What Arsenal Need To Improve If They Want Champions League Football Next Season
In recent years, when expectation have been highest Arsenal has ultimately fallen short. Arsenal had a strong start last season beating Chelsea by three goals to nil in September to top the league table and it seemed like the team was going to make a play for the title. However, it was only a matter of time before Arsene Wenger’s men lost two back to back games in December against Everton and Manchester City. Patchy form blighted Arsenal’s start to 2017 and they lost four of their five games before facing Manchester City on April 2nd.
The game between Arsenal and Manchester City ended in a draw which effectively destroyed all hope for a place in the top 4 and a Champions League spot. Hence, for Arsenal to win the league (and based on these Arsenal odds the bookies fancy them) next season, it is very important for the club to make some changes this summer.
One of the major speculations at the end of this season was if Wenger should leave or not. This debate was also the cause of many fights and protests before, during and after the matches between fans. With such a chaotic situation going on, one thing that would frustrate any Arsenal fan is if they finish another season without winning a Premier League title. After their FA Cup victory over Chelsea, Wenger was handed a two-year extension.
If Arsenal want to be in the Champions League next season, here is what Arsene Wenger should do to improve the club:
Bring in Former Players as Coaches
Former players and Arsenal legends such as Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, Dennis Bergkamp and Freddie Ljungberg all hold coaching positions. What’s distressing is that none of the players are included in Arsenal’s coaching staff. It is crucial for Arsenal to add a few legends into the staff, as it would boost the morale of young players.
Imagine you’re Rob Holding, a young centre back, getting first-hand training from the likes of Sol Campbell who was a solid centre-back in his time. The fans would also love seeing former Arsenal players in the dugout in an attempt to win the Premier League title once again.
There were also rumours that Thierry Henry wanted to join Arsene Wenger’s coaching staff. However, the move was blocked by the manager himself. It will be interesting to see how next season turns out.
Get Rid of the Deadwood
With the inclusion of Sanchez, Ozil and Mustafi, Arsenal should have been challenging for the title. However, it all fell apart in the second half of last season. Thus, Arsenal need to consider selling a few average players and either bring in young talent from the academy, or engage world class players.
For the past few years, Arsene Wenger has used David Ospina as the number two keeper. There is no doubt about him being a great backup keeper, however considering his age and skill level it is time that Arsenal give the younger keepers a chance. They could also potentially replace the current number one choice, Petr Cech. As Ospina does not have much game time left, it would be best that Arsenal sells him this summer.
Considering the strong and static midfield line-up of Chelsea, Spurs or Manchester United, Arsenal need to invest in new midfielders to replace some of the more one-dimensional players we have.
Over the past few years, Giroud has been phenomenal for Arsenal. However, not as phenomenal as the strikers Arsenal has previously had. He is a great header and his hold-up play is excellent but if he is not happy with another season as a second string player then perhaps it would be wise to cash in. It’s important for Arsenal to bring in a top quality striker next season to alleviate the pressure on Alexis and also to plan for his possible departure.
Go on a Spending Spree
It is evident that Arsenal needs to strengthen certain key areas if they are to compete for the Premier League title next season. The club should consider spending big and bring in world class players to fill key positions. For instance, the minimum business that the club should do in this summer transfer window is to sign a central midfielder, a winger and a striker on top of the recent signing of left-back Sead Kolasinac. It is important that these signings are big ones and not just YouTube sensations.
Sort Out the Sporting Director Situation
If Arsenal manages to find a good sporting director, it will help in solving major problems for not only Arsene Wenger, but the club as a whole. There were speculations that Arsenal would offer the position to Wenger. However, Wenger did not approve of this. It is critical to bring in a sporting director with excellent credentials such as Monchi. This is because currently, Arsene Wenger is responsible for handling all the tasks that a sporting director should be doing. Hence, this would take some burden off Arsene’s shoulders, leaving him free to focus on improving the club.
The odds for Arsenal to qualify for the Champions League next season are 1/1.
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