I was sent this article (taken from the football365 mailbox section) by an Arsenal fan in peace asking the question the quoted article poses: 'Is it possible that hatred for Man City and Chelsea could ever supersede that of a local rival?'
It struck a chord with him (for reasons apparent in how Chelsea have affected Arsenal in recent years). Does it struck a chord with us? Well obviously it will do - 'Bitter' as we are at the apparent simplicity of being able to compete consistently with the aid of money money money. Sure Chelsea have toned down their spending in comparison to City who are still in a transition and will obviously seek consolidation in the next year or two.
The rest of us (that copyrighted bitterness aside) know that you can hardly compete with a club regardless of the club's unquestionable status prior to winning the lottery if said club are spending the money. They will always sign the better players. It's an easier choice for any prospective signings.
You spend = you show ambition. Relentless and unquestionable and practically unanswerable in terms of said ambition because you can attract any one simply because you are moving in the right direction. Up. it breeds hype and confidence and results.
Let's not be naive about it. A project is always going to best a club that doesn't have the clout on the negotiating table. We're not in the CL, we can't compete wage wise, therefore...see ya. That's very much a broad overview, but if you take a look at some of the signings made by City if we had attempted to step in and compete with them we'd have been brushed aside. You hope the nature of their progression retains an air of instability due to the ego and manner of the foundations being built.
They didn't falter last season. Unspectacular and at times with fear to attack, but they got the points. Had we been perhaps more focused, little club Spurs would have taken a further step in breaking the mould and attracting players because of qualification to that compeition.
Personally think Wenger has been cany in the past with their (Arsenal) ability to compete with wages and his shrewd transfer policy, but arguable he has suffered and they are continuing to do so (they appear to be feeding City players at the moment). Although remaining very much competitive, they are not as comfortable as they wish to be.
Here's the article in question:
Jumping on the back of Philip Brady's mail this morning, is it possible that hatred for Man City and Chelsea could ever supersede that of a local rival?
As a youngish Gooner, I waited for 10 years as Arsenal strove to become as good as Manchester United. This was a club that was signing the right players, brining in new dietary and training doctrine, breaking even, not doing a Leeds, recognizing its origins and traditions and gaining momentum through footballing success. We were playing catch up with a club that had had its ups and downs but learnt from its history and overcame its challenges. Man Utd employed and stood by a brilliant manager and had become a formidable machine through its own series successes both on and off the field. A fair fight ensued, one which culminated in Arsenal deservedly becoming United's major challengers towards the end of the 90s and early Naughties and winning in a couple of doubles along the way. So, the future was exciting- 10 years of excellent work by Wenger and Dein et al. had started to pay off and it was time to move to a new stadium and cement our place as a serious contender for years to come.
Then BAM. Chelsea.
Out of nowhere, an overspending, underachieving, upper-mid table outfit gets the deal of a lifetime and subsequently blow Arsenal out of the water.
A comfortable period of transition to the new stadium that we had earned had now become unsustainable as Chelsea bought their way to success in the space of 2 seasons. 10 years earlier and there would have been no Champions League place to soften the blow either.
Now to our North London neighbours.
Through a catalogue of errors with management, player investment and board decisions, Liverpool rightly drop out of the top four. The players, team selections and tactics were all wrong and Liverpool got what they deserved.
No Champions League football. Tottenham, waiting in the wings and the natural heirs to fourth place move up and take their rightful place. Whilst not setting the world on fire, this was where they had deserved to be. For two seasons they had outperformed Liverpool and had earned the right to represent the Premiership in the Champions League. There or there abouts for the past 5 seasons, this was finally a great moment for London and a great moment for Tottenham.
Enter Manchester City.
A pre-packaged sugar daddy's dream club with a shiny, modern new stadium basically handed to them, City became the wealthiest club in the world after a handshake and (no doubt) a few backhanders. Greedily lusting after the Sheikhs millions and having already having made a mockery of the fit and proper persons test with the Shinawatra debacle, they were allowed to prostitute themselves out again and, this time, they made sure it was done properly. Tottenham's second season of outperforming the outgoing member of the big four was lost. Manchester City waltz in and take the glory of Champions League football thus augmenting their ability to sign top quality players (the wages weren't enough at one point) and essentially stealing Tottenham's European revenue stream to boot.
As a Gooner with as much hatred for Chelsea as for anybody else answer me this Tottenham fans- Can you ever hate City as much as you hate Arsenal?
I guess the hate/hate relationship with Arsenal will always remain strong(er) by virtue of history. But there's a hatred that is birthed out of annoyance of the likes of City simply because they are attracting players thanks to their wealth rather than anything else (although I get it, because of their wealth they 'compete' and because of that they are a better option. Cruel cruel world).
Their fans (City) have had it bad in recent years with their yo-yo existence and mis-management so its fantasy football for them to be in this current position of financial power. A club in the shadows can now compete with their dominating neighbour. Why shouldn't they enjoy it? I guess they have a right. Although that underlining arrogance based on luck is what pulls most of us back from patting them on the back.
Clubs like Spurs, we've spent millions but we've done so within our own means. Actually wasted a few million in the process of attempting to climb into the top tier. If we were suddenly 'blessed' with untold riches and able to offer any wage to top top players then power would probably shift back to us if we competed for CL football. Two billionaire clubs become three and so on. Then the power is with the players who can pick and choose based on CL football and which club wishes to pay that extra 100k to claim the signature.
Fair Play Rules might control the insanity (loopholes permitting). Fact is, football is driven by money and immediate feasting on the hunger players have for top tier football. We'll only survive if we consolidate by breaking back into the top four again (as underdogs) and remain there. We're on a knife edge. We can only improve and get stronger by plucking players that are out of scope with the richer teams. But (as witnessed) will always be susceptible to losing them if we can't quite get back into the 'big league'.
I guess I do hate the arrogance that oozes from the likes of City and Chelsea but then again, that same arrogance has always been strong with the Arsenal and Man Utd. Except both are now having to fight pound for pound season in and season out.
Until the state of flux the top tier is currently in is levelled out, we'll have to wait and see. Potential for another 'monopoly' to be birthed. Or perhaps a five/six way team battle royale. Hopefully the latter.
Ironically, if 'we' become part of 'it', we become part of the thing we love to hate. But the silver lining is that we do so without cutting corners. As much as I hate Arsenal for being Arsenal they've challenged without the necessity to lift a passing skirt up and blow their load on anything that moves.
Chelsea got themselves in a competitive position. They then consolidated thanks to the untold riches and attracted a manager who arrived because of said untold riches. City, same thing, but more spending and quite possibly still requiring a manager upgrade. We'll see.
That's modern football. Ah diddums and all that. But I still hate Arsenal more. It would be completely ungentlemanly for me not too and I would be quite disappointed if they hated on someone else more.