Here is how the top of the Premier League will finish next season:
1. Manchester United
2. Manchester City
4. Tottenham Hotspur
We’ve seen the rest of the big guns from the Premier League learn from last season and strengthen their squads – realising that after the shock triumph of Leicester City that they need to spend big to compete this season – apart from Arsenal that is.
We’ve signed two players so far this summer, Rob Holding from Bolton Wanderers and Granit Xhaka from Borussia Monchengladbach.
After 12 barren seasons having to carry out our business on a show-string we’re finally in a position to spend big and really compete for the title – yet the whole ideology of the club is wrong.
We’ve spent big on Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez but apart from that shown no ambition whatsoever to do better than finish in the Top Four. We might have the money to buy the best players yet we still have that “small club” mentality. We have no ambition to actually compete at the very top.
Take players like Gonzalo Higuain and Luis Suarez for example, two world class forwards we were seriously in for a couple of summers ago.
In 2013, Arsenal were looking for that world class striker (and typically, we’re still “looking”) and Higuain was available as Real Madrid wanted to recoup some money for the Gareth Bale signing. Arsenal were willing to bid up to £32 million but no more, and after a long long summer the Argentine striker ended up going to Napoli for £35 million.
In that same summer, Luis Suarez was desperate to leave Liverpool and Arsenal bid £40 million and £1 to trigger his release clause. Arsenal wouldn’t go any higher and the striker would end up staying another season at Anfield and then move to Barcelona a year later.
And that pretty much sums up Arsenal. We could have signed Higuain for £35 million (£40 million tops) and signed Luis Suarez for around £50 million. And look at those same players now.
Gonzalo Higuain has just moved to Juventus for £76 million and Luis Suarez went to Barcelona in 2014 for £75 million. If you’re talking about Luis Suarez in 2016, you would find it hard to argue that he wouldn’t command a fee of less than £100 million.
So that’s where we are. We are a club that loves missed opportunities, always finishing second (well fourth, it’s a figure of speech) and never risking anything to win a major trophy.
For me, this just sums up how I feel about Arsenal: