It’s no secret that Arsenal’s move to the Emirates stadium was a painful one. During a tough period stretching over a number of seasons Arsenal were a club under great financial strain, struggling to build a competitive squad on limited funds and facing a constant battle to keep their own star players due to them not consistently challenging for the games major honors.
Recent years have seen the Arsenal splash the cash on the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Granit Xhaka. This is now possible at Arsenal due to the stabilization of the clubs finances. Arsene Wenger managed to steer Arsenal through a turbulent and challenging time and now the club are reaping the rewards. One of the countries biggest clubs, a talented squad, state of the art stadium/facilites and the ability to compete financially with MOST clubs.
During that period Champions League qualification was an absolute MUST and the financial reward of that is essentially what got the Gunners through this challenging period relatively quickly. Arsene Wenger deserves a lot of credit for that.
History repeating itself?
Now, ten years later we are seeing the same cycle just a few miles down the road. Spurs find themselves fighting for Champions League Qualification whilst battling with the financial implications of redeveloping White Hart Lane.
Last night saw Spurs crash out of Europe’s premier competition in the group stages and it seemed to me as though Pochettino’s eyes were firmly on their EPL clash with Chelsea this weekend.
My view prior to the start of this years Premier League campaign was that Spurs’ squad did not possess the depth nor quality to maintain a title challenge whilst participating competitively in the Champions League.
That view hasn’t changed and based on Pochettino’s selection last night you would have to question whether he believes in his fringe players as much as some of the supporters do.
He is a smart, innovative and brave young manager but by the same token he is fully aware of his squads limitations and thankfully for the club he recognizes the longevity of this project.
Spurs will have to remain patient and understand that they too will face similar challenges to those overcome by their fiercest rivals. A lack of funds will be compensated by the promotion of youth and their lack of strength in depth will be compensated by prioritizing certain competitions.
A development as costly as a stadium expansion can be a long and painful transition but without this period of suffering the club will never progress to the level of Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool etc.
Pochettino will be kicking himself. I’m sure hes beginning to recognize the squad required further strengthening over the summer, given the step up in European competition.
Perhaps with the stadium coming the funds just simply were not available? Remind you of another club in North London?
Football is a business…
Spurs supporters have often accused Arsenal of turning into a business. The reality of it is that Spurs will have to focus all of their efforts on making the Champions League year in year out because the financial reward and the status of being a Champions League club is the foundation on which the club can grow.
The buzz of travelling with your team to places like the Bernabeu, the San Siro, the Allianz Arena etc and competing with the worlds best teams is what the Champions League is all about. To say you don’t crave that as a fan is to disbelieve in the magic of the game.
The sad thing is, a clubs objectives are set out in line with their business interests as opposed to achieving just their footballing goals. Spurs may have gone out of the group stages with a whimper but their only real goal is to qualify for next years competition.