Fulham manager Martin Jol claims Arsenal do not have the ability to win trophies on a regular basis. The Dutch coach believes the north London club will not win because they cannot spend as much as Chelsea, Manchester City or even United do on transfers. The Gunners are presently in their seventh year without a trophy.
"If you look at the likes of Man City with almost half a billion spent, Man United, it's not easy nowadays. Can you expect a team like Arsenal to win things, with Chelsea, Man City, Man United, all these clubs?" Jol explained.
The Cottagers boss, who managed the Gunners' neighbours, Tottenham, between 2004 and 2007, said seven years was a long time for a top club to be without a trophy and hinted Arsenal fans were more annoyed at the failure to change or modify the club's philosophy than the actual title drought. However, he also said that despite everything he had great respect for Arsene Wenger.
"I'm not an Arsenal fan - as you well know - but I always admired Wenger for what he did. There is not one other team in the top four doing the same thing with the same philosophy. They always manage to find the players who are younger and create value on the pitch. Of course, it's probably not what an Arsenal fan wants. Seven years? That's a long time?" he said.
Wenger has been with the club since 1996, has finished every one of the last 15 years inside the top four and ensured Champions League football every season. However, his attempts to equate that achievement, as significant as it is, to winning a trophy, have not gone down well with supporters. It also hasn't helped that the club have had their worst league start in 59 years; they are seventh with 15 points from 10 games. They had 16 points at this stage last season but recovered to finish third.
Fulham, meanwhile, have had a good start to their domestic campaign and are in eighth, level on points with the Gunners. A win at the Emirates this weekend, and it is not an impossible result, will see Jol's men cement their status as early-season contenders for next season's European spots.