This season saw Manchester City essentially wrap up the title with months to spare. Pep Guardiola has a sqaud of proven winners and managed to get the best out of every single player he utilised throughout 2017/18. While Arsenal could only look on with envy, the consolation for fans was that Wenger would be moving on, making the way for a new manager with fresh ideas. More importantly, big investment in new players would surely be something to look forward to.
When former PSG manager Unai Emery was announced as the new gaffer, not every fan was exuberant with the news. Some argued that there were better choices out there, but everyone, for the most part, agreed to give the Spaniard time to prove himself. The board would help, by giving the new boss money to challenge City, United, Liverpool and even Spurs for, at least, a Champion’s League spot. Even if you grabbed yourself a free bet from https://www.freebets.org.uk/ and placed it on how much Emery would be given, you’d expect it would be a lot more than £50 million.
What We Can Gather from the Board
Hold on: £50 million to challenge in the Premier League? These days, £50 million gets you practically nothing and would come nowhere near enough for even a semi-proven prospect playing at a major club. To say that this has been a kick in the nuts for many would be an understatement. Imagine how Emery must feel, knowing that he is effectively been handed a plastic sword to fend off the tempered iron and guns which Guardiola and Klopp have at their disposal.
What this indicates is that the board are using Emery as a stop-gap while they look for a long term replacement for Wenger. In the board’s eyes, if Emery can get fourth spot or above and not completely flop, great. If he does fail, they haven’t lost any money on players. This smacks of little ambition and the club operating, for the most part, as a business over a football club. While it is important to keep the financial side of things in order, fans have had enough of that attitude at Arsenal and should be seeing more commitment from the board to match the people who pay for tickets, shirts and merchandise.
Former Gunner Ray Parlour has certainly written off Arsenal’s chances of winning the league next season, to no one’s surprise. “The Romford Pele” said that the club must spend a hell of a lot more than £50 million to compete with City and United:
“I would love him [Emery] to do it, but I’m going to say no,” Parlour told talkSPORT when asked if Arsenal can win the league.“I think Man City are going to get stronger and stronger, and I think Pep Guardiola is going to stick around.
“I can’t see who’s going to challenge them. Top four is going to be important…”
Parlour, like most Arsenal fans, is less than excited heading into the new season. Not to put a dampener on anyone’s optimism, but it’s going to take a lot more from the board before we can start to believe.