While Sp*rs bore the brunt of the jokes when the lineup for the European Super League was announced, there were plenty who questioned whether Arsenal deserved to be included as one of the continent’s biggest clubs.
After all, it’s been 17 years since we won a league title, 27 years since we secured European silverware and we’ve not appeared in the Champions League since 2016/17. We’ve also fallen out of the top 10 clubs in Deloitte’s Football Money League having hovered around fifth place from 2006 to 2011.
Sure, we’ve consolidated our credentials as the FA Cup’s most successful teams with four wins in seven years but under the ownership of KSE, who’ve held a majority stake in the club since 2009, the downward trend is marked.
Little wonder they were so keen to accept an offer for a competition that ringfenced an increased revenue stream and took away the problem of actually having to be any good on the pitch.
Asked for his take on Arsenal’s status, Mikel Arteta had the following message to those who think we’re a second-tier club:
“That we are one of the best clubs in the world, and we could not be any prouder to represent this club, its history, and we totally understand the demands and the excellence that we have to be pursuing.
“You cannot deny the history, and that history is attached to results, it’s attached to a certain way of doing things, to certain values, to representing those in the right manner, to having the amount of support and love that we have around the world.
“And that’s not a coincidence, that’s been earned over years and years with merit to a lot of people who have been involved in the history of the football club.”
Major Honours in the Last 30 years (League, main cup, Europe)
🇮🇹 AC Milan 15
🇮🇹 Inter 13
🇮🇹 Juventus 23
🇪🇸 Atletico 11
🇪🇸 Barcelona 38
🇪🇸 Real Madrid 29
🏴 Arsenal 13
🏴 Liverpool 11
🏴 Man City 6
🏴 Man Utd 23
🏴 Chelsea 17
🏴 Tottenham 0
— Orbinho (@Orbinho) April 19, 2021
Now that the Super League plans have stalled, Arteta knows that Arsenal are facing yet another period of fan unrest. Many are expected to protest against the behaviour (and mere presence) of our American owners ahead of tonight’s clash with Everton.
Arteta says he respects supporters taking the opportunity to voice their concerns and hopes the same energy will be channelled into supporting the team when we’re allowed back into stadiums on matchday.
“We want to listen to them and we totally respect that,” he said.
“That they have been loud and clear what they want and that they have been heard – and they are going to be heard all the time because, again, they are the soul of this football club and they are the soul of this industry.
“We are going to try do the best that we can to make them proud all the time and to make their lives better by playing the way we want to play, winning football matches and trophies.
“That’s our responsibility. But if they can help in a way it is by giving support to the team, because that it is going to have an immense effect and it is so powerful that I think they have to realise that.”