Minor tweaks required
It seems that once again Wenger was right; this team is good.
Although Arsenal valiantly went out to AC Milan last night they have won four premier league games on the trot including that amazing 5-2 against Spurs where for 30 minutes it looked like we would play the opposition off the park and walk away with nothing to being played off the park at Liverpool and walking away with the 3 points.
I don’t really care much for those of the opinion that this team is weaker without Cesc and Nasri. I don’t think it is.
Cesc hadn’t really been Cesc for the last two years he was here and Nasri had 6 good months. Look at Cesc and Nasri now.
Cesc has made his mark on the Barca team but at what cost? He is obviously happy to be at his home-town club but I personally feel that he joined a Barca that, for want of a better phrase, are on the way down. They are still a fantastic team to watch but I feel that they aren’t going to be the team they were over the past few years. I’m sure I’ll get lots of abuse for saying it but 10 points behind Madrid from a team that is supposedly the best ever and only got “better” when Cesc joined suggests that they aren’t the best team ever any more.
Nasri has had a few half decent games for City but struggles to get in the first team. I personally don’t think he is a player that City really want more than a player they just really didn’t want anyone else to have. Chelsea played to those transfer tactics extremely well for 3-4 years and they won two league titles, the FA cup three times and got to the Champions League final with a bench of “you can’t have him Harry’s”. Nasri is now playing for City like he was for Arsenal for the first 3 years. Promising but not quite there.
I personally hope United win a 20th title this season because I’d hate to see City win the league and Nasri to try and use that as justification for leaving Arsenal.
I honestly think that our team is a better team than last season but that we suffered from early knocks, lack of confidence and too many new players needing to gel.
In RVP I think we finally have an inspirational captain. Thierry, bless him, was only made captain to keep him longer. Gallas was made captain because Wenger was on crack that week and Cesc was made captain for the same reason as Thierry. Cesc was an awful captain and that is all I have to say on the matter.
Arsenal now have a team of leaders; RVP, Vermaelen, Sagna, Arteta, Szczesny, Mertesacker and Wilshere. Rosicky, Arshavin and Ramsey are also leaders of their national teams but I think that is based on technical leadership.
What I’m saying is that Arsenal don’t need the big overhaul that everyone thinks we need.
Next season we will have Wilshere back, The Ox will be even better, Jenkinson will continue his excellent improvement, Ryo, Campbell and Afobe will all break into the first team. Those are some really exciting youngsters to complement our established and experienced players like RVP, Arteta, Rosicky, Sagna, Vermaelen, the ever improving Koscielny and the underrated but ever so important Alex Song. Arshavin might come back a reinvigorated player, who knows. Benayoun might get a permanent deal.
Arsenal need a few minor tweaks and they need to strike early. On May 14th they need to start working on selling on or just plain old releasing the dead wood; you know who they are. There will be plenty of takers, we might not make much money on them but the important thing is to lighten the wage bill for new players and increases for our current stars.
Everyone has heard the rumours of Podolski and that supposedly he has signed a pre-contract agreement. I really hope it is true but if it isn’t Arsenal should look to sew up this transfer very quickly. Podolski supposedly has a £4m release clause if Cologne are relegated, and they are struggling, yet Cologne want £15m for a player that has one year left on his contract. I say offer them £8-10m now, agree on the transfer and get him signed. If they get relegated and we miss out on saving a few million so what? We got the player we wanted for a song and ensured that we didn’t get outbid by clubs like City or Chelsea who might just offer the guy £200k a week just because he is available at £4m and they don’t want us to have him.
With Podolski, RVP, Theo (given a shot upfront every few games), Campbell and Afobe I think we will have a fantastic attack full of proven talent, raw pace and exciting youngsters. There are those who think that the jury is still out for Gervinho, not me. I don’t rate him much any more. Sure he could settle into the league better next season but the fact remains that he can’t shoot! His shots have no power and his placement is awful. He has great runs down the wing but delivers nothing. Theo often delivers nothing but also often scores or makes an assist yet the boo-boys berate him constantly. I’d rather have Theo than Gervinho.
Midfield is a bit light but Wilshere has been injured all season, Ramsey has been in and out of form and we lost Coquelin who for me is a great player with great promise; he reminds me of Flamini. I honestly think that we only need one experienced player. Everyone wants it to be Hazard or Gotze but I just don’t see us splashing the cash. Sahin would be great or even Eriksen but I honestly think we need a box-to-box player more than a ‘creative’ player. I want Javi Martinez. I don’t know who else we could buy or who Wenger wants but unlike the Wenger-out brigade I still trust him despite my thoughts on Gervinho.
I don’t think we need to do much with the defence apart from buy a Carragher or Jon O’Shea type of player, someone who can fill in at RB, CB and LB when the need arises.
I still think we should go after Schwarzer, not to play but to keep Szczesny on his toes and possibly to eventually replace Gerry Peyton who for my money is the main reason our goalkeepers of late have been so error prone.
So there, I’ve said it. I no longer think we need to spend millions and millions of pounds when our team is so together and so passionate. We just need a few tweaks and some decent squad players and I think we’ll be ready to challenge again.
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