Arsenal Message Board
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Mata would have been great. I think he is an exceptional player and behaves like a class act. But Cazorla is not far behind if at all.
I believe we can compete with City and Chelsea we just need to start taking advantge of our improving financial position and perhaps hope for FFP to bite the big spenders a little.
Although it is a matter of perception, IMO we have not challenged in major competitions over the last many years. Come the middle of the season we are often well out of the race for the PL title never mind the reasons. IMO we have been lucky to be the best of the rest but are now in a position to start closing the gap with the top 3 if we play our cards right. Ironically now that, it seems to me, we are on the verge of a small break through towards narrowing the gap with the top 3 we could face a major set back if we don't qualify for the CL.
I say we beat Newcastle, sign a top striker and defensive midfield player, get rid of some big earners who don't contribute, replace Sagna if he leaves and we might very well finish next season much closer to 2nd place if not capture 2nd.
If Moureen comes back Chelsea should be considered pre-season favorites for the PL title on account of their great squad but Man U will have a new manager and so will City so anything can happen to those 2 teams and if we don't have to bring in 3 or 4 new players we could start the season of a lot better than in recent years.
Cap'n have to reply this way since Yahoo doesn't let me reply directly to your post below.
I have not studied the FFP in minute detail, but the principal that a clubs spending has to be in relationship to its earnings seems fair to me. In particular as it relates to wages.
It seems to me if an owner wants to build a stadium and donate it to the club or provide it to the club for free that there should be latitude for that, but to me that would be different than when an owner funds a team that makes 500mill a year on revenue and spends 600mill on wages. It is that principle that kills of competition IMO and thus kills the mid-table and bottom teams in the process.
I keep saying it, to me the answer and the simplest benchmark to monitor is a wage cap which should be the same for all teams whether you are City or Everton. It drives salaries down and distributes players more evenly and to more teams thus making the league more competitive.
Look across Europe and there is no real change in the competitive landscape, Man U, Chelsea, maybe City, Real, Barca, Bayern, Ajax. The same teams win the leagues most of the time or more often than not. I don't believe this is healthy for the sport in the long run.