"We haven’t got $500 billion to put into the club, but I suspect that we will be challenging — but I don’t consider Tottenham and Aston Villa rivals. I am very confident and any worries about Champions League income are unlikely to be the case.”
- Peter Hill-Wood, who isn't worried about threats to 4th place
It was AGM night in England last night. And of the many splendored things that Peter Hill-Wood said that night, that quote was the one that really pisses me off. It's such a snobbish, stupid, smug, self-absorbed, self-satisfied thing to say.
I don't understand why Peter Hill-Wood is sneering at Tottenham and Aston Villa for spending money in order to improve the quality of their teams. That's what football clubs do, Peter. Just because Arsenal sell their players for large amounts of money and don't reinvest the funds, it doesn't mean other clubs do the same. For ambitious clubs, they seek to add players to their squad every year in order to improve it.
I don't understand why Hill-Wood thinks he's got a right to be superior. In case he hasn't noticed, we have finished 4th or 3rd for the past four years. We haven't won in five years. We've stagnated. What's worse is that there hasn't been any sign of ambition from the Club to achieve more than 4th place and a Champions League place. For a club the size of Arsenal, that's pathetic.
And finally, I don't understand how Peter Hill-Wood got it in his head that 4th place is some sort of "prize" that we should be celebrating. For a club of our size, 4th place and CL qualification is the minimum. Celebrating that is madness, like jumping for joy when you get out of the bathtub because you managed not to drown yourself. I had a look at the club's profile on the official site, and nowhere on the list of our Premier League achievements does it list our proud record of 4th, 4th, 3rd, and 4th.
The other significant news from the AGM was that Stan Kroenke was asked about his intentions with the Club and he said.... nothing. Under the rules of the Takeover Panel, all public statements against a future bid must be unambiguous, or he'd be prevented from a formal move for six months. I hope the following prediction is ambiguous enough for Stan's liking - in the next six months, we're going to see a giant bust of Kroenke in the Emirate's forecourt with a motorised mouth which speaks "In Stan We Trust", and flaming eyeballs which shoots flaming eyes at gooners who dare to suggest that 4th place isn't good enough for a Club of our stature, or that certain Wengerish transfers are a bit geriatric.
And Arsene Wenger spoke about his confidence that we're going to win something this year:
“This year I am convinced we will win a trophy. It will come down to how resilient, consistent, intelligent and united we are until the end because there will be tough times. There will be periods when it will be difficult, but we have to show our strengths that have always made this club special. This team is now ready to go for it and I am convinced we will perform throughout the season.”
We've heard this before, Wenger. Why don't we just get through Christmas before we make any rash promises, hey?