Defeat today against Man Utd seems to be another bad day at the office for Wenger and his boys. We have seems to have said that far too many times over the last 10 seasons. With teams coming from nowhere to perform better than Arsenal it seems that we finally have hit breaking point with most Arsenal fans.
In my opinion the following 5 things need to change before we will ever by strong enough to compete again at the very top level:
- Wenger to vacate the managers role and move into the board
Arsene Wenger has been a great servant to Arsenal and has possibly carried us out of crisis point when building the new stadium. We are no longer in financial trouble, but he seems to have forgotten the art of buying the right player at the right time. I still trust Wenger enough to know what makes a good manager to have a say in appointing his replacement. I personally would try and tempt either Frank DeBoer or Joachim Low to the role.
- Dead wood needs to be cleared from the squad
In the past we have carried many players but I feel its time to get rid of those players who are in our squad but never play due to old age or injury. I really Thomas Rosicky but feel the decision to give him a new contract last summer was wrong. Arteta and Flamini have been a good buy for us, but we should be looking to move these two out or into coaching roles. While I’m on it, Per Mertesacker is not old or injury prone, he’s just not good enough any more. We should cash in while he has any value left.
- Training pitches and training methods need to be assessed as well as the medical practices
I always wonder why certain managers get more injured players than others. Before LVG came to Man Utd they generally had a good fitness record as soon as he implemented his training they fell like flies. Slavonia Bilic moved West Ham’s training ground early as he felt the pitches were causing injuries. Wenger has changed the medical team but has he ever questioned his own training methods or got an investigation done on the training pitches? A new manager could see players like Jack Wilshere stay fit for longer.
- Quality signings needs to be made to improve moral
It seems that Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United will all revamp their squads this summer. We also need to invest in a clinical striker and dominant centre back to support Sanchez and Ozil. I would personally love to see us aggressively target Paul Pogba this summer. Id be willing to spend over £70mil on him. More realistic signings would include Hummels, Ibrahimovic and Rues. Leaders need to be brought into the side, which we clearly do not have.
As a by product of investing all the money in the new stadium we may have missed out in signing those top youth stars. We need to restart paying top dollar for those players with great potential again. In this regards we have to start competing with the top European clubs by spending more on the youth side. We are still an attractive proposition for a player in the mould of a young Fabregas.
Todays 3-2 defeat really hurts, almost as badly as the 8-2 scrolling a few years back. If you recall back to that time we had a number of key injuries and an altogether weak side. Today when the tables were turned we still could not take advantage.
The result leaves us a massive 5 points behind the league leaders Leicester and a further 3 points behind the spuds. If today was a massive game, the next two will decide if we are still in with an outside chance of winning the league or if we will have a battle on our hands for fourth place.
Everyone keeps telling us that this was our best chance of winning the league back. This statement is very true, if we are to win the league next season we will have an even bigger battle on our hands. Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City and Man Utd will all improve with their new managers (Including Klopp’s first full season) while Spurs should also improve and who knows what will happen to the Leicester story?
Our next game is midweek against Swansea, a side we have struggled to beat in the past, and then to Tottenham who will be licking their lips about the prospects of us ending their title charge.
The saying is that putting the ball in the net is the hardest thing in football. The players who can score with ease come very rarely and if they do exist they change hands for lots and lots of money.
Arsenal used to have one player who could do this, unfortunately we only got a short glimpse of what Eduardo de Silva could do. In all fairness Arsenal are still looking for his replacement. I still maintain that if it wasn’t for one bad day at Birmingham we would have had one of the worlds best strikers. What is sweeter is that he was relatively unknown and relatively cheap for a striker.
When we signed ‘Dudu’ I still remember thinking about how interesting a signing he was. I actually wanted us to replace Henry with Torres, but wasn’t unhappy at all with Eduardo as a signing. His goal record for Arsenal was nothing outstanding largely because of the major injury he suffered in the first season, but we all saw his potential. This was an injury which killed his career and was the first time Birmingham changed the course of history for Arsenal Football Club.
Although it is all now about if’s but’s and maybe’s, would Arsenal have won the game at St Andrews on the 23rd of February 2008? If you think YES then we probably would have gone on to win the league that season. Who knows we may have kept Nasri, Fabregas and RVP at the club and gone on to develop a great side who could have challenged on all fronts. We probably would have had a plan B, especially against sides like Birmingham who we could not break down in the League Cup final. Birmingham is a jinx side for us, for this reason I hope they do not get promoted any time soon.
Yes these are all if’s and maybe’s but I really feel the world was denied the chance to see another diamond the Wenger picked out the ruff. I strongly feel our progress as a club took a massive blow that took another 6 years to repair. Only now we have got back into a position to challenge for trophies.
Eduardo de Silva will always be remembered at Arsenal, firstly because he scored the first European goal at the Emirates stadium. Secondly because he broke his leg in such as bad and thirdly because he became a sort of cult hero at the club.
I hate to blame bad luck, but I think we have been dealt a bad blow on this one. Come You Gooners.
Being the only English side left in all three remaining competitions, I felt it was a good time to asses the possibilities left for Arsenal.
The FA Cup: This is still in most likely hood our only chance at a trophy this season. We are now the favourites for the cup, but a potential final against Liverpool may be tricky. I feel that this is a priority for Arsenal this season. Even though Bradford or Leeds could be a tricky semi final, I expect Arsenal to get a minimum final birth. Anything other than a place in the final will not only be heart breaking but also shocking.
Champions League: We start the match against Monaco on Tuesday as huge outsiders. According to the majority of pundits we are already out. I do agree with most of these pundits, however I would not write Arsenal off at all. We are probably the most dangerous English side to write off. We took them too lightly in the first leg, the same mistake will not happen again. Our pace can cause any team problems. I think we will win the tie however probable lose again on away goals yet again. All I want is a good performance, going through now is just a bonus. We really need to make a huge assault on this competition next season.
Premier League: We have sort of caught up with Manchester City all of a sudden, this despite having a so called poor side.Our momentum currently is strong, we are getting our players back from injury and have probably the better fixtures out of all the other sides around us. For this reason I do not put 2nd position out of our reach. Finishing 2nd would be great season for us. It would be a warning sign for all our rivals for the next season.
Can we win the league, the best answer is YES. Mathematically we can still win the league, Chelsea are 7 points ahead having played a game less. Do I think we will win it? Probably not! I think we will get close though. A lot will be decided in our games against Liverpool, Man Utd and Chelsea. If we can win all three of these games I think we will be very close to them. Lets hope for lots of favours.
The season looks like it could end up to be a decent one. Lets just hope we can build on this next season. Let me know in the comments on what you think we can achieve this season.