This country’s press hailed the decline of Manchester United in 2005. We had last won the league in 2003, won the FA Cup in 2004, but then finished 3rd and empty handed. Whilst the more optimistic amongst us claimed we were just in transition, with Sir Alex Ferguson rebuilding our next title winning team.
In the six years that have followed this our apparent decline, we have won four league titles, the European Cup, played in a further two European Cup finals and won thee League Cups.
In those same six years, Arsenal have won nothing, with Arsene Wenger’s defenders and sections of the press claiming this is their transitional period.
They have now lost arguably their two best players, or at least two in their top three if you consider Robin Van Persie, and it looks like the transition in to a title winning team is not about to happen any time soon. The transition is complete: once title challengers, now competing for a Champions League spot with the likes of Spurs and Liverpool.
If you think I’m being harsh, I’ll refer you to comments made by Wenger little over a month ago.
“Samir’s situation is clear for me,” Wenger said. “He stays. We are in a [financial] position where we can say ‘No’ and we will, in the case of Samir. It is in the interests of the club. Imagine the worst situation, that we lose Fábregas and Nasri; you cannot convince people that you are ambitious after that.”
Agreed. We are not at all convinced.