Arsene Wenger told Thierry Henry why Arsenal struggle for titles as Man City make history

Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal fell short of winning the Premier League to Man City (Image: Getty)

Arsene Wenger revealed to Thierry Henry why Arsenal stopped competing for Premier League titles. The Gunners required what manager Mikel Arteta described as a “miracle” on the final day of the season to pip Manchester City to the title, needing to win while City dropped points.

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The last time the north Londoners tasted league success was 20 years back, when Wenger’s side went an unprecedented league campaign unbeaten, becoming champions at rivals Tottenham Hotspur’s ground. There was no such joy to be had on this occasion as Pep Guardiola’s City outclassed West Ham 3-1 on Sunday.

The Abu Dhabi-backed juggernaut clinched its sixth title in just seven years. While some marvelled at Guardiola’s historic feat, others took it as a sign of state-owned clubs’ unparalleled wealth rendering other teams’ efforts useless.

Wenger was one of the first figures in the game to highlight the dangers of what he referred to as “financial doping”. Two decades later, City, with 115 alleged financial charges looming over their heads, have proven the Frenchman correct as another ‘title rival’, this time Arsenal, fell short.

Le Professeur provided a deeper explanation as to why Arsenal were trumped to the title by City in 2016 when he was interviewed at the end of his managerial tenure by Invincible and Gunners legend Thierry Henry. Henry asked FIFA’s now Chief of Global Football Development why the first 10 years of Wenger’s reign were so much more prolific in terms of titles than the period from 2006 to 2018.

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Arsene Wenger could not compete anymore due to the financial power of Chelsea and Man City (Image: Sky Sports)

Wenger said on Sky Sports: “I never thought it would take us so much time to win trophies again. It was two contributing factors. The first one was that we built a new stadium and because of restricted finances we had to sell our best players.

“The second one is that big investors came in at the same time like Chelsea and Manchester City after who were hugely ambitious. And we were not the club who could basically compete with them anymore on the financial front.”

He added: “Today is different. Today you have so many investors that everyone is nearly on an equal level again. But for years, I must say it was the most difficult years because I had created the level of expectation and I thought we did not have the same potential to compete anymore.

“Then you’re always on the backfoot to justify ‘why don’t you win the Premier League anymore?’. I can understand that because that’s a normal request for someone who loves Arsenal.”

Man City won their fourth title in a row (Image: Getty)

Chelsea, bought by billionaire oligarch Roman Abramovich in 2003, were the first club to use their financial might to muscle their way to the top, winning back-to-back titles in 2004/05 and 2005/06. City won their first Premier League title in 2011 – three years after their own takeover.

It has required perfection to defeat the Etihad side in almost every year since 2016, with Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool being the only side to come out on top on one occasion. Arteta has since picked up the mantle.

Arsenal led the race for much of last season only for a late collapse as a result of a threadbare squad and a lack of experience. This season, they enjoyed a near-flawless run from January onwards which involved just one loss and a draw.

Yet it still wasn’t enough as City’s deep squad and title-winning nous meant they went without suffering a league defeat since early December, which included a nine-game winning streak to end the season.

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1901244/Arsenal-arsene-wenger-manchester-city