23 trophies over ten years
We need an awful lot more trophies, Mikel, for me to be happy
That’s what we need, Gooners, to become the best team in England. The best ten years ever in English football was achieved by Liverpool from 1975 to 1985 and if we equalled it we could certainly argue with Manchester United and Liverpool as to who is the greatest. We are unfortunately, well behind those 2 and we have strong rivals to overtake us in Chelsea and Manchester City.
What did Liverpool achieve in those ten miraculous years? 4 European Cups (Champions League) 7 First division (Premier League), 1 FA Cup, 4 League Cups, 1 UEFA Cup, 1 UEFA Super Cup, and 5 Charity Shields.
The quiet man, Bob Paisley did it
Where would that leave us if we did the same?
20 Premier league - at the top with Man Utd
15 FA Cups – at the top
6 League cups – behind Liverpool and Man City on 8
21 Charity Shields – at the top as we have only one shared and Man Utd have 4
4 Champions League – behind Liverpool on 6
2 UEFA Cups – behind Liverpool on 3
Add the European Cup winners cup which we share on one with Man Utd and Liverpool have never won.
So that is the benchmark, an astonishing standard to be fair. And we would need our kids all to become major superstars and stay with us for it to have a chance of happening. But dreams are the hallmark of fans and without them a fan’s life is not worth living, I think we all agree on that. And because this was actually achieved, we can say it is possible. Yes, these are different times, and many teams have incredible resources to ensure a dream like mine would never happen. But if Saka, Smith-Rowe, Tierney, Ramsdale, Martinelli, White, Gabriel, Odegaard, Tomiyasu, Lokonga all improve as they mature, and say Tavares, Balogun and Saliba also come into the reckoning, we potentially have a frightening team coming through.
Amazing young players
These two conjurors could become the world's best
These are all young players with so much prospects, who could learn to play together as a dazzling unit exactly like the Lacazette wonder goal against Southampton at the weekend and could eclipse the giants that will oppose them. The 2 Manchesters, Liverpool and Chelsea, maybe newly rich Newcastle and even the hapless Spuds or West Ham with their fabulous grounds and extensive fan base are all hoping for their ten years, too. Leicester, Villa and Everton also.
We will need saves like this
Is this the real life, or is it just fantasy?
I say my dream is possible, despite all these teams. Of course, those of you of a practical bent will say that Liverpool and Manchester United would also need a lean ten years for us to be able to make a strong argument that we are the best. That’s true. But if we win all those trophies, there aren’t all that many left for them, are there?
Anyway, let’s say I am right and these players stay and become better, and let’s say that we also do well on transfers, what else do we need to make it happen? I will first go through what we have and not what we potentially have. We have a fine big stadium that gets filled regularly, comparable to the top teams. We have a large amount of corporate boxes to generate huge sums. We have a worldwide fanbase and are particularly strong in Africa. We have an attractive image well suited to kickass marketing campaigns. We have training and medical facilities equal to anyone. We have an academy system which is superb and surely as good as any worldwide. We have the tradition of winning trophies as our position in English football proves. We are 3rd but best in FA Cups and not hugely behind the 2 beasts of Liverpool and Man Utd in that my magical ten years would push us right up there.
This noisy man also had ten great years
Do we have a great manager?
So, we have these things going for us, what do we potentially have? Is Arteta the right man to take us forward? We would need a top manager for sure and at this moment I am not sure Arteta is that man. I would like to believe he is. In fact, I would love to believe that he is, because I like him. He has undoubtedly got great football knowledge, he has won trophies at Arsenal and Man City, the players seem to like him and most play with a smile on their face. He has brought through superb young players and he has been a disciplinarian, which is necessary in a manager as players can never be bigger than the club.
The exquisite ten years will only happen with a great manager, though, and the verdict on Arteta is unproven. The 2 teams which have had a great ten years in my lifetime, Liverpool and Man Utd, both had managers who had a lot of critics before going on their great runs, though. Bob Paisley was reckoned to be only a lieutenant and Alex Ferguson considered to be out of his depth after several years of failure. Without their trophy hauls, Arsenal would now be the greatest team in English football, let’s not forget that.
Ah, but the owners, the Kroenke’s, they are the imponderables in my wonderful dream of a fantastic ten years. Could it happen with them? Hands up any Arsenal fans who think so? Please put up your hands, I can’t see any. Sorry, let me put on my glasses. Ok, my sight is good now. Can you put up your hands again? There must be something wrong with my glasses, I still can’t see any hands up.
Make it real
So is that it? My daydream, or it can become a reality? I will take you back to the Arsene Wenger magic years of 7 FA Cups, 3 Premier Leagues, and 7 Charity Shields and an Invincible year over more than 20 years. I was ecstatic with that and I truly never expected it when he took over. Still a long way short of Bob Paisley’s achievement, though. And if Chelsea or Man City have such a ten years I would have to listen to them shouting in my face. My face doesn’t want that.
Wenger gave me reason to dream
C’mon Arsenal. Give us the Liverpool 10 years from 2022 to 2032. Or even 2023 to 2033. But don’t leave it too long, I am not getting any younger and I would love to be able to argue that my team is truly the best, better than all the rest, better than anyone. And Arsenal are the greatest football team.