Dark times ahead for Arsenal and drastic changes are needed urgently

The consequences of the humiliating loss against Chelsea last night cannot be underestimated. Arsenal are set for a period of darkness unless some significant changes are made at the club with immediate effect.

There is going to be the usual sell a ton of players, sack Unai Emery and bring in six or seven players and rightfully so but the problem runs far deeper than that, it is institutionalised and unless that changes we are in trouble as a club.

Newcastle United are set to be transformed with new owners who will be injecting in some serious money, make no mistake, they will be looking to do a Manchester City and they will be among the elite soon.

Wolves, Leicester City and Everton have serious ambitions and will spend big to be even more competitive than they were last season.

Tottenham, Man Utd and Chelsea will also be spending significantly and all three at least have a decent core of players to build around.

Man City and Liverpool have flown and will be the dominant forces for at least the next three to five years.

So where does that leave us?

Arsenal is now becoming a Europa League club, that is now our level and we have to be honest and accept that as a fact.

But it does not have to remain like that, but it will unless the club changes its transfer policy.

It is commendable that we want to be self-sufficient and only spend what we generate but our rivals are not doing that, they are spending or set to spend huge amounts of money and while they are doing that we are getting left behind.

So much needs to change in terms of players that it will take more than one transfer window but we have to start that process and the loss last night means we will have such a restricted transfer budget that the best we can hope for now is sticking a plaster over a cut because that is all we can afford to do now.

Almost every position in the team is weak and even Pep Guardiola would struggle with what Unai Emery has to work with.

There are of course some decent players that we can build the team around but that is not going to be sufficient without an influx of some high-class talent.

It is not just about a huge transfer budget, what we saw yesterday was a collapse in mentality and that is seriously worrying, it is cultural and embedded in the club and it is not as if last night was a one-off, it wasn’t.

This feels like a bit of a ramble but that is because there is so much wrong that it becomes hard to articulate the extent of the problems we are facing now.

We will struggle to maintain a top-six position next season unless the board and owner change course over the summer, it will not get better otherwise.

I am not sure Unai Emery is the right man for the job but he must be given at least one more season, he must be given the funds to implement his vision, he must be allowed to offload players that do not fit the Arsenal mould, even at a huge loss.

But as things stand right now, with our transfer budget, with the players, owner and managers mentality we had better get used to the likes of Wolves and Leicester City being our closest rivals and not Tottenham, Chelsea, Man Utd, Liverpool and Man City.

Drastic changes are needed and they are needed right now.


  1. Emery needs to start figuring out how to defend properly, have a strategy and team philosophy, then pin point which defenders and players suit the system.

    Liverpool didn’t just buy Van Dijk & Allison, and boom their defensive issues disappeared. They had a defensive strategy and bought players accordingly. We need to do the same. We need a model like Dortmund’s.

    Plus Ozil or Mustafi did not make Arsenal useless with team defensive tactics. We could replace Ozil with Messi and we still would have still lost 4-1.

    Fans who blame players etc. have just been changing scapegoats every season since the invincibles and nothing has changed, what worries me is how it hasn’t clicked in their heads that neither…

    Ozil, Iwobi, Mustafi, Eboue, Diaby, Denilson, Silvestre, Senderos, Aluminia, Andre Santos, Djourou, Song, Xhaka etc.

    …decide how the team should play, and be structured defensively.

    We need to stop talking about wingers and which one of our players suck. AND YES WE DON’T NEED ZAHA

    1. Zaha, De Ligt – all these were nonsense for a club that is reeling under pressure from inside. Players trying to bargain with the club at gun point, and a recruitment team which, except last year, did an average job over years. And btw, that team from last year is gone, no idea who calls the shots today. Even with Champions League we were out of bracket for any player above 50mil.

      I agree with strategy and planning to get players accordingly, but some players dont fit into any strategy. For me, Ozil/Mustafi/Elneny are such players who just dont cut it. For last 2 years, and for next 2 years, these players will make sure the club remains mediocre. I just dont see the light ahead.

      Everton not so much, but Wolves are doing pretty serious and will invest again. ManU have unlimited resources, compared to us. Leicester is up and coming. Even Newcastle will compete in a year or 2 with oil money injected. We either need outside investment or just accept we are a falling empire with no hope of revival.

      1. The reason I stave away from the individual player criticisms right now, is that we could change things and sell Ozil/Mustafi/Elneny etc now but nothing would have changed…

        Years and seasons have gone by, and we’ve switched our scapegoats season after season…
        and we still concede easy goals.

        To be quite honest Ozil/Mustafi/Elneny/Xhaka aren’t the worst players in football, I mean some fans complain as if these players are worse than some players at Huddlesfield.

        Right now before settling on a model, let’s atleast come up with a proper defensive strategy. Ozil/Mustafi/Elneny can’t be worse than what Wolves or Leicester has, those teams have a better defensive strategy than us, swap any of their players with those I mentioned and we’d probably be the same or even worse off.

    2. Start with sacking Steve Bould, he’s the last Wenger’s pawn still at the club and he’s the one coaching the defenders. Hoping the club manages to offload Mustafi and Ozil. I’d actually give Xhaka another season to work on reducing his signature errors that lead to a goal, maybe he can improve there.

  2. Drift is what happens and has happened for the last decade plus, when a club loses ambition and is both owned and managed by people who lack ambition. That has now changed with Emery replacing the coasting Wenger but the far more vital change needed is in the owner and until that happens we have not a prayer of a serious title challenge nor CL challenge.

    1. Kronke has shown over the last decade what he is about; MONEY. He sold the big lie about the stadium, and only he has benefited. The club is required to be self-sustaining but he takes out a loan to buy up the Russian’s shares. We let one of the best scouts on the planet walk for nothing, and we flop and flounder in the meanwhile with only a deadweight Suarez loan that both Raul and Emery were calling for.

      I have no confidence in their ability to scout and sign the players we need, and even less belief that ownership will back them.

      My biggest criticism of Emery is not chasing 3rd place in the PL when we had a real legitimate chance. His team selections, tactics, and philosophy was ass-backwards regarding those games, and cost us dearly. Chelsea had us figured out, and punished us in the 2nd half. Emery’s cubbard was bare from the bench, and didn’t seem much better than the players.

      Player clear out is needed, and if Emery can’t show some improvement in performance, tactics, or development, then he needs to be gone after his second season in charge.

      Honestly, we are not an attractive football club to top managers, and we need a top manager if we have any hope of turning things around. Bad ownership, futile board, meager budget, no ambition from the top, and a cast of players comfortable living in London on fat wages.

      My hope now with Emery is that he will be completely ruthless with this sorry lot. Sell the comfortable players, and create an atmosphere of true competition within the squad.

      Lastly, much like the players, Emery needs to show development, growth, and improvement going into next year just like the players. We demanded it of Wenger, and we should demand the same of his replacement. Otherwise, why did Wenger get the boot in the first place? We go on a run, then falter, plagued with injuries, stage a slight comeback, then collapse in humiliating fashion. Sound familiar?

      Everyone has a share of the blame in my book. Kronke more of a banker than an owner, players are weak, unmotivated, and too comfortable, and a manager who is stubborn and doesn’t seem to learn from mistakes far too often with selections and formations.

  3. For me the best option is to start a massive clear out of the players and use the money to get new players with new energy.
    If I had my way I will offload these players.
    Cech – free
    Elneny – 15m
    Mkhitaryan – 25m
    Ramsey – free
    Ozil – 25m
    Lichsteiner – free
    Ospina – 30m
    Monreal – free
    Mustafi – 20m
    Welbeck – free
    Jenkinson – free
    If we happen to sell out these players listed we can raise up to 115m plus the 40m rumoured to be available for transfers this summer, then we can get 5 good affordable players. LB, CB, CM, LW, RW.

  4. The life of a football team supporter:
    Before the game ”so much right’ ‘so much optimism’.
    After the defeat ‘ so much wrong’ ‘so much despair’
    To day the heart hurts but I am powerless to do anything about it.

    With that in mind saying ‘how great the team is – the club is when we win.
    Saying ‘how bad the team is – the club is when we lose is not for me.
    The desire for Arsenal to win lives on stronger than ever.

  5. Europa league is definately our new level people.

    Lets just get used to it.

    We not buying any quality this summer with our ”warchest” , sorry!

    I’m pissed!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Newcastle will be a force to reckon with soon, make no mistakes, they plan to do a Mancity. Money will be injected and propel them to the very top. They will force their way into the big boys once again and push us further down the pecking order of something is not done fast. Newcastle is coming back!

  7. we need 11 new players actually. A backup kipper and RB, two starting CB and one top LB. in midfield we need a starting BtB and a playmaker, and probably another good squad palyer as a creative midfielder, as we can’t have only one (Ozil and Miki has to go).
    We also need at least two top wingers, if not three- we have only mediocre Iwobi, and a top team needs three good wingers. and we also need a backup ST now Welbeck is out.
    so we need 11-12 players, 7 of them to the starting lineup if we want to have a competitive squad.
    because except Leno, Bellerin, Torriera, Gonduzi, Laca and Auba, all of our squad is mediocre at best, if not plain pathetic.

  8. Clear out these players
    Cech, Elneny, Mkhitaryan, Ramsey, Ozil, Lichsteiner, Ospina, Monreal, Mustafi, Welbeck, Jenkinson.
    Gather about 100m from these sales plus the 40m available get 6 good affordable players

    1. Cech- 0
      Elneny- 10 max
      Miki- 15 max
      Ramsey- 0
      Ozil- no one will get him on that contract.
      Lichsteiner- 0
      Ospina- 7 max
      Monreal- 5 max
      Mustafi- 20 if we are very lucky
      Welbeck- 0
      Jenkinson- 0

      that is 57M in a very optimistic evaluation. and i would add Kos.
      we might have to sell Auba to raise cash/

      1. *We will have to sell Auba, he’s 30 and he wants trophies and trophies won’t come with Arsenal, the players know it even more than we do.
        I don’t see how can the club sell more than four players, honestly. All I hope for is seeing the backs of Mustafi and Mkhi, those two are draining wages and are borderline-useless. We all know Ozil will “respect” his massive contract. If I were Emery, to thank him for “respecting” his contract, I’d keep him with U23 for the end of his stay.

    2. You do realize Cech, Ramsey, Monreal and Welbeck are living free.

      Are you proposing we can get a 100m from 30 year old under performing Ozil, overrated Mkhi, average Ospina, shipwreck Mustafi, and unknown Jenkinson?

      Oh to be a Gunner!!!

  9. Am not really expecting so much incomings this summer but I will make do with this four players:
    Trossard 18m
    Gotze 12m
    Tierney 25m
    Upamecano 45m+Mustafi

    Use the transfer budget to buy a solid defender and use the money from player sales to buy Trossard, Gotze and Tierney.

    1. We could have a first 11 that looks like this with that :
      Trossard Lacazette Auba
      Gotze Xhaka Torreira
      Tierney Holding Upamecano Bellerin

      Looks OK IMO.

  10. Admin you are absolutely SPOT ON. The Kroenke’s are only paying lip service to the UEFA’s so called FFP rules because it suits them. Jon Fox is right when he points to a total lack of ambition by the Arsenal hierachy and I honestly can’t see it changing any time soon, we sit around pretending to be the the financial ‘good guys’ while the rest of them totally disregard the rules and get away with it.

    We have a totally disjointed team who only perform on the odd occasion. I have no doubt that Emery is a good coach, my only reservation is can he motivate this current team – I think not. He needs to be backed financially, make huge changes and given another full season before we judge him. For those who are already shouting for his head, I would ask this simple question, which top manager will even consider joining our our club with it’s current financial philosophy? I really hope that Emery works out because he seems to be extremely passionate, hardworking and enthusiastic and with the right players could surprise the doubters (including myself).

    Great Article admin, it needed to be said.

    1. One of the biggest problem with this team is the fragile mentality as once we go a goal behind we seem to crumble. There is no way to practice or teach that, it has to be innate and this is what worries me most about our beloved club. We do have a dross as an owner and a few of the players are not up to standard, but no one can tell me that as a team Arsenal are worse than some of the clubs who have conceded far fewer goals than us. For too long Arsenal has accepted this air of mediocrity, as constantly being embarrassed on the field seems to have little or no consequences. We can buy all the players we want but as long as we don’t have the right mentality nothing will change.

  11. I don’t think next season we will qualify for champions league, anyway the champions league is for champions…. People who fight to win it not to be knocked out even after winning the group. Remember there is man city(well oiled), Liverpool(german engineering at its finest), spurs, man united, chelsea, and soon it would be new castle with their new sugar daddy. U tell me where would arsenal be in the next few years???

    1. Plus Everton with Usmanov pouring in his gains from selling his Arsenal shares, Leicester City, Watford and West Ham.

  12. I agree, the fragile mentality comes from a lack confidence which, at this moment, is affecting most of the team. It’s up to the coaching staff to motivate the players but the total lack of leaders in the team doesn’t help. This is nothing new, we have not had a proper leader in the team since Patrick Viera.

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