Setting up improved targets for next year maybe? by Konstantin Mitov
If you are Arsene Wenger in the beginning of a new season talking to Ivan Gazidis for the targets of Arsenal, you’d pretty much know how the conversation goes: IG – Hey Arsene, Top 4 this year? AW – Same as always.
The truth is we are happy with fourth. We’re happy with pretty much wherever we finish, it’s just that the quality we have is usually enough to pull us through the top 4. There’s no pressure on the manager and it seems like nothing changes.
We all know that competition and stress sometimes brings the best out of you. You know, when you are losing to your friend on the darts and you pull yourself up to hit a double 12 and finish the game. I mean internal motivation is hard to get. Much harder than external. Maybe if Arsene is told that 4th is not good enough, we might go further.
I’d set higher standards. We must go past the last 16 of Europe. All English clubs in the CL need to. Simeone made a comment about English teams dropping out of Europe and he has a point. We do need a wake up call. The media in England creates a massive hype around one game or a few wins a row and then goes berserk on a few defeats. We don’t see the bigger picture.
Truth is, Arsenal is doing okay in a league where all the top teams are in decline. Chelsea are running away with a free title. We should be up there with them. We couldn’t go past the last 16 of the Champions League for 5 years in a row – and we had Milan (now sitting mid table in Italy) and Monaco beating us. And Barcelona and Bayern should be teams we can compete with. That should be our aim. Or we can accept being Elite Mediocrity in Europe.
Always having a flair, but never really reaching the potential. Look at Porto, who sell their best players year after year, whopping Bayern 3:1. We are behind. Tactically we are really behind. The pace in England is quick but Europe has caught up. I watched a few games from the German league and cup and immediately you could see how well teams are organized. The pressing is superb.
We take too much time to spot obvious problems. Since Lehman have we not had a decent keeper till this day. We played 3 seasons having only one striker. We leak goals from free kicks for years in a row now. It’s time for a new approach.
Analyze the mistakes in the summer. Buy the missing pieces (GK, another DM to help Coquelin, Theo replacement, maybe a Cazorla replacement, and a top quality striker), make another statement. Go for a big player, just to scare the opponents and put us strong on the football map. Improve fitness, reduce the number of injuries and finally tactics. We won 2 games in Manchester, by not being all out on attack, yet we still feel like a team that can always concede.
A season cannot be won in the summer but it can set a platform. Ditch the Asia tour. Have the players fresh for the start of the season and start strong. Let’s do our homework this time and have a real go for the title next year!