have not been willing to compete with other teams on salary structure. We can applaud Wenger's resistance to paying the kind of inflated salaries that have put other clubs deep into debt, but the best players who can earn millions more at Man City or Chelsea are not likely to come to Arsenal just because they admire Wenger's financial responsibility.

If I were Arsene Wenger, I'd be less concerned about the symptom of losing players to richer clubs and more concerned about the root cause of that symptom: failure to win trophies.

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