There are two ways to look at our season and current team, a positive slant and a negative slant... for those of you who think it's all doom and gloom and are mega frustrated then maybe read the section titled "Time for a change?", but for those of you who can see a bright future with the current squad, then read "Time to be patient"...
Time to be patient
The future is bright, the future is red and white.
It’s an exciting time at the moment for Arsenal, and this season has been a great lesson for the youngsters no doubt. Arsene recently spoke about the season and commented on the fact that we had two 20 years and two 22 years in midfield for the Champions League semi-final.
In fact, our squad has been assembled at next to nothing, is full of promising youngsters and we’ve managed to get into the last four in Europe and the top four in the most competitive league in the world.
Next season, no doubt, we will see a stronger Arsenal, with more experience thanks to this season, and the other teams will be weaker as their players get older. We’re brimming with potential and about to explode.
Theo Walcott looks a very exciting player, he’s shown this season that he can really put a team on the back foot. He’s got pace to burn and quality all round. Next season will surely be the making of the player. Without Theo, earlier this season, we could hardly find the back of the net, but since his return to the side, it’s been full steam ahead.
Of course, it’s not only Theo, but Samir Nasri has shown the world, that at age 20, he is also a force to be reckoned with. He is undoubtedly a great talent – he’s had a year of experience in the Premier League under his belt and I fully expect him to become the new Zidane come next season.
Add into the mix the amazing talent that is Andrei Arshavin and we’ve suddenly got more skill, ability and penetration than what we know how to use…
Arshavin has been one of our best players since joining us this season, scoring a hatful of goals, creating many others and rejuvenating the squad to ensure we finished fourth this season. Had he been available for the Champions League – I’m sure it would have been a different story.
Let’s not forget Tomas Rosicky, who should be back and brimming with energy next season – a player with experience and a player who can definitely make a real difference. We’ve also got Carlos Vela and Eduardo to get more playing time next season. Two brilliant finishers and very exciting players – it’s a return of the good old days when we have so much skill and pace. Very exciting.
Van Persie has overcome his injury jinx now, and we’ve seen plenty of goals from him this season. Compliment him with Ade and the ever improving Bendtner and we’ve got a real set of strikers who will all contribute to the Arsenal future. Bendtner has been steadily improving and I’m sure we’ll start to see the best from him next season.
We’ve seen young Gibbs come through and he’s played admirably in Clichy’s absence. We’ve seen Denilson and Song really take the mantle from the departing players and establish themselves as big big players.
Djourou has shown that he’s ready for the first team. We’ve got players such as Wilshere, Ramsey and Merida who are knocking at the door – and I really don’t think it will be long until they break through into the first team.
Having bought a world class stadium, with such a young team, we’ve only got happy times ahead.
It’s amazing to see what Arsene has done on and off the pitch and an accolade to him that he’s managed to do this in modern times.
The future is very bright – the future is red and white.
Time for a change.
It’s been four years since Arsenal won any silverware… during that time we’ve had two teams. One including Lehmann, Senderos, Hleb, Gilberto and Flamini, another seeing Almunia, Djourou, Denilson, Song and Nasri replace the aforementioned five players. Neither of these teams have won a single trophy – the Emirates cup aside – and after four barren seasons, it’s time for a change.
Arsene Wenger is surely about to embark on his final season as a trophyless manager of one of the “four biggest teams in Europe”. From being one of the world’s best teams, we’ll fallen behind the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and United. Imagine a fifth season in a row without a title challenge or a trophy? It would be painstaking, but ultimately, shareholders and directors, the Kroenke’s and Usmanov’s would surely not stand for under achievement.
The Emirates stadium was supposed to compliment the team. Give the world’s most attacking team a grand stage to play on. Unfortunately, it’s crippled the team. It’s not a fortress, it’s no Highbury. We’ve lost games at the Emirates every season. We’re in danger of being drown by the stadium and the financial burden. But is it a burden? Our directors say there is money – Arsene Wenger says there isn’t. Who’s lying? And why is anyone lying?
Players that have come in to replace established and season professionals. Conceding 4 goals at home to Chelsea, being humiliated by Man United in the Champions League and failing to hang on to a lead against Sp*rs and Liverpool with 1 minute to go shows a lack of confidence and belief within the squad. No matter what Arsene says – “I believe in this squad”, no matter what the players say “this squad is exciting and has a big future”, the real proof is in the pudding – i.e. on the pitch. Results ultimately show the strength of the team. This season has been a catalogue of excuses by Arsene.
I don’t want to hear that we were beaten by a better team, I want to hear that we’re the better team. So what now?
Arsene has to make some big decisions. There are too many players who rate themselves too highly. We need to get rid and get rid quick. Look at our squad. Once, I used to be able to say to any team in Europe – look at our squad – player for player we’re better than yours – but can you say that any player in our squad now?
Almunia is our #1 keeper, but he’s light years behind Van Der Sar, Petr Cech and Reina – three goalkeepers who aren’t that great anyway, but have top flight experience and know what it’s like to be a top keeper. Our #2 Fabianski is probably the worst goalkeeper we’ve had under Arsene. He simply is way too error prone. He needs to go – whether it be on loan or not, he needs to go. Almunia needs to go back to being #2 and we need a new number one. It’s as simple as that. We need to have confidence in our keeper, not worry about when he’ll make the next mistake.
Our defence is all over the place. We’ve been the laughing stock of Europe this season. We’ve conceded silly goals, left, right and centre. It’s all about confidence too. We don’t have a natural defensive midfielder and we have a very soft centre. Sagna and Clichy are two players who were once the PFA wing backs of the year, but now seem to be burnt out, mentally and physically – both making mistakes, both becoming devoid of what to do up field.
At one point this season, Kolo Toure was dropped and that was for a reason. He is not the player he was once – albeit it, he’s never been a real defender – coming to the club as a utility player. Own goals, lost possession and bad defending has been a mark of Kolo’s game this season. Sometimes Silvestre has looked better and that’s saying something considering the Man United reject is our slowest defender. It pains me to think we’re now picking up the rejects for the other top four teams and they’re actually making our team. The fact that we’ve had such a problem this season is also down to the antics of William Gallas – who is certainly no captain – certainly not awe inspiring, but maybe one of our better defenders. He’s out this summer – I wouldn’t stay after what’s happened this season. We need two centre backs at minimum. Silvestre has no place in our team and Toure needs a break to rediscover his form. We need back up for Sagna – Eboue is no defender.
Looking at our midfield – we need experience. Arshavin has shown that experience is an asset that cannot be replaced. Theo Walcott has had his chance this season, he is 20 now and personally, he’s blown his chance. He’s not become the consistent player that he could be, he’s shooting not really improved. He hasn’t made it to 10 goals, which was a personal target and he’s been bullied out of a lot of top games. He needs to be put back on the bench, and used as an impact sub until he can prove to the team that he’s worthy of his place in midfield.
Which brings us onto central midfield. Please Arsene, do not play Diaby ever again. He is the worst midfielder we’ve had at the club. He thinks too slowly and makes all the wrong decisions. You’ve given him chance after chance after chance and he single handily has lost us game after game after game. He needs to go. Alex Song and Denilson are squad players at most – neither should be the first choice at a club like Arsenal. We need strengthening in midfield. We have done since Vieira left. Cesc will die without a proper partner. We can see this season that Cesc has been a shadow of last season. It’s absurd to see some of the players that play in our team. Do you think Man United would ever play a Song in midfield. Hell no…
Which leads us to the striking berth – get Adebayor and Bendtner out immediately. They are both useless – they hardly try – they think that they are God’s gift to Arsenal, but can’t even reach 20 goals a season – it’s just not on. Rule number one, learn the offside rule – if you can’t they ship off… And then there is Van Persie – a player who can’t seem to break into the next level. He’s had a few seasons as number one striker – but he’s been injured for a lot of each season – he can’t seem to score a free kick to save his life and needs 4 touches before he shoots wide. Good enough for the bench maybe, but maybe that’s it. New strikers please Arsene.
It’s time for a change – a massive change – we’re losing ground every season. Next season may see teams like Aston Villa, Man City, Everton and even Sp*rs overtake us unless we do something very soon.
Arsene, it’s time for a change.
Positive or negative?