Fulham boss Jol questions Arsenal's ability to compete for trophies

The former Tottenham boss enjoyed several clashes with Arsene Wenger during his time in north London but sympathises with the Frenchman over unrealistic fan expectations
Fulham boss Martin Jol has suggested that it is unrealistic for Arsenal fans to expect the club to win trophies, while rivals like Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United continue to spend highly in the transfer market.

The former Tottenham manager, who will face Arsene Wenger's side at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, says that it is difficult for teams to compete against others who put an emphasis on importing talent.

"If you look at the likes of Manchester City, with almost half a billion spent, Manchester United, it's not easy nowadays," Jol told reporters.

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"Can you expect a team like Arsenal to win things, with Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, all these clubs?"

Some Arsenal fans have become disgruntled with Wenger after seven years without a trophy and, although Jol admits that it is a long time to go without silverware, the Dutchman believes that his Arsenal counterpart deserves patience.

"Seven years? That's a long time!" he acknowledged. "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 enjoyed a fractious relationship with the Gunners manager during his time at Tottenham but does not hide his admiration for the Frenchman.

"I'm not an Arsenal fan - as you well know - but I always admired Wenger for what he did," he admitted.

"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."

"There is not one other team in the top four doing the same thing with the same philosophy"

- Martin Jol on Arsenal
However, after 15 years of top-four finishes, Jol expects Wenger to remain in charge at Arsenal for the foreseeable future.

"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," the Cottagers coach concluded.