As Arsenal sit in third place in the Premier League only three points behind leaders Chelsea, it’s strange how things have turned out. While Arsenal are in a good position you still have Arsenal fans who aren’t happy with the current situation – myself included admittedly. There’s nothing wrong with striving for perfection I say.
But it’s hard to take an objective view of the club and I’ve not been happy with the performances in recent weeks and wonder how we will cope with the injuries to Van Persie, Fabregas, Walcott, Denilson, Clichy, Bendtner… The list goes on, and we’re also missing Song to the African Cup of Nations. Fortunately though, Fabregas is back and others are slowly on the way back.
And then there’s the form of Manuel Almunia, which has been inconsistent to say the least.
But compare our situation to Liverpool and Manchester United.
Rafa Benitez has had a nightmare season, and Liverpool are suffering on the pitch and off it.
In the last 20 games, Liverpool have lost 10, won 6 and drawn 4. Pretty bad on reflection of a team of Liverpool’s stature, but spare a thought for the recently sacked Gary Megson from Bolton Wanderers. His record over Bolton’s last 20 games includes 7 defeats, 7 wins and 6 draws.
And Megson got the boot!
Liverpool are in big trouble because they offered Rafa a big new 5 year deal in March of 2009, which will cost a reported Â£22 million if the club want to buy out his contract. So effectively, Benitez can perform how he likes because they can’t afford to sack him, and Liverpool’s financial situation isn’t the greatest. Liverpool Football Club have only themselves to blame of course, offering the Spaniard a bumper contract for ‘almost’ winning the Premier League. Avram Grant almost won the league as well but he wasn’t rewarded for coming in second place.
Personally, I’ve never rated Rafa as a manager anyway.
He’s a control freak who needs to be in control of absolutely everything. His insistence of having 2 holding midfielders for a team that is supposed to try and win football matches is ridiculous. Creativity rests solely on Gerrard’s shoulders and without him or Torres in the side they are comparable to Blackburn Rovers. And the reason why creative players like Benayoun are constantly substituted time after time is because they have that air of unpredictability and could create something from nothing – and since Rafa can’t control that he doesn’t like it.
He persists with this stupid ‘zonal’ defending from set-pieces, and this is coming from an Arsenal fan who readily admits we ourselves can’t defend corners and freekicks, but we cope better than Liverpool. And his record in the transfer market is possibly the worst I’ve seen in the Premier League.
Dirk Kuyt, Ryan Babel, Craig Bellamy, Robbie Keane, Albert Riera, Andrea Dossena, Lucas Leiva, Andriy Voronin, Alberto Aquilani, Glen Johnson, Mohamed Sissoko Jermaine Pennant, Peter Crouch and Boudewijn Zenden are all players Rafa has signed at his time at the club. The total of these transfers has cost Liverpool in excess of Â£125 million.
And on top of that, the miserable git never celebrates a goal. I honestly can’t name another manager I haven’t seen celebrate when their teams scores. When Liverpool score, he just writes something in his little notebook! This is pretty cool though. [view video]
And Manchester United are in a financial crisis, depending on who you listen to of course.
A lot of Manchester United fans are ignorant of the kind of trouble their football club is in. But conversely, there are also a lot that know exactly what the Glazer’s have been doing. After all, the Manchester United supporters club managed to get an amazing 32,000 signatures on a petition to oppose the take over from the Americans.
From 2005 (from when the Glazer’s took over) to 2008, Manchester United were liable to pay a staggering Â£263 million in interest alone. 
The debts currently stand at Â£699 million, and in the last 3 financial years Manchester United have actually made a profit on transfers, and this sits at Â£7 million. This, along with signing Michael Owen and selling Ronaldo clearly shows they need to sell players every season and can’t afford to buy equivalent replacements. Alex Ferguson might nowadays publicly say that he is trying to find value for money in the transfer market but we all know he’s full of sh*t. This is the guy that recently spent Â£30 million on Berbatov and wasted Â£28 million on Veron!
Who knows what the long term effects of this will be. Some believe that they need to either sell a big star or win something every season to keep the problems at bay. At the end of the day, the Glazer’s are essentially asset strippers and even though the club is in massive debt, they still managed to pay themselves Â£22.9 million! 
The ironic thing for Alex Ferguson is that if it wasn’t for his preposterous claim for 50% of the stud fees for racehorse Rock of Gibraltar against John Magnier and JP McManus then they probably wouldn’t have been so open to selling their majority shareholding in Manchester United.
So with Wenger’s ‘cautious’ transfer policy and attitude to spending, along with his vision for the Emirates Stadium and the future of our club then it looks like things could be a lot worse for Arsenal Football Club.