I don’t know why but I got a little riled by this comment from Martin Samuel:
‘And the modern era’s greatest achievement would never have happened?’ Really? Blackburn Rovers winning the league in 1995 was the greatest achievement? Arsene Wenger building a side for less than £40m and going an entire season unbeaten, a feat which had not been done for over 100 years previously, when there were about 12 teams instead of 20? Get a grip. Inzagi, Dublin.
Samuel: Don’t they do arithmetic in Ireland any more? Thierry Henry £11m, Dennis Bergkamp £7.5m, Sylvain Wiltord £13m, Jose Reyes £10.5m, so that’s £42m right there and we’re only through the forward line. Having watched Arsenal for much of that wonderful season, I’m pretty sure they had a defence, a midfield and a goalkeeper too, and that the best player was Robert Pires, who cost a further £6m. Lauren was £7.2m, Gilberto Silva £4.5m, so let’s leave it there, shall we? Every team, to some extent, buys the title, including lovely Arsenal. The moment they could not buy at the same level, success dried up. Blackburn’s season was exceptional because they also overcame all the disadvantages of being a smaller club, something Arsenal have never known.
Here is the comment I have left on the site – am I wrong?
Martin, re: Arsenal Invincibles – correct those numbers are about £40m+, but if you took the core first 11 it was £44.3 m – and if you removed Bergkamp from that (who was signed by Rioch) we are under £40m.You can add Wiltord back in but hardly Reyes.
Also, we don’t need to go into Wenger’s net spend numbers where he rarely spent above what he brought in.
Not sure you could class Wenger/Arsenal buying the title.
World class like Henry, Vieira, Freddie where bought for a snippet of their true value. Fast forward to today – Chelsea and City, buying players at not only their market values but also way above in order to be successful – Drogba and Aguero are just 2 examples.
Now that is buying the title.