Written by Dwang Goon on Wednesday, 16 May 2012 09:05
I am sure the major concern and talking point for all Gooners right now is....... what's next???
All eyes will be on Rvp & other possible signings over the next couple of days and weeks or even months. Many fans hoping for a quick positive resolution so that the club have generous time to prepare, and the squad can gel better for the new campaign.
This season, we lost out on chasing the title almost right from the start. Realistically, UCL qualification was our only goal, and gladly we managed it right at the very end.
Destiny is once again in our hands, just like the final game against WBA. We now have the opportunity to distant ourselves away from spurs like we always do in the past. Over the last 5 years, they have caught up so much that we are almost equals. Spurs' improvement alone didn't do all the damage.
Some say no one is irreplaceable, generally it is a sensible statement. But someday, it'll come to that point that we have no more worldclass players to "replace". To add on to the mistake, replace is not the right word, we haven't really "replace" our losses in quality, it is like a pothole, only covered up by a cloth.
Our current squad do have some quality, and a lot of depth - some in the form of deadweight & ghost workers. I reckon if we could just bring in another 2 or 3 more fine players like Podolski, while keeping hold on our current key players, we could really, truly, finally challenge at the highest level with sufficient quality depth. Many fans are yearning for new quality names at the back of their jerseys, and others waiting to jump on the bandwagon when Arsenal go out to show more ambition. New faces can also help raise the performance of players so that they know they will have to earn their place. We don't even need to go into a spending frenzy like Chelsea or Man City, and now that the transfer market is much more stable than previous years, there really isn't a better time.
Nobody can guarantee winning major trophies every year, not even at Barca or City in current circumstances... Arsenal's improvement could very well be the best bet for RVP. No club worship and adore him as much as Arsenal, or will be as patient with him if he one day loses form or suffer bad injuries. The feeling and price of winning a trophy with Arsenal and other clubs is so much different. I hope Rvp uses himself wisely as a bargaining chip to improve our team.
Arsenal's financial strength and position have picked up so much to the point that it doesn't make sense if we were to be content with European participation, or so it was portrayed over the last few seasons. We are easily one of the richest club in the world, but our squad quality pale in comparison with the top 10.... it doesn't take a genius to realise something is not quite right.
The fans and every other stakeholder at Arsenal deserved better.
And I believe, the time is NOW! Before more fans take a break for the benefit of their health.
Thank you for your time.
Mean Lean's Response
Since the invincibles, the gap between ourselves and our over excited neighbours has closed somewhat but I think there is a good reason for this.
Their owner has been able to pump good money into their squad over the last few years without having to consider debt repayments towards one of the best stadiums if not the best in the country. But that for me is not the reason for the narrowing of the famous gap.
Tottenham have been an average to good Premier League team over the years, a team that those above them do not pay much attention to when the transfer window flies open, so building a team, building a squad has been easier for them. In recent times I can only think of Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Carrick that they have wanted to hold onto but were really forced into selling and they got good money for those players to reinvest back into their squad.
Arsenal on the other hand are watched and prayed upon by those with deeper pockets and it has been this way since we moved to the Emirates stadium. Henry, Cole, Adebayor, Flamini, Hleb, Cesc, Nasri and more have all had their heads turned and rebuilding the squad, re-finding a new balance has been Arsene Wenger's groundhog day.
We find ourselves in a catch-22 situation, we need to win trophies to keep hold of our stars but to win trophies we need to keep our squads together, but without a shadow of a doubt, the riches that Manchester City and Chelsea are offering is jamming spanner after spanner into the works. How else can you explain the number of Arsenal players going to Manchester United? A team that has been the most successful in this country since the rise of the Premier League. Zero. If Arsenal players were jumping ship purely for trophies then surely the red devils would have been the first stop.
Sadly, we cannot compete with billionaire owners who can pay individuals (Yaya Toure) a reported £220k per week. Our aim should be to get closer to Manchester United in the wage stakes and that can only happen post 2014 when our commercial deals will be renegotiated.
I would much rather we were not able to compete at the top end for transfers fees (-£21,616, 000 NET transfer spend since 92/93) and have a higher wage bill because I have faith that our manager and his scouting system can find the next Koscielny, van Persie, Sagna, Vermaelen, Fabregas etc all players under £10m. Keeping our players at the club would benefit us much more I believe.
Tottenham have been working the other way round, spending huge sums on transfers (-£168,832,500 NET transfer spend since 92/93) but having a low wage bill. Now that they have had their most successful season in the Premier League (still finishing below us) it will be interesting to see how they go about keeping Bale, Modric and company. With the bigger clubs around Europe sniffing around those lot from down I do not see any gap continuing to be closed.
We had a huge transitional season, losing more players in one summer than perhaps ever before. Losing our captain and a player who performed on top of his game for half a season, we had to bed in new players and had our worst start to a season for many years. Meanwhile our neighbours enjoyed their very best start to a season after building on the players they had last season. We all know how that story ended.
Interestingly, Tottenham's end of season reminds me of ours last season. We were comfortably in third, challenging for the title until we fell apart and in the end we dropped to 4th. Could that continue this summer? Tottenham may lose two key players and have to rebuild. The team that finished in 3rd last season did pretty well this season didn't they?
Wishful thinking or a real possibility? Depends on which side of the fence you sit on I suppose.
Before I disappear, can I point you in the direction of Squid Boy's excellent piece today. Certainly worth a read.