*I have a few announcements*
I’d like to admit, I was very impressed with Ivan Gazidis at the AST meeting – First and foremost the whole arrangement reflects very well on the club. Ivan was open and honest, well, as honest as he could be… Look at it from his point of view. He doesn’t pick the team, has has no real control over the football issues at Arsenal. He is a businessman. He’s then thrust into a very difficult position..?thrown head first into the lion’s den, left to fight off the hungry lions, with only a pie at his disposal…He’s asked questions about who are we going to sign ? Why was ‘he’ allowed to leave the club ? Arsene is the man who needs to be asked these questions.
Arsene, rightly or wrongly, has become the figurehead of the club – From youth development, all the way up to the first XI. He controls the finances, the fee he feels is relevant for said player, how much he wants to pay said player. Ivan has to defend him when things don’t go to plan. It’s clear to see Arsene does to much and he needs help. But saying that, the clear message from the meeting: If Arsene doesn’t spend, and things don’t improve next season, it’s his fault and no one else’s. Everyone else has done what they can… Ivan I doffed my cap..
The only major skepticism I did have with Ivan at the AST was, he tried to compare Arsenal to Bayern Munich. Which he did on several occasions. The Bavarian club and us can’t be compared for many reasons, but I can understand his reasoning. Are dreams are very similar. What completely sinks that idea is the fact they are light years ahead of us on the self-sustaining journey. (As mentioned at the meeting) The obvious dream is for our club to reach in excess of £300m turnover, which would well and truly cement us as an elite club. But, before we all start doing backflips, Ivan did mention – ‘wait two years and we’ll be doing what Bayern are doing’. I’m more than happy to wait and see if we get there. Hopefully we can walk off into the sunset with our champions league trophy aloft… #Excited
Meanwhile back to reality and not to distant future – ‘The summer of fun’ and the ‘£70m War Chest’ we have begrudgingly ahead of us. I’ve had to re-write this paragraph several times and I have still failed rrying to explain how important the summer is. Ive come to the conclusion its nearly impossible. so I’ve come up with this.The club talks about having ambitions, to be an elite club. But having ambitions, and showing ambition is a completely different entity. We will see what direction the club has decided to go in once the transfer window slams shut (it does that for dramatic effect). Arsene has spent large amounts before, people seem to forget that. He just hasn’t moved with the times regarding transfer fees, so will our leopard finally change his spots ?
- Is this Arsene’s last throw of the dice ? We’d like to hear your thoughts…
I’ve found myself getting very protective about the money and possible transfer targets. Hearing we ‘activated Fellaini’s release clause’ makes my stomach churn (No, I’m not a fan). The real possibility of us spending ‘proper money’ is a real shock…it must be a hilarious misunderstanding, surely ?
What do we need then I hear you ask ? “..calm down in the front row !”
..Raise your hand if you know what this Arsenal team needs ? …the victor, the spoils of..
…250 ‘Ben Points’….
…If you answered – a solid spine. Give yourself a pat on the back…
Our major issue from last season – Our best eleven on paper, was not necessarily our best eleven on the pitch (If that even makes sense). The major conundrum being Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla playing in the same side at the same time. As I wrote in a previous blog, Jack is not only one of the best midfielders at the club, but also in the county (Is including Europe pushing it? *turns nose up*) What we discovered throughout the season, well for the period Jack was fit, he doesn’t ‘improve’ the team (with Santi in it) – I do feel he makes us more vulnerable defensively. The fact is, currently we have a better ‘number 10′. When Jack is selected, I should say fit. Cazorla is moved out wide to accommodate our future captain – Thus making Santi, as useful as a chocolate teapot. To add more fuel to the fire, Jack operating behind the striker, he is very prone to leaving Giroud very isolated for very long periods of time. You can argue it takes two to tango but, with a better balanced team, it would simply perform at a higher level. To look at Giroud as an isolated case – I don’t think he is the quality of striker we should have as our first and only realistic choice.
If you look at those two issues alone, plus a large dose of common sense – Our shopping list should be as follows: a striker, a wing forward, and a defensive midfielder. Those three players would drastically improve the team as a whole. But when has Arsene ever done things by the book…Unless he is the author ?
To think about a major issue with the team, that’s been like a gaping chasm since Lehman left, a goalkeeper – We’ve needed a goalie for so long it’s basically been bordering on neglect! But do I want a keeper signed for ‘real’ money? I don’t think I do *hides*…I think the absinthe has found a new host…sorry. It’s partly down to other areas that are currently more important. But also, I believe Chesney is good enough to be our number one. He just needs time. If the team improves, so will his performances..,
So what will Arsene try to achieve this summer? …Firstly he needs to go and buy a new phone charger. Gab Marcotti must be seriously pissed by now…
Will Arsene try to get his high quality football back – ‘WengerBall’ ? If he added to those three positions in the starting XI, as mentioned above, we’d have a winning formula. I’m interested to see what type of player he will go for. Because I think it will say a lot about where he sees himself in the not to distant future. Lots of reports saying he is going to spend a lot of money. But will he do that on experienced players or players he needs to mould ? A kind of hash on ‘project youth’ just more guaranteed talents. As I’ve already mentioned above Ivan said wait two years until we are doing what Bayern are doing. So would it make more sense to acquire more Podolski-esque transfers. So the team can learn and grow together. So when the team is ready to push on rather than vice versa. Or is that too long term ? That feels like a strange thing to say, some fans want instant success, others understand time is needed, some have just had enough. But we all have to realise at the end of the day, you can’t always flog a dead horse – am I sounding too idealist!? *stares into the mirror and sees Arsene staring back*
I haven’t decided what MY ideal summer would be, because I don’t think he isn’t going to buy 5-6 high quality players. Which is another issue within its self… *palm to face*
If we did spend the money correctly could it stretch? And would it be enough to help us challenge ? Or is that the wrong way to look at it ? Lets play football manager for a second… *guestamation alert* – Rooney for £23m, Thiago £18m, Lars Bender £12.2m (release clause) = £53.2m… *opens the till* Cash back! Surely a perfect summer ? We could all sip *insert beverage of choice* kick back and enjoy the rest of our summers if we do all of the above…Will the man with the cheque book make the correct decisions for the team to progress ? Nobody knows what’s going to happen, things change every hour of every day. Keep in mind when Nasri moved to Manchester City, the morning of the transfer, it was ‘dead’, and looked where he ended up…
On a sidenote – My crazy dream summer would be – Rooney, El Shaarawy, Gundogan, Isco. Let me know what and who yours would be…
As I mentioned above Ivan said we would have to wait ‘two years’ before we are doing what Bayern are doing…I assume he means the whole package, but, if we’re going to just discuss transfer fees spent (for example – €40m on Javi Martinez) Looking at it if Arsene’s trying to build a team that’s going to dominate Europe – signing Fellaini isn’t the Answer. If he wants more success in the league and cups signing Felliani and Wayne Rooney is the answer. I’d personally like to see him tweak ‘project youth’, buying young guaranteed talent – Isco, Thiago, El Shaarawy i.e. someone who is insanely talented, but has room to grow, someone Arsene can mould, would be ideal. I’ve also been very impressed with Illaramendi, if you don’t know him, he plays for Real Sociedad and the Spanish u21 side. He is a prospect. He has a first touch like silk. His natural ability and his intelligence is very attractive to watch, always looking to cover..you guessed it, he’s a defensive midfielder…what more can I say…
When this dream finally becomes a reality – Self sustainability, I’d like us to be in a position where we have a strong team. But, at the end of every season we could be looking at signing a £30m player (or whatever the ridiculous price tag is). I’m not just focusing on the price tag, but that über quality of player to bolster our ranks. Somewhere we are nowhere near currently, which leaves me a little sad to be honest…
I sound really confused and disjointed, because I am quite frankly. When I think about this subject, thoughts swirl around my head. Will Arsene spend the money ? Will Arsene break the bank ? Will Arsene even sign a new contract ? Will Arsene strengthen the defensive side of the team even further to give, say Chamberlain a crack at the being Arsenal’s number 10 ? Will I ever miss an episode of the Gooner girls podcast *slaps my self* concentrate boy-o…
For me, the last two seasons have been so poor – especially the quality of the football. This sounds mad, but us spending £70million won’t win us the league (in my opinion), We finished 16 points behind the eventual league winners (I don’t like to mention there name *blows a raspberry*). Arsene and Arsenal football club have 7 million reasons why they have to get this summer right this summer, our at least take a major step forward… I’m out of here..
Cheers for reading,