The experience revolution begins at Arsenal! by Konstantin Mitov
Welcome to Arsenal, Stephan Lichtsteiner! The first real signing of the post-Wenger era and it’s a great one in my opinion. There are numerous reasons to be positive about him. First off the guy has won a ton of trophies at Juventus and he’s the captain of Switzerland! But the best thing is that he cost us nothing, so the board didn’t need to use any of their free spins on www.bonusinsider.com to pay for a World Cup player, which makes him perfect for Arsenal and our cut price budget.
We need characters in our backroom and we also need experience in defence. The guy gives us back-up to Bellerin and also, perhaps the Spaniard can learn a thing or two about defending from him. The Swiss captain has played under Conte and Allegri, so he should be well aware of how to play in a system. He’s 34, but we don’t need him to play every game, rather have cover when we need to rotate or Bellerin drops form.
This solves one out of the 5 positions that needed to be addressed (GK, RB, CB, CDM, LWF). Next on the menu it’s some Greek goodies with Sokratis, who we’re very likely to announce soon. And it’s another player who doesn’t set the world alight, but is famous for his character. And we do need these kinds of players that will not just drop their heads dead when we concede!
It’s also another player who isn’t the youngest. He’ll be 30 soon, and it’s not the kind of signing you’d expect us to make, but guess what? The dictatorship is gone and we’re swinging the pendulum in the other direction. We’re opting for experience and character. Those players probably won’t have 10 years at Arsenal like Walcott, Diaby and a whole bunch of other players we’ve waited all their career to come good. Nobody is safe anymore. Emery will be given a year no doubt to install his vision, but no way in hell is he getting 10. If he doesn’t deliver, he’ll be gone.
The new signings will also have to do it right here, right now. But they also have the job to pave the way for the young blood to come after them. Lichtsteiner – Bellerin, Sokratis – Mavropanos, you get the idea. We have to be very real about our team. Ivan was spot on when he said that going back to the top is a process. We’ve put it in the hands of multiple people this time, most of them have just joined the ship and they are already steering it into new territories, but we cannot ignore where we are starting from. Right now, we cannot go out there and bomb 90 million on a player. Besides, we spent over 100 million pounds on attacking talent in the last year.
We are also a Europa League side. We cannot just go and sell out our project to the very best players out there as they have the ability to go somewhere where the system works and go straight to the trophy hunts. We need to get back to the top 4 and we’re already trying to do it with reasonable signings that help us stabilize.
If you analyze our performances from last season, if we upgrade on our away form, we’ll be drastically closer to the top 4. But our record against the top 6 is also poor, and our defense has conceded 50+ goals. Trying to solve this the Man City way, will cost us over 200 million and guarantee us no instant success as you can see with United who spent a fortune to put their hopes on the Europa League last year.
And speaking of them, we’re linked with Fellaini. Now I’d much prefer N’zonzi to be honest, but I’m looking at the positives,and I think the Belgian is another player who can plug some of the holes for the moment. If you had the option to have him on the bench last season wouldn’t you have taken it? He’s not quite the DM we need, but he does bring physicality and presence that we’ve really missed in midfield. And although it’s not pretty, first hand experience shows how he can be used when you need to chase a game.
So finally, I think we’re going to make one big money signing at most and we’ll try to bring players with experience who’ll lift us enough to get back to the CL and then we can start throwing some bigger cash and try to cut the gap to the top. For now though it’s a promising start!