Last season many of Arsenal key players were cited to have underperformed but I do not see it like that. In my opinion the players are simply not good enough to be competing for a title. Players such as Gervinho are barely good enough for a 4th spot team let alone a title challenging team. He is a classic example of how pace isn’t everything when it comes to a winger. He is one of the fastest in the league and if he gets space on a defender you are not going to catch him. But he can do nothing with the ball. He has literally no final product. He cannot cross effectively and consistently and his shooting his dire at best he is simply not good enough for Arsenal. Another huge disappointment this season was Lukas Podolski. Joined from recently relegated German side Koln for a rumoured fee of £20 million, I had watched several Bundesliga games before he joined and I noticed how he was a top quality finisher. Give him a half decent chance and he will more than likely hit the back of the net but he struggled in his first season for two main reasons. While he was at Koln he was their main man. The entire team was built around him to try and keep them in the league so every single attack Podolski was the spearhead but for Arsenal he was just another important but not key player. The team was not built around him so he was never going to have the same effect for Arsenal as he did for Koln. But the main reason he has struggled so much is he has yet to cement a definite position in the Arsenal side. He has been varying between left winger and centre forward and this has knocked his confidence. If he was given the role he really wants which is the centre forward role then we may see a different Podolski as it is apparent from his performances for Koln and Germany that he is a good player. But he has been kept out of that position but Olivier Giroud. The striker joined Arsenal two months after Lukas Podolski for an estimated fee of £9.6 million from French side Montpellier. Many fans have called Giroud a flop this season but I disagree completely. He has scored 17 goals and assisted in 11 goals in just 47 games meaning he has been a vital part of 28 goals in 47 games which means he is involved in a goal every 1.6 games. I as a neutral struggle to see how this is thought of as flopping to put it into context Giroud has scored only one less goal than Rooney, Mata, Carzorla, Le Fondra and Sergio Aguero. So if flopping is being nearly as good as some of the top goal scorers in the league then yes Giroud has flopped this season. But in reality he has not flopped. His problem is Arsenal fans compare him to Arsenal football legend Henry who was also from France. No Arsenal player can ever compare to Henry so to compare a player to him and measure his success in comparison to Henry’s is very unfair.
But this summer Arsenal’s board have promised fans that they will spend big to fire their team back towards fighting for the title. But how should the board go with this? Sell a few players to get more money to buy more quality players or just buy one or two quality players.
The Arsenal board should sell deadwood such as Djourou, Arshavin but he may be leaving on a free this summer anyway so that will free up some wages for Arsenal and sell Francis Coquelin. Arsenal could get an overall fee between £10-15 million for Coquelin and Djourou. This money should then be added to the transfer budget that Arsenal already has so they can really spend big this summer. But who should they buy since their last few transfers window they have spent decent amounts of money but not too much effect. A strong possibility appears to Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain. A top quality striker who is very quick, great off the ball and a very good finisher, he is exactly the sort of player that Arsenal could do with to partner Giroud upfront in the coming season. With Girouds strength he could be a great target man because he has already proven with his 11 assists he is good at brining others into the game to score, so he and Higuain could be a deadly duo. But one striker is not good enough they need to strengthen in other areas as well. A new keeper is a must with Szczesny proving on many occasions last season he simply is not consistent enough to be a top keeper. But what really needs to be improved is Arsenals full-back situation. Their centre backs are a good enough standard to create a solid defence but their full-backs of Sagna and Gibbs are not good enough. Sagan showed many times last season he is inconsistent, hot headed and lacking quality to be a good full-back. As for Gibbs he is overall a decent player but not quite good enough to deserve a starting place for Arsenal. Possible improvements could be Baines from Everton or Filipe Luís Kasmirski Atletico Madrid. Baines has shown what he can do but as for Filipe Luís Kasmirski he is a very fast left-back who can attack and defend very well. He is calm on the ball and is very good at crossing. A great potential player for Arsenal however the transfer gossip that will be exciting the Arsenal fans the most is the potential move for Wayne Rooney who has been very unsettled at Manchester United recently due to mounting tension between himself and the former manager Sir Alex. The fans have been quick to turn on Rooney after it was announced he handed in a transfer request his second in three years and it appears fans have had enough of his antics and selfish behavior. Wenger is rumored to be trying to land the unsettled striker this summer for a fee rumored to be around the £25-30 million mark. As a United fan I must say that Rooney is a world-class talent but I like many other United fans have had enough with how he has acted over the last year or so and believe it is best if we sell him. If Arsenal buys him there are no guarantees that his attitude will improve and Arsenal will be lumbered with a player not even trying his hardest which will not help them what so ever.
The main thing all Arsenal fans will be asking is how long until we win another trophy of any kind even if it is just the Capital One Cup because the longer they go without winning a trophy the further behind the Manchester clubs they will fall with big name players not wanting to go to them if they are not certain of success and they would be forced to admit that they are no longer a great team like they were in the past. This season however I do not see Arsenal winning the league or the Champions League as they just do not have the quality unless they buy big this summer in several positions. But I also cannot see them winning the Capital One Cup. Wenger like many other managers of bigger teams rests his players for the Capital one Cup matches so they are fit for the weekends league matches so they are quite often knocked out early on. But even when they play near enough their full team they do not look like they are bothered by the competition and this leads to humiliating defeats to lower league teams such as Bradford this season. That leaves the FA Cup as their last chance of silverware and in a special competition such as the FA Cup it is hard to predict who will win with unexpected teams getting to the final on a regular basis. But Arsenal does have a shot at the FA Cup but they will need to take it seriously or it could be another year with silverware for the North London side.
Another trophy less season could cause the end of Wenger’s reign at Arsenal and they will have to go in another direction for success. But that is never guaranteed to work either so the pressure is on this season for Arsenal and Wenger more than ever before.