The Romford Pele himself, Ray Parlour, has been giving his thoughts on Arsenal and the season which is now drawing to a close with the usual fight for fourth place when we all expected and hoped for so much more from the Gunners this time. He stopped short of blaming the boss, even though he also feels that next year will probably be the last one under the managerial reign of Arsene Wenger.
As well as revealing his thoughts on why Arsenal failed to challenge for the Premier League title once again, he gave his ideas on what could be done during the summer to make sure that it is not the same old story once again next time around. And the opinion of a player who knows what it takes to succeed, having won five domestic cups and three league titles in his 12 year Arsenal career, including the amazing invincibles year is surely worth taking on board.
Parlour blames the players jiout there on the pitch, repeating the theory that there are not enough strong characters and leaders in the current Arsenal squad. But he also blames the boss indirectly, for the insistence on packing the side will small creative players and ignoring the power and battling side of the game.
He said, “They had the chance to win the league this year, but then so did a lot of clubs.
“Every year the discontent will grow. It probably doesn’t help that Leicester and Tottenham are above them.
“Sometimes you have to look at the players and whether they’re strong enough mentally.
“Maybe it’s not the little tricky players you want to get, but those strong players like Tony Adams at the back.
“When you’re up against it it’s down to the players to sort out what’s wrong. We did that when we played. There are not enough characters like that on the pitch at the moment.
“They need a top-quality centre-half and they need another striker. Mesut Ozil has created the most chances of any midfielder in the Premier League, but they still haven’t scored enough goals.
“I know top strikers are hard to find but they nearly got Luis Suarez and that’s the calibre of player they’ve got to look at.”
Would a top quality striker and central defender be enough for Arsenal to finally have a proper go at regaining the EPL trophy next May?