Who else will play their last Emirates game tomorrow? by Dan Smith
There is no disgrace to lose to Athletico Madrid over two legs. In fact the two games were perfect in highlighting to our new manager exactly where Arsenal FC sit in the current footballing landscape.
Ultimately the reason the Spaniards were made favourites when the draw was made, were what gave them the edge. In the moments that mattered they showed leadership, concentration, were streetwise and every one knew their jobs.
It’s not how a man who has shown 22 years of love and loyalty deserves to bow out. Disappointment will still be too raw for most fans to give the man the respect he deserves for 90 minutes.
Yet the reality is it won’t just be Arsene Wenger who will be saying goodbye to the Emirates this Sunday and nor should it be. While our manager deserved for his last game to be in Lyon, it would be hard for many of our players to seriously suggest they deserved silverware from this campaign. It’s a cruel reality that so many who have let their boss down will be protected and wrapped up in cotton wool one last time, with some not mentally strong enough to get over Thurdsay’s exit in time for Burnley.
Some describe this as an exciting chapter for the club but under our current ownership it’s also a scary one. Do they have the ambition to pick a manager and adopt a transfer policy that will help close the gap with Manchester City? Even before our missing out on champions league football was confirmed in midweek there were talks that only 50 million would be spent this summer, anymore must be risen by sales.
While wholesale changes never happen, factoring in the above, who else could be about to play their last home match as a gunner?
Promises of playing in the cup competitions means Ospina continues to play a healthy amount of games but he still can’t become our number 1 despite Cech making mistakes he didn’t at Chelsea. Both keepers are good but no longer grea due to age. Lack of resources means this isn’t a crucial area to cover but if the right GK became availiable we should think about it. Either way keep Cech around the place as he’s one of the few leaders we have.
Last summer he nearly went to Italy due to apparently not making making friends within the squad. Like a year ago though it’s hard to see anyone giving us 30 million for the German. He does have his good games but is too inconsistent considering how much we brought him for. With younger CBs needing guidance and Koscielny seeming no longer able to play two games a week, the pressure increases on the World Cup winner to lead our back four. He hasn’t got the qualities to do that.
Slightly harsh as he young which means there was always going to be a dip in form. This is more a case that Barcelona have their eyes on him. If they are still wlIlling to spend the amount they were in the last few windows it must be tempting for the club, especially if we need to raise funds. Remember most Spanish lads want to return home one day so why not do a deal where everyone wins.
Despite being a genuine fan and having been at the club since a child Wilshere appears offended by the contract on offer. At Xmas I understood how our board would find it hard to decide on what wages he deserved but surely he’s proven his fitness. It must be a heart vs head decision for him as he may feel that his career could benefit from a fresh start. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ramsey is thinking the same thing. Both owe a lot to a club who supported them through serious injuries. But with the man who signed him as a teenager departing, might the Welshman see this as the time to try something new? He’s lost some of his friends in the last couple of windows and Jack might be the straw that breaks the camels back
Divides opinion but for me should be the first name put up for sale. Apart from being part of our academy I don’t hear an argument of what he’s doing at a top club. Yes he’s young but he’s been around the squad enough now for judgement to be made. He has skill but no end product and no confidence in his final ball or shooting. Given his position his statistics are woeful.
I like him in terms of his build up play, which is fantastic and you can’t question his work rate. The harsh reality is though he’s paid to score goals and in the games that matter he misses the chances which matter. A good squad player but never going to be a starter. Same reasons Man United sold him.
Who else do you think will leave Arsenal this summer?