Archive for April, 2013

I have long since predicted that Arsenal would finish on 72 points and in third position when this campaign is done and dusted. That included what I thought would be a draw vs Everton and a loss against United. Yesterday the Gunners picked up a point that I wasn’t counting on and I like AFC’s chances of finishing on 73pts and in 3rd. Well behind efficient and underwhelming United.

Let’s look at the reality of it all though. Arsenal once again spent the first 2 months of the season geling after selling on a captain and a second key cog to last year’s team. Talent-wise, there is no question the Gunners lost a world-class striker on the form of his life, but team-wise, I believe AFC are better for it in the long run. That’s not a popular sentiment among the current fan-base, but one that shouldn’t be discounted. More goals scored, less goals conceded, same league position and more points. So much for a “crisis” year.

I agree with those that say Arsenal need change, tactics, personnel, etc. I also agree with those that say AFC are not far off and we should let AW do his thing, but only just. This summer is the summer where the Gunners should not lose any key personnel and finally add to the obvious talent we have, but need to fill in the obvious gaps.

When playing at their best, the squad has shown that they are not far off the elite. The issue is consistency and depth at certain areas. Listen, this isn’t rocket science. A GK to push and mentor Szcz and Fab. A RB to replace an aging and inconsistent Sagna and one that will rival Jenks and Bellerin. Possibly a CB to push the current trio. A proper holding player that the squad has lacked since 2008. The last two pieces are for me a luxury and a must. Arsenal need some creativity in the middle. Rosicky is far too often injured and Jack isn’t suited for that role in my opinion. The second of the luxury musts is a striker, but I disagree with those that want to spend hellacious amounts of money on a second tier star.  If your name isn’t Falcao, Cavani or of the same ilk, spending 30m+ is ludicrous to me. An efficient striker in the system that Arsenal employ will always score goals, queue Adebayor,  plus I am of the thought that we will see Giroud vastly more efficient next year. It’s not like he’s had a horrible first season is it? In the wake of who he was replacing, Giroud always had it tough to make in-roads this season unless he scored 25+ goals.

With the Arsenal career of many “deadwood” players coming to an end this summer, the sales of some and the freeing up of salary plus the ever important space being made available, this will turn into the summer where the majority of the fan-base in unison, regardless of whether you are a WOB or AKB, can say – “No More Excuses!!”

Now, on to the fixture list. QPR, followed by the ever dangerous late season Wigan, and then Newcastle to round off the campaign. 9 points. I don’t see any other outcome with the way Arsenal have been playing. Versus the bigger squads it has been a great joy to watch us compete as of late. Aggressive, quick and sometimes flat-out beautiful stuff. Against the smaller squads, whether ugly or pretty the lads have managed 3 points lately. I see this trend continuing in the last 3 matches.

73 pts, 3rd place after losing 2 more “important” players, yet once again improving in scoring, defense and points and once again qualifying for CL football. Does that equal a trophy? Absolutely not. Does that take the sting of being so far behind a team that in all honesty isn’t better than AFC on paper? Nope. Should that be motivation to improve on what is there instead of trying to replace yet again? Yes. So, Gooners, let’s hope AFC has the summer we all are looking for. If they do, the lads have given us a glimpse these past few months what the team can do, now imagine if the missing pieces are added?!

COYG!

 

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First Published on Arsenalvision.co.uk

You don’t have a choice when you support Arsenal. You have to be a WOB or an AKB. There is no rational thought allowed.

If you criticize the manager, the board or the owner, undoubtedly you will be skinned alive for even mentioning the possibility of wrong decisions, missed opportunities or just flat-out bad management.

If you support the manager, the board or the owner, you will be pelted with rocks for pointing out things like CL qualifications, consistency or managing to propel the club to great heights on a ridiculous shoe-string budget.

None of these things are allowed. You, Arsenal supporter, MUST choose sides and battle it out! There is no room for intelligent discussion on the subject. Even if you make a rational argument, the detractors on either side will take one fact from your argument that may be incorrect (opinion) and beat it to death to prove their “point”.

So call me crazy. Call me crazy because I think that Wenger and the board and the owner have made ridiculously bad decisions over the last few years. That the club ought to have addressed certain issues much sooner such as a defensive midfielder, a proper defenders coach, a reliable keeper.

On the other hand I must be a lunatic to point out that even though there have been no trophies, there has been a complete turnover of a squad that was one of Europe’s very best and were regular winners of multiple titles. Doing all of that while building a new stadium, building a new infrastructure and so much more.

So yes, I expect to get berated by both sides, because as I said before, you HAVE to choose, there is no middle ground!!

This is a tough time to be a Gooner, I am optimistic the club will turn it around soon enough, as I have written many a time. I am also well aware that Arsenal have both over-achieved and under-achieved at various points during this trophy drought for a variety of reasons.

The FACT is no one is 100% right. AFC is a moving organism that has a multitude of issues both good and bad that can affect a season and for the most part they have been stacked against the club for some time, but that all changes with a blink of an eye and when it does, expect there to be less and less criticism and a lot of “I told you so”, but we know that the majority of those will be false.

I’ll stay here in the middle with the one or two other rational Gooners and will be neither wrong nor right, but just happy; happy that the club will do well and will have done it in the right way, without selling its soul to accommodate every whim of the WOB’s or AKB’s.

Have at it you lot, I’m sure it’ll make your day.

Come on You Gunners! 3 pts on the weekend.