Are Arsenal an Overachieving Feeder Club?


Now with an opening question like that you could be forgiven for assuming I have some anti-Arsenal agenda and continuing to scroll past this. I don’t. Nor am I trying to be overtly controversial…well of course I am a bit; where would the fun be if I wasn’t? But hear me out.

It was as I mused over my latest pint and listened to the forlorn Gooner across the table from me that I came up with this idea. He was clearly upset over the likely departure of Robin Van Persie, as any fan would be if he had scored a ton load of goals for your club and single handedly got you into the top four. That was easy enough to understand, however I was getting a sense of deja vu.

Weren’t Arsenal fans here a year ago with the Fabregas/Nasri affair? And a few years earlier with Thierry Henry? All players that one can argue had a massive bearing on where Arsenal finished in the league. And all players – bar Van Persie, for now – that have left and since won domestic trophies. Something that their Arsenal career was conspicuously void of. Thus isn’t it fair game to label Arsenal a feeder club?

However, even if you think it is, there is no debating the fact that they are most definitely an unorthodox one. We are talking about a club that has failed to finish outside the top four since 95/96; a very impressive feat in itself, but an all too familiar theme of an Arsenal season is them being potential challengers on all four fronts for most of the season until inevitably the wheels come off around March. This sharp turn of events has happened on far too many occasions in recent years begging the question of whether Arsenal are overachieving in the first place?

Add into the mix the influence the aforementioned players had on the team achieving such then the quality of the rest of the Arsenal team falls into question. A team whom from my perspective, on paper, does not look like a side that would strike fear into an opposition. But in their defence after every departure the remaining team has shown incredible resilience to continue to finish within the top four despite being constantly written off in the run up to every season, thus throwing evidence to the contrary and suggesting that they do in fact deserve their league position.

As an outsider I view Arsenal as a kind of paradox, by which I cannot firmly answer the question of where their capabilities should take them. Whenever Liverpool play them I never view their line up, – bar the obvious player – with apprehension, although their establishment as a top four club whom has finished above Liverpool for past years means maybe I should. Yet they have an empty trophy cabinet and appear unable to keep their best players from leaving.

I am therefore curious to know where Arsenal fans themselves believe their team should finish justifiably? And if there are any underlying tensions or events at the club at a higher level which may have a negative bearing on the club’s on-field affairs? Over to you, Gooners!

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