Arsenal legend George Graham has claimed his former club will never win the Premier League title again, citing Arsenal’s lack of investment in the transfer market as the deciding factor.
The Gunners team Graham remembers were always challenging for top honours, but he feels the club he used to play for and manage have fallen too far behind their big-spending rivals.
Wenger is under intense scrutiny of late after the horrific Capital One Cup quarter-final loss on Tuesday to League Two’s Bradford, and pressure is building for Wenger to win some silverware let alone it’s been eight, almost nine, years since their last Premier League crown.
Graham told The Sun:
Whether I like it or not, the club are quite happy to finish in the top four.
They have been doing that for the last 15 or 16 years. That seems to be the objective.
Let’s be honest, they are not serious challengers for the Premier League. So finishing in the top four, I think the club are quite happy with that.
I don’t think Arsenal are ever going to compete with Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United.
I thought they could have competed with United because they don’t spend the money the other two do.
But Arsenal are not going to compete with them either.
They have got a structure at the club on transfers and wages. They are very strict on those.
They have more or less said to fans that is the way they are going to run the club.
They can still pick up cups and qualify for Europe. But will they win the Premier League title again? I can’t see it.
To win the league you need a solid mixture of experience, class and youthful enthusiasm to backup tired legs, in other words – depth. This has eluded the Gunners for quite some time.
Since the departure of Adebayor in 09 Arsenal have lacked options up front. We have always had one or two outstanding midfielders, a solid defender or two but never a full squad with decent backup options to change things up, rest players or overcome injuries.
Look at United this season – they already had Rooney, Welbeck, Hernandez and Berbatov as striking options but Sir Alex had the guts to buy a 29-year-old, often injury prone striker that scored a magnificent amount of goals, mostly by his own doing, that only had one year on his contract for a whopping £25m. The outcome? A hell of a shot at winning the Premier League.
Arsenal missed out on Juan Mata last season due to the Gunners stinginess, and similarly to Gary Cahill and this summer Jan Vertonghen to the Spuds. Eden Hazard also was not an option because of his price tag, but if the Gunners forgo buying second rate alternatives such as Gervinho and Santos and splashed more money on talented stars, Arsenal’s squad would be far better off.
Wenger’s prudence has however led to the new stadium and state-of-the-art training complex, but with the Gunners earning all sorts of cash from many directions including player sales, new sponsorship deals and various investments, it’s now time to invest and build a strong squad.
When was the last time Arsenal broke the transfer record? I think it was 1938.
Manchester United seem to buy players at £25-30million and they mix it up a little bit. But Arsenal don’t do that.
In the past Arsene’s teams have played some of the best football I have ever seen. It was breathtaking.
But the quality of players there now is inferior to the players he used to have.
And I don’t care how good a coach or manager you are, you need good players to win things.
Wenger is getting grief from all angles, however Graham’s latest statements are not directed at the Frenchman but rather the Club’s hierarchy. The club need to give Wenger the green light to invest significantly and force the Frenchman to do so!
There will be changes this January and hopefully the scrutiny the Frenchman is receiving will force his hand in the market, just like the 8-2 drumming by the always-investing Manchester United. Fourth place is not good enough.