“A new player doesn’t want to know if you have won the League Cup,” said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger during the club’s AGM on Thursday.
The Frenchman even claimed that out of the five trophies available every season, qualifying for the Champions League, behind winning the Premiership and Europe’s elite competition, comes in third.
The importance placed upon securing qualification for the Champions League has seen Wenger place its significance ahead of both the FA Cup and League Cup. Unfortunately, the Gunners boss is absolutely right with his statement.
When it comes to snaring players, the very best want to play in the Champions League. You can’t envy them for that; performers want to perform in front of the largest crowds, which just happens to be in this specific competition.
The modern footballer is more concerned with attempting to win the Champions League rather than actually winning the League or FA Cup. This isn’t the fault of players, rather the direction the game itself is actually taking.
There is glory and the chance to pick up silverware, something Arsenal haven’t achieved in almost eight years, but it’s playing amongst the best in the world that draws a larger appeal to players than winning a domestic trophy that many brush to one side in the earlier rounds.
It may not sit well with fans, but the emphasis, to an extent, from an owner’s perspective has shifted from success on the pitch to balancing the books off it. As such, it sees Arsenal as the most profitable team in the Premiership due to their continuous qualification for the Champions League.
So while some Arsenal supporters won’t ultimately agree with his sentiments, the fact of the matter is the change in priorities means securing a top four finish can be considered a greater success than landing domestic glory.