The most amazing thing about ‘Perfect Balance between Financial Stability and Trophy-room Success’ is that such a thing is non-existent. Though, we can achieve something in close proximity to Perfection, but that would ideally be an unsung version of Excellence. Would a top football club and its esteemed supporters be satisfied with anything below winning the top prize? The response would most certainly be in the negative.
What is success as far as top football clubs are concerned? Is it directly proportional to the number of trophies won in a manager’s tenure, or is it how much stability a club has gained financially over the years? Football clubs are like business firms; their owners and share-holders are part of that firm, and they always want to operate on a decent profit margin.
Way Back in 1996!
Arsene Wenger, the football purist that he is, never weighed success based on trophies; his vision has always been far-sighted ,and his modus operandi of working is quite consummate in modern day football. When he left Japan and took over the reins of this club back in 1996, Arsenal were struggling in the league in the goal-scoring department. They already had a water-tight defence, thanks to the previous work done by the great George Graham. Arsene bolstered his team’s attacking division, bringing in ‘costly’ and effective talents in midfield and in attack. He modified the method with which Arsenal played their game, making it more glamorous and efficient. Success, as far as winning trophies were concerned, was immediate, and Arsene Wenger became a massive challenger to Sir Alex Ferguson’s throne.
Arsenal went on to achieve football perfection in the year 2003-04, as they finished a season without losing a single game of football. Football fans all around the world took notice, and Arsenal soon became the benchmark for pure and delightful football. In between all the glory and appreciation, Arsenal Football Club under the supervision of The Professor himself, decided to take the ‘Big Leap’ by proposing a new stadium with more seats, and eventually with the capability of generating more revenue. This decision was backed by the manager whole-heartedly, as he devised a system, or rather a plan, to sustain the club financially during the club’s ‘loan days’. His vision was to have a Youth System capable of churning out players who would be finished products by the time the club has slowly offloaded ‘expensive’ players from their system. This methodology needed a lot of patience, luck and perseverance, and not many fans would approve of such a system, especially those for whom success is measured only by the lack of space in the trophy cabinet.
Present Day Scenario
The six years, from the days of Invincibility to the present day, has had been spent on implementing this plan; although Arsenal Football Club has stabilized themselves financially, they have failed to keep their fans content without any silverware. As senior players were offloaded and youth players seamlessly added to the system, Arsene Wenger has failed to compensate for the lack of steel and desire in the setup. The young players have the potential to be match-winners, but they haven’t lived up to the expectations whenever accentuated to a high pressure environment. They have even shown complacency over the last few years – a result of the lack of competition for certain places in the squad.
Arsene Wenger, in order to go with the futuristic arrangement for the club’s pecuniary condition, had to limit ‘Transfer Market’ activity to a bare minimum. He tried to compensate ‘Established Signings’ with products of the Youth Academy. He did manage to produce some outstanding talents, but simply chose to ignore the cultivation of the mindsets of these footballers. These young footballers, living a refined life in upper-class London society with high wages and enormous respect, have slowly reached a level of contentment within their ambitions to reach for the ultimatum. They are well capable of producing extraordinary performances on certain days, but are not ready to compete on the highest level on a weekly basis.
Need to emulate match-winners!
The players, who have played for this esteemed club before, have given their all for the crest; they have achieved success through unrelenting hard-work and unrivaled determination. Success cannot be achieved by contentment. A football player should never be satisfied with his performance; he has to yearn for continual improvement in his game. He can never underestimate his opponent and drop his level of application at any given time in a game. The only day in the life of a footballer when he is completely satisfied is the day he decides to hang his boots.
Having said all that, there are two ways in which the condition at Arsenal Football Club can be changed. You either ask the manager to change his ways or you change the manager. In the larger scheme of things, it would be a little too extreme to change the manager, unless he himself decides to step down. But if he stays, he has to change the way in which Arsenal Football Club is operating right now. If that transformation means bringing in a lot of new faces, spending some bucks from the pocket of the new owner, so be it. The amount of talent the club is producing year after year is quite remarkable, but if it is not rewarded it makes it a for tasty yet futile activity. The youthful energy needs to be channelized in the right direction by amalgamating it with experience and injecting it with a dose of constructive disparagement.
Arsenal has already achieved the ultimatum under this manager. So, now this team needs to target for persistent excellence. They need to respond to their manager’s perseverance with them. They need to polish their rough edges, throw complacency out of the window and build confidence from unrelenting hard-work. Arsenal can only rise from here.
What is success?I think it is a mixture of having a flair for the thing that you are doing; knowing that it is not enough, that you have got to have hard work and a certain sense of purpose.
– Margaret Thatcher