Arsenal fans cannot expect trophies says Fulham boss Martin Jol

 

Martin Jol today told Arsenal fans it was no longer realistic for them to expect a regular diet of trophies as he looked to add to their “frustration” ahead of Fulham's trip to the Emirates Stadium.

Cottagers boss Jol, who spent three years in charge of the Gunners' arch-rivals Tottenham, suggested Arsene Wenger's men were not competing on a level playing field with Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea.

The Dutchman admitted seven years without silverware was "a long time" for a club of Arsenal's stature but insisted their supporters would miss Wenger when he finally left the manager's hotseat.

The longer the Gunners' trophy drought has continued, the more the pressure on Wenger and the board from the fans has intensified, and Jol said: "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?"

Asked if supporter anger was justified, Jol said: "I don't think you have to be angry. Frustrated is probably the better word.

"Angry with Wenger? Wenger created the new Arsenal, almost.

"Maybe in three years' time, they will hope and pray to get someone like Wenger."

Jol famously clashed with the Frenchman while in charge at White Hart Lane and added: "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?"

Wenger was criticised in some quarters for suggesting 15 successive seasons inside the Barclays Premier League top four was the equivalent of a trophy.

Jol said: "He's one of the few managers who will never be under pressure because people realise what he has done, not only in the past but last year."

Arsenal recovered last season from their worst start in 58 years to finish third.

They are only seventh this season after 10 matches, nine points off top spot and level with Jol's Fulham, who they host on Saturday.

"I would always put my money on Arsenal to be in the top four," Jol added, who admitted the loss of Robin van Persie was a big blow to them.

"Of course, they miss him, but we miss a few people and we get other people in."

Jol insisted it was "ridiculous" to suggest Fulham had any chance of finishing above the Gunners this season, although he did not rule out leapfrogging them this weekend.

The Cottagers have never won at Arsenal but went as close as ever last season, leading 1-0 at the Emirates with eight minutes remaining.

"If we have a good day with our team, I think we could cause them a problem," said Jol, whose side have taken five points off the Gunners in their last three meetings.

"We did that last year. They scored in the 85th minute or so.

"At home, we scored the winner with Bobby Zamora in the last couple of minutes, so hopefully we can do the same."

Jol was today sweating on the fitness of midfielder Mahamadou Diarra, who he rated "50-50" with a knee injury.

Kieran Richardson should return to Fulham's squad, with Simon Davies the only long-term absentee.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project