Wenger put a positive spin on Arsenal’s seven-year trophy drought, saying he considers qualifying for the UEFA Champions League to be as good as winning trophies on the field, according to the Associated Press.
“For me, there are five ‘trophies’ — the first is to win the Premier League, the second is to win the Champions League, the third is to qualify for the Champions League, the fourth is to win the FA Cup and the fifth is to win the League Cup,” Wenger said during his address at Arsenal’s annual general meeting.
“I say that because if you want to attract the best players, they do not ask ‘Did you win the League Cup?’. They ask you, ‘Do you play in the Champions League?’”
Wenger’s remarks were delivered to a feisty crowd of shareholders, who share Robin van Persie‘s concerns about the direction in which Arsenal is headed. It last won the Premier League title in 2004 and currently trails league-leading Chelsea by ten points after eight games.
For 75 minutes, Wenger, majority owner Stan Kroenke, and C.E.O. Ivan Gazidis implored fans to stay united and believe in the Arsenal way. They pointed to the club’s strong finances and its 15-year-long streak of qualifying for Europe’s elite competition as evidence of success.
It’s unclear if fans are buying what Wenger’s trying to sell them, and we haven’t yet seen any video evidence. Last year, he channeled his inner Gordon Gekko and charmed AGM attendees with a rousing address. We’ll wait and see if he had the same effect in 2012.
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