It’s a phrase that is often used as an insult these days about Arsenal supporters who want the Arsenal to spend money on players. Other top Premier League teams such as Man City, Chelsea and United are often put into this category of ‘buying trophies’ and it confuses me!
I respond with, what is a sports team for? Is it not to win trophies?
Apparently with the Arsenal, it’s not to win trophies, those supporters who have been happy for us to finish 3rd or 4th for the last twelve seasons have been happy, because…. we’ve done it ‘our way’, the Arsenal way, not going into the market and buying the expensive goods available but instead buying a bargain, and still being able to punch above our weight but at the end of the day, ending the season trophy-less, apart from two FA Cups, has damaged the image of the club as a top flight entity in World football.
Even Arsène has often said in the past that getting top four is like, ‘a Trophy’. So does that class him as a trophy hunter? Kroenke on the other hand, is happy for all his ‘sports teams’ to remain unsuccessful and just stay as a financially viable ‘brand’. Relying on gullible fans to pay their money and fill his bank account.
I’m not ashamed to say that I want my team to win silverware and sometimes the only way that can be achieved is by investing in the team, if that classes me as a ‘trophy hunter’ in the eyes of some, then so be it.
Let’s take International sport for an example, Rugby, Cricket and International football. The managers of these teams have the pick of the very best players which their countries can offer. So why shouldn’t a domestic football team get the best on offer to enable them to be successful.
Roy Hodgson doesn’t go to the Championship or the League One to pick his team, no, he goes to the best English teams and chooses the top players, and we have the expectations that he will do that. So why can’t I have the expectations that my club will eat at the top table in the best hotel and not just at the local High Street fish shop?
Ultimately, you get what you pay for. At a hotel like Le Bristol in Paris, you’ll get a Michelin star chef, a menu made from the best ingredients and the highest gastronomic delights with unequalled service, at the local fish shop you’ll get Spiros’ fucking uncle chucking some battered cod into the fryer, wrapping it in some paper with some greasy chips, taking your money and saying, ‘Astios’.
If Wenger visits Paris, do you think he goes behind Le Beaubourg in Le Marais, next to Le Piano Zinc gay club and buys Falafel or a Kebab from a street vendor, of course he fucking doesn’t, he’ll go to L’Abeille or Alan Passards’ or Le Bristol, he’s not looking for a cheap meal, he’s looking to eat and savour the best gastronomie in the world.
So I’m not ashamed to be a ‘Trophy Hunter’, if that’s what people want to call me, because I want the Arsenal to be the best, and to achieve that they need to win the top honours, and maybe to be able to do that they need to eat at the best hotels, which ultimately means spending large amounts of money.
Caveat: It is sometimes possible to find a quality restaurant with a uprising chef who has yet to earn his Michelin star, a restaurant where you can eat just as well without it being too expensive, however, as in football, it is very rare to find one. Furthermore, a kebab occasionally can be delicious, but it doesn’t stop you wanting to eat at a Michelin starred restaurant.