'By any definition, Arsenal can be judged as a success', the Arsenal fan said in the pub this afternoon.
'Any definition ?!', the guy at the back hugging a pint of Fosters said, 'If you define success by the quality of the stadium and the profitability of the club, then Arsenal are a great success', he continued.
'But not if it's about trophies!', we all chimed in unison.
'Arsene Wenger's gonna sign a new contract too', the Arsenal fan said optimistically.
'Of course he's gonna sign', said the barman. 'He was always gonna sign. He's already on £7m-a-year. He was never gonna walk away from that'.
'But the American might have lost faith in him ?', the Arsenal fan came back.
'Lost faith in him ?', the barman retorted. 'The American loves Wenger - that's why he pays him so much. Look, Wenger's nothing more than a mercenary. He's paid loads of dosh to keep the costs down and the profits up.
'Wenger's there to take the flak from the fans. The American is desperate to keep Wenger - any other manager, like Laudrup for example, would insist on a massive transfer budget. And if Arsenal got a new manager, the fans would expect big spending. BIG spending. But it's never gonna happen. Arsenal ain't run for the fans, you see; it's run as a business for the owner. The American is building up the brand and will one day sell it'.
'You're wrong', replied the Arsenal fan defiantly.
'You're deluded', the barman came back. 'One day the American will sell out - to the Russian. You mark my words. And until he does, the only success Arsenal will have will be off the field'.
What do you think ? Are Arsenal fans being deluded ? Should Wenger be signed up to another contract ?