Arsenal against Chelsea on Saturday will be considered a historic day for the Gunners, as it will mark manager Arsene Wenger’s 1000th game in-charge of the club. The legacy that the Frenchman has created at North London will live long in the memory and the 64-year old will surely go down in history as the greatest ever Arsenal manager.
Despite Wenger’s great contribution to Arsenal’s success though, he has not been able to escape criticism from various quarters in recent times for the club’s long running trophy drought and especially for not spending enough in the transfer market to rectify the situation.
However, Wenger has stated that many people do not understand that Arsenal’s move to the Emirates Stadium in 2006 significantly reduced their spending power during a time where their rivals such as Chelsea were being pumped with millions by Roman Abramovich.
Despite not possessing the same financial muscle of their rivals, Arsenal consistently qualified for the Champions League under Wenger and the Frenchman is keen to stress the fact that the club had to be really careful financially during the last few years so as not to suffer the same fate as Leeds United did by making bad financial decisions in exchange for instant success.
Wenger explained, “[In] 2002, January 1st, Leeds was top of the Premier League and at the end of the season they were not in Europe. That induced the fact that they had to sell big players and that they dropped [out of the Premier League in 2004].
“What is fantastic and difficult in our job is that it is very fragile. Bad decisions can make you quickly go down and what people sometimes don’t understand is that you can drop a division. Of course, I don’t think we are in a position like that but, for years, you had to be careful.”
Wenger went on to add that winning the league has been made more difficult now than it was when he first arrived due to the increased level of competition but expressed his hope that his side can finally win the Premier League title, a full decade after the famous Invincibles lifted the trophy back in 2004.
Wenger continued, “It is difficult [to win the league],” said Wenger, adding: “The competition is at a higher level. You have Man United, they suffer as well. With Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham who invested over £100million, it is difficult.
“It’s certainly more difficult to win. I think what is important, that with nine games to go, we are in a position where we can win.”