For the first time in 21 years Arsenal will miss out on champions league football as they finished fifth in the premier league last season. Despite clubs failure to win a major trophy over the long period of time, Arsene Wenger was given a new contract for next two years, which angered many Arsenal fans. In 2004 they won their last premier league title, and since then they have struggled to compete at top level. Now let’s have a look at some of the reasons for Arsenal’s downfall.
1. Move to the new stadium-
Arsenal moved into their 60,000- capacity Emirates stadium in 2006 after 93 years at Highbury having spent over £400 million to finance the project. Wenger himself said that “In 2006 most difficult period of my life started. we had restricted finances, we had to pay back huge amount of money and we had to sell our best players as we were in debt after building new stadium.” Move to the Emirates stadium clearly cost Arsenal, as they were no longer able to bring in star players who are often expensive.
2. Change in tactics-
In wenger’s early years as manager Arsenal were known as very strong and powerful team. They were physically strong and would often overpower their opponents, but this equation changed over the years as they are often dominated physically these days. Former Arsenal legend Thierry Henry indicated that Arsene Wenger changed the club’s formation to get the best out of Csec Fabregas , and has stuck to that style despite Spaniard’s departure. Henry said “Fabregas changed the mentality of Wenger. We used to play flat 4-4-2 and because of the Csec and the player he was he started to think that he had to build the team around Fabregas so he went to 4-3-3 and he still builds his teams the same way.”
3. Selling of key players-
Over the years Arsenal have failed to hold on their key players. May it be Van Persie, Nasri, Fabregas and many more star players left Arsenal to play for bigger clubs. Even in the current transfer window they are on the verge of losing key players such as Alexis Sanchez and Hector bellerin. Arsenal’s inability to challenge for big trophies such as Premier League or Champions League meant that star players were looking for bigger clubs to fulfil their dreams. Financially Arsenal are not one of the richest club in the world, which often makes them unable to offer big wages to players.