Andy Gray column: Why Arsenal fans should grin and bear it for now
Arsenal are going to be in a fantastic position when the Financial Fair Play rules come into full force, writes Andy Gray
The news coming from Arsenal’s AGM that the club won’t be able to compete for the best players until 2014 may not have been what the fans wanted to hear – but they need to grin and bear it because there could be great times ahead.
Arsene Wenger and the people who run Arsenal have been very careful about the club’s future because they don’t want to do themselves any irreparable damage now.
And when Financial Fair Play comes in Arsenal are going to be in a wonderful position to compete for the biggest names available.
Now, that might not keep Arsenal fans happy but I think it should – that’s less than 18 months away which is not long at all.
It’s important that the Arsenal fans have been told that the club aren’t going to just go shopping for new players below the big clubs – in 2014 they’re going to have a situation at the club where they can be competing against the very best and for the very best.
And that’s good news for Arsenal. The fans would obviously love it if it happened in 2013, but they’re going to have to wait another year.
In the meantime you never know what could happen – they might just hit a run of form and they’re capable of winning any cup competition. It’s as simple as that.
But the problem is that the Arsenal fans aren’t going to be satisfied this as long as the team are playing badly and losing games.
I’m not one for offering excuses for any team who don’t play well, which Arsenal didn’t against Schalke, but they’ve got nine players out injured and certainly half of them you think would get in the team.
It doesn’t make things any easier and they came up against a pretty good side, make no mistake about it – Schalke went and beat Borussia Dortmund at the weekend, and we’ve all been waxing lyrical about how good Dortmund were against Manchester City.
I just think it’s all well and good we can talk about Premier League teams not playing well but you have to give a bit of respect to the team they’re playing against.
Arsenal weren’t at their best or anywhere near it on Wednesday night. It was a very bad midweek for the Premier League in terms of getting results in Europe – Manchester United were the only winners but even they made very heavy weather of it when they played Braga.
You have to accept that but the problems aren’t insurmountable at Arsenal – you don’t just become a bad team because you have one bad result.
Arsenal have got six points in their group and are looking pretty good for qualification – I would back them to still make it through, and once they have a clean bill of health the results will start coming again.
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