Naïve or Arrogant? by DS
Throughout pre season I worried that our manager May have been in danger of being blinded by our second half of last season. Unfortunately having beaten Chelsea in the Community Shield my worries have increased with others now jumping on the bandwagon.
While I believe we will mentally be better for wins at Old Trafford and the Etihad and in particular how we handled the pressure of the FA Cup final, the reality is we finished 12 points behind Chelsea, never one being involved in the title race.
For our club to think they can stand still while those around us spend and have a chance of winning the Premiership is pure naivety bordering on arrogance.
Surely common sense would suggest if Man City finish 4 points ahead of us then spend over 60 million on outfield talent compared to our zero, there is a high chance that that gap widens. Worse, surely Man United have closed the gap with their spending if we don’t splash the cash.
Cech is a great start but Wenger needs to make more brave decisions like that if we are realistically going to challenge for the title. I use the term brave as, in many ways, Arsene’s biggest strength is his biggest flaw – an unbelievable loyalty in this group of players to fulfil their potential.
He wouldn’t have enjoyed sending Szczesny (at the club since a child) out on loan to Roma, but he realised the Pole in his years as our first choice had developed into a good keeper – but not a great one. And only great wins you titles, only great separates you from getting over the finishing line or missing out, the small details.
The question is will similar hard calls be made elsewhere in the squad? I’m not sure they will.
Take the emergence of Coquelin, without question he has earned his shirt and should stay in the team until he drops the baton. But the reality was for a few seasons now the Frenchmen has been out on loan and the club had zero interest in handing him a new contract. While it is a great personal story for the Frenchmen if not for an injury crisis at Xmas he would be a free agent right now, yet we are suddenly meant to believe he is the answer to our lack of physical strength in the truly big games. Could he not do with some help?
Are our 4 defensive options in the middle truly champion elite?
While I’m a fan of Giroud, could he not do with some support?
Of course there are still 20 plus days in the transfer window, the club could have something up their sleeves. Who saw Ozil arriving until deadline day happened?
But would any Gooner be surprised if we win all our games in August and then Mr Wenger tries to convince us we have all we need to win the league, with of course our Board not arguing as all they care about his finishing in the top 4.
Our owner and directors are clever men, they know there are an increasing amount of fans who question why they spend the most on tickets in the UK without money being invested into the team. Two years ago it took a 3-1 home loss to Aston Villa for Stan Kroenke to fly over and ensure he pulled off a glamour signing.
Before that it took a 8-2 hammering at Old Trafford to force a last minute trolley dash. I certainly don’t want to wish for us not to beat West Ham just so we get out the cheque book, but being blinded by a comfortable win on Sunday would be just as unhealthy.