Every year I try to take a step back and form an objective opinion on the season that has just finished for Arsenal and also form some expectations for the season ahead.
This year has been particularly difficult for me. I will make no secret about the fact that I am a firm supporter of Arsene Wenger and have been through the recent, relatively turbulent years. However, even I have to start asking myself some serious questions about what I am expecting this season.
Let me be clear, I have no time for ‘fans’ protesting during games and being counter productive at times when our team needs support the most. Let me also be clear that I am not suggesting that fans should get fed garbage and like the taste of it… It’s just that there are ways & times to do things and what I saw last season was not how to treat the manager that has, through his trail blazing management, set our expectations so high.
For the first time, I am at a crossroads in terms of the manager. I am not necessarily in the camp that thinks we should have walked the league last year because Leicester City won it. If it was that easy, why did everyone else also not walk it?… Our neighbours were hailed as a magnificent outfit who are showing the way forward with high tempo play, the next big thing in terms of manager, blah blah blah… We finished above them… Again! That is no measure of success, of course, but should provide some context. There’s no doubt that it was a missed opportunity for us but the level of criticism is unbalanced in my opinion and the inconvenient truth that we finished second is forgotten.
I always try to remain optimistic and take a view at the end of the season. This year, I have concluded that I have to see a real level of intent before the season starts and up to the close of the transfer window. There are plenty of examples proving that throwing money at the problem is not the solution, however there are clear gaps in terms of positions that need addressing… Notably a holding midfielder and a striker operating at a higher level than that of our current crop.
If that statement of intent isn’t forthcoming, then unfortunately it will be with a heavy heart that I will finally have to admit that this year should be the final one for the great man.
The early signs are promising… Granit Xhaka was delivered almost immediately and although the attempt to get Vardy ended with him staying put, at least the intention was there. I’m undecided as to whether he would have actually fitted in but £20m for a striker that scored so many goals in the Premier League last year represented good value.
So that intent that I mentioned seems to be there… If it continues, I will of course be right behind the team and the manager until the end of next season when we can take stock and re-evaluate. If it is another pre-season with only one signing and another season where we haven’t given ourselves the best chance to succeed, then it will unfortunately be, in my mind at least, the end of an era.
Article by ‘LeProf knows more than you‘.
Think the signs are already there. Everyone else is signing players whilst Arsenal are sat on their hands. Can you even imagine the atmosphere at the Emirates at the start of the season if we hadn’t signed anyone else?
Xhaka is a top signing, but not enough.
the only era i want to be at an end is the era of wenger. once good, not so much any more. a pompous, self-important man who refuses to apply his frugality to his own wages. he says one thing and acts the complete opposite. i don’t trust him a bit when he says he wants to win the PL because his actions belie his words. a miser and a milquetoast that runs a convalescent home for injured players, who never pushes his players to get the best out of them, who lacks ambition and lacks the willingness to come to terms with the amount of money you have to pay to get a WC striker. he has been trying to get a WC striker last 3 years, but he sucks at the transfer window and arsenal suffers when the new season starts.
There has to be an end to this nonsense going on at OUR club
We can’t compete for Pl without a 20 plus goal scorer
we can’t compete CL with only one Top winger. Theo, Ox, Campbell, Iwobi, Ramsey are not top wingers
We need a top quality winger and a striker
Wingers; Greizmann, Reus, Rodriguez, Mahrez, Aubmeyang, Gotze (I wanted mkhitaryan(
Strikers; Jannsen, Lacazette, higuain, Cavani, lewandowski, Alacer, lukaku
I think at the very least Lukaku and mahrez would do the. Job. Both Pl experience and Score Goals
Okay with just about all those players except Cavani. He’s not better than Giroud yet he costs more. Also still skeptical of Lukaku. I just don’t think he’s that good.
I only see 1 striker on that list that is better than Giroud but the list of “wingers” is very impressive.
Aubameyang is a striker who scored 37 goals in 46 games for club and country last season, he’s not a winger. He would be my first choice striker as hes a far superior version of Jamie Vardy.
I agree. And I would add that Arsenal also need to add a reliable CB to replace the aging Mert. Perhaps send Chambers on loan and use Mert as a backup.
How we can justify having Theo, Ox and Campbell fighting for the same position is beyond me!
he’s been doing this nonsense for several summers. One top player then he stops, we dont win title. Rinse & repeat. Japanese random to be our only striker signing this summer. Long live Giroud
Wenger has just made up for not paying child support for the last 21 years by signing up his long lost son. ?
Some of Asano features resembles Wenger’s in a way that will make you laugh. … his hair, ears, eyebrows etc lol ?
@ DavidNz … Mate, you were joking but I think that you were spot on with this one! ?
A team like lecister has proven that u dont need big signings to win the league
you need proper tactics and players who belive in themselves and their team mates. last year this was lacking thats y we couldnt beat teams that we should have easily swept aside with stars like sanchez and ozil
Were are our club grown talents ? in all of this.
It proves you need a striker who can score goals. Impossible to win league with a bad finisher. Vardy, good finisher, Giroud, not.
It proves you need quality forwards to win the league which Arsenal have refused to sign.
Arsenal need another striker AND Giroud is still a valuable player – both can be true at the same time.
Giroud keeps proving he belongs on a top team despite his fan-based detractors. He is the first-choice striker for one of the favorites to win the Euro’s. And he is performing well.
That said, Arsenal desperately need another striker with some pace and excellent raw finishing skills using his feet. These are qualities Giroud does not really possess.
Would he have been first choice for France if Benzama hadn’t been a naughty boy and been dropped from the squad?
I would be happy for OG to stay he’d make a decent backup to a top striker and perhaps compliment the right player if we ever decided to play 2 up front
Wenger will not buy any top players unless he feels there is room in the squad and some salary money available.
Thus, the key for Arsenal is to first shed an additional 1 or 2 players beyond the 3 who have departed. Perhaps……. Walcott and Wilshere.
Walcott is using up salary and not really contributing that much to the team.
I still believe Wilshere can play if he stays healthy for more than 3 weeks. But he never stays healthy so what is the point – he should go before fully becoming the next Diaby.
Lets hope they find out what is causing all the injuries at the club (hard training pitches or something?) and we can see what Jack can do if fit for a season.
You’re right about Walcott though he doesn’t really suit our style of play, his game hasn’t evolved. He can be a pretty clinical finisher when he’s having a good run of form but too inconsistent for me! He would probably thrive at a team like Leicester and we should let him go
Hope you are right about Jack. A healthy Jack would be ideal.
Surely it makes more sense to shed players like Sanogo, debuchy, wellington, macey or martinez who are far weaker in terms of making the 18 on matchday.
and Walcott who has ridiculous wages for no reason. Must go.
Our level of intent is very clear…..we have purchased a Japanese striker purely to boost shirt sales in Japan. He will be of no use in the BPL and everyone knows it.
We have purchased him to increase our business model.
This is the level of ambition for our club.
We need to accept it and hope for the best. There will be no mega signings, we are lucky we have Xhaka. Other clubs get mega signings….we get what we get. We need to accept it and stop getting carried away.
Let’s hope for a good season but not get carried away.
There’s no point in bashing the Asano signing, because it is more than likely that he will be sent straight out on loan.
Arsenal are reportedly offering Morata £144,000 aweek to join but again what’s the purpose in that when we all know that wenger will not pay the asking price for this striker.
I am not bashing it to be honest. Fair play to the guy and I hope he settles and amazes everyone. But it’s a blatant bit of corporate business. It’s not even subtle and shows intent from the board etc. They are saying this is what we are doing so lump it, it’s a business and will be run like one.
Intent My AXXX Wenger is going to sign RVP on the Cheap (Robin Van Payslip)
Arsenal are going Backwards instead of forward. Please Mr Wenger Just GO.
I for one don’t want this Traitor Back at Arsenal. He Pissed off Chasing Glory
at Man Utd.
I just pray Wenger won’t go and buy Gotze and decide we are fine upfront….cos’ that’s what he does,as he couldn’t get Suarez he went for Ozil for appease the fans, when we actually needed a potent striker…
Now,Vardy has embarrassingly turned us down and Gotze is the next ‘world class’ AMF surplus to requirement…hmmm… I rest my case..
I wonder if he has striker targets, cos its obvious we are not in for Icardi, Janssen and the likes..
God help Arsenal!
I am not interested in Intent. Old saying that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. The only thing that matters is the quality of the team that he puts on the pitch this season. He needs to improve the team from the team that finished 10 pts behind the EPL winners. Key areas for improvements are more goals, and better defending. We have brought in one part of the defensive help with Xhaka. Need to address goals. After 4 years at Arsenal we know what we have with Giroud.
Make no mistake, the only reason we went for vardy was because he had a 20m release clause. The footballing reasons for trying to secure his signature was secondary to his price tag. The powers that be know we need a striker… all they did was jump at the chance to buy a 20m striker with a 24 goal return in one season. That made vardy almost mythical in the transfer window!!!
Agree, and i don;t think that Vardy or his agent had any intent to join Arsenal. I believe it was a move to get Vardy more money as any good agent does. Arsenal and other EPL managers were notified about the release clause by Vardy’s agent. Manu and Chelsa were also notified but since they couldn’t offer CL football they didn’t meet one of the requirements of the release clause. AW made a good faith effort to get the release but was unsuccessful because Leciester came up with more money which is what Vardy’s agent had intended to happen anyway. AW did not “go after ” Vardy, he was tipped about the release clause and did what any EPL manager would do when told about such a low price for a striker who had been su successful in the EPL. Anway still waiting to see who AW will pursue.
I do not want to play down us coming second but i am concerned that it is hiding a few disturbing points.
Here are some stats in format
Season, arsenal position, points behind leader
13/14 4 79 7
14/15 3 75 12
15/16 2 71 10
Whilst our position in the league has improved over the last three years our total points scored has dropped by four points every year. Last season we were 10 points behind the leaders and our title challenge was effectively over when we lost at home to swansea on 2nd march. We went from favourites to also rans in two games,
We have improved our position in the league, but our total points have fallen. It seems to me that the improvement in position is not down to us improving but due to the teams around us doing badly. Chelsea imploded, manc undermined their manager by saying he was going to be sacked and manu have not found a suitable replacement for fergie. All that has changed now with the new managers arriving..
My concern with the coming season is that we need a good striker but more importantly we need a team spirit which does not throw away good opportunities. Last season, if we had taken our opportunities we would have won the PL.
Wenger seems to be able to motivate the team when top four is threatened but not to go and win the PL. Seems the top four business model is so ingrained in the team and manager that they cannot win the PL.
We seem to have accepted that a top striker scores around 20 goals a season until you read Ronaldo`s record. I found it a little difficult to believe that he scores 50 goals a season and even more staggering has done so consistently for the past five years.
@almostawinner: I agree with your sentiments. The era that needs to end is Wenger`s.