It's been some years now since my last post. Some painful years.
But then we won the FA cup, and oh what a feeling that was. Thing is, i feel as if it came a bit late. Don't get me wrong, i almost cried as i hugged my brother, ecstatic when Ramsey's shot went in. He had never seen Arsenal win anything, so that was a magic moment for both of us.
I can't help but feel a bit sad, for everyone involved with the club, because we should have had some success, or won something in the period between both our FA cup wins. Should have won the league in 2007, and probably at least if not won it, challenge until the final match on more occasions if it hadn't been for injuries. So close to a Champions League, so close to the Carling Cup.
An entire generation of players mostly came and went without a trophy.
Now things are quite a bit different. We are buying proven quality, instead of gambling on youngsters, hoping they come through. And some have. Thankfully the manager stood by players like Ramsey and Wilshere. We are also holding on to our players, some do leave, like Sagna, but he had already given his better years to the club.
Our problems are no longer financial, at least less so. The club has more stability therefore it can buy players of Ozil's and Sanchez's quality that can come and immediately have an impact. Personally i am not a big fan of Mezut, who i think is a great talent, but don't particularly see him as a great purchase when we could have gotten someone like Suarez or a player more suited to our needs at that particular time. Getting him felt like a statement, and i believe we needed that to change the perception of us being a selling club, which is what we were for a good period of time.
He doesn't seem particularly passionate about the club, or trying to give his all, and it wouldn't surprise me to see him leave for City, PSG or some club with big resources soon.
Sanchez and Welbeck i am quite a big fan of, they provide something we have been lacking. They both have pace and quality. They are both hungry and want to prove themselves. They don't seem injury prone, but fingers crossed.
Debuchy looked great before his injury, and Chambers and Campbell are both exciting prospects.
So we are on the right track, sort of. Why do i say this?
Well, simply because we have improved in some areas, but some of the old mistakes keep getting made. The manager failed once again to strengthen the squad where it was thin, mainly in defence, and now we have an injury crisis.
It reminds me of an old man on a boat, covering up a hole but more holes pop up by the minute.
We still lack a defensive midfielder. Arteta isn't one, Flamini not really either, at least not of the quality we need. Both are prone to making mistakes at the worst moments.
On the positive side, we've finally let go of some players that shouldn't have been at the club in the first place, such as Bendtner and Park.
I believe we are a stronger team today than a couple of years before, but many teams have improved as well. City are as strong as ever, and Chelsea looks fantastic. I don't think we can compete with either of those teams at the moment, and Mean Lean was quite right in affirming our title race is over before it began.
It's hard to picture any team in the league beating Chelsea at the moment, because they have it all, and that is depressing. Just hope they don't win the league unbeaten. It looks like they will dominate the premiership as united did in recent years, with their main competition coming from Manchester city.
And that is the problem we currently have, which is that we need 22 very strong players, not 11. And most certainly not injury prone ones.Both those teams are so strong that they have adecuate cover for every position, and their bench is almost as strong as their starting eleven.
We simply don't have that. To get there we need: a) time+luck, b) lots of money, and some time as well.
I think we will fare better against top sides, and by that i mean lose by a smaller margin, get a couple more draws here and there, win the occasional one, but we will fare worse against so called lower opposition because those teams are stronger, the whole league is.
Other teams on the top of the table are much better prepared for a long and competitive season, because their substitute players are almost as good as their starting eleven, and they are covered on every area. I hate going back to Chelsea's example, but just look at their bench. So is the case with City. Tottenham are better prepared than we are at the moment, simply not good enough.
We need defenders, a DM. The manager needs to address that, we could have gotten Fabregas also. Look how well he's doing. Man, wish we had gotten him back. It seems as if Wenger always hopes for the best but never gets it, so he gets in more trouble than he needs to. I don't think he has enough resources to challenge for the league, but a cup is different.
If he somehow addresses these issues, i feel like we can be a club that can mount a challenge for the FA Cup, and also the Champions League. We finally have the right kind of talent to contend for it. If some of our key players stay fit or come back, a lucky draw, and we could go far, maybe all the way. The signs are there, just look at our game against city. Such a great game against such a strong side. If we can play that way against them, we can give a game to anyone in Europe. We do need some luck on our side, but we're due some at some point.
I do have hope, and think we are indeed making progress, but that progress has to come at a faster rate, or we risk staying behind those around us. We are at a critical period, because Arsene will probably retire soon, and that would mean another transition, unless a great manager is brought in when that happens, we are at peril.
I hope Wenger stays in some capacity, and actually helps in choosing a worthy successor, because replacing him will be very difficult. I also hope the right kind of team is in place at the time, because to get the right manager, you must also have the right players. Someone like Cholo Simeone or jurgen Klopp probably won't be lured to our club unless they feel that they can come and at least be competitive.
So Arsene has done well for us financially, but he needs to strengthen the squad, either for himself or the man to succeed him.
Mean Lean's Response
Thank you for the piece, sounds like it's coming from the heart. More and more people are feeling disillusioned if the internet is anything to go by. We have not been producing this season that seems obvious but I see no reason why we cannot fix our issues. We've added Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck on top of a squad that finished 7 points off 1st place. We have more than a good foundation to build upon we just need to get this squad playing together properly as they did for the most part last season.
Arsene has already pointed out that he wanted a centre back and could not get one. He hasn't once said that we have enough in that area. He also said he was open to a defensive minded midfielder so we are not stuck without these players for the next three years.
Plenty more to come from this squad but we have to get it together quick smart.