Seeing Unai Emery lift the Europa League Trophy for the fourth time last night, having been to five finals, I couldn’t help but wonder:
“Are Arsenal ACTUALLY cusrsed in Europe?”
This might sound like a bit of a lamenting blog this morning but honestly I am offering up a wry smile as I write it. Honest.
But yeah, it does make you wonder about us in Europe and with a club the size of Arsenal you really would expect us to have picked up more European trophies than we actually have, right? I mean we’ve been in European competitions long enough, we’ve been arguably the best side in Europe on at least one occasion, yet we have constantly fell short. And this is over decades so we can’t exactly talk about individual teams not possessing the ‘bottle’.
I love a bit of superstition and I have taken to convincing myself that we are just cursed in Europe. We are a club who has been shafted by some sort of voodoo magic. How else can you explain how a man who has LITERALLY won the Europa League every time he’s got to a final, does the same at Arsenal and we end up sh*tting the bed.
Am I jealous? Damn right I’m jealous. I wish nothing but congratulations for Unai Emery and his Villareal side and I’m pleased he has found his way at a club in Spain because he seemed a nice enough guy. He absolutely was not the right man for Arsenal as he works well with that underdog tag, but in the competition he absolutely knows how to win, he had his biggest failure and unfortunately that was with us.
Last night’s Villareal victory had me thinking of our defeat to Chelski, then all of a sudden all of the painful memories came flooding back from the back of my mind. Champions League 2005, UEFA Cup 2000, then even when we won a European trophy in 1994 against Parma, the footballing gods saw fit to agree that we were not allowed to have too much of this European success and so cruelly sent an ex-Tottenham player to score the winning goal in 1995.
Cursed I tells ya.
I guess the one good thing about football is that as long as the memories last – positive and negative – the immediate aftermath and glow or sting quickly subsides, so hopefully this frustration at our own failings in the Europa League this season will soon subside. Hopefully by the weekend.
And by then we might even have a shiny new player on the verge of joining us, right? RIGHT?
After all, KSE have briefed a variety of different media outlets that they are going to go big this summer and invest in the team. What’s that? Is it a ‘war chest’ story I hear?
Come on now folks, we’ve all been here before. We’ve danced this tango. It never plays out as the initial paper suggestions make out and I will not even allow myself for a second to think that this particular ugly leopard from the US of A is going to change his/their ways. There is talk of KSE paying off the £120million Covid Corporate Financing Fund themselves and in a recent fans forum Vinai confirmed that, saying that KSE are funding the loan repayment. It is a loan that didn’t need to be repaid in full until March 2022, so what exactly have they done other than try to avoid the interest payments that would have been incurred at the club? Is this the ‘war chest’? Is this what it means when we talk about KSE investing? Paying off debts of an asset THEY ALREADY OWN so that they don’t incur a little more interest, interest that they would just leave for the club to sort itself out and pay off anyway?
I’m sorry, but how is that KSE “Going big” on Arsenal like I’ve heard some suggest.
It isn’t. It’s them pushing paper around to incur minimum cost on AN ASSET THEY OWN IN FULL. KSE don’t care about making Arsenal competitive. They just don’t want to have to pay the bank a little extra cash, so it makes sense for them to pull money from their resources elsewhere, to avoid doing so. KSE is a parasitic entity and will always be so. Any more spent on transfers this season will be funded by the sale of Arsenal players, because that is how Arsenal have always operated and will continue to do so under KSE. They have no interest in competition, they care only to see how much they can get from an asset with minimum involvement. Which is why we want them out and need to continue the campaign to get them out of the club as long as possible. We need a proper ownership at Arsenal. One invested in the club by paying close attention to how it is run, by holding those that run the administration of the club to account, as well as those running the football coaching side. This is not me calling for Arteta’;s head by the way, because I know we have him for next season and I’m coming to terms with that and crossing my fingers it can still work out, but there needs to be a minimum acceptable standard that, if not reached, costs a manager and ultimately (through sales) his playing staff if we fall short.
How we go about this summer is entirely on Edu and Arteta’s shoulders and in some respects that is a lot. But don’t expect anything from Josh or Stan other than watching from afar and offering little, except the occasional ‘management fee’ when the club starts making money again.
I think I’ll leave it there for the day. But just remember: