Keep the faith – All is not lost for Arsenal

May 7th, 2009

As the dust settles on a disappointing exit for Arsenal from the Champions League, Arsenal are now again out of contention for any trophies for a fifth season running, and if you were to believe many Arsenal blogs and fans the sky is falling.

Well, I am here to tell you that there is no disgrace in the way Arsenal have performed with an injury depleted squad this season, and certainly reaching 2 semi-finals and securing Champions League football for next season is nothing to be ashamed of.

Yes, defeat to Manchester United the other evening was a crushing blow for all of us but Arsenal have much to be proud of and Arsenal fans have much to look forward to.
The two early goals that Man Utd scored were a sucker punch, a hammer blow. The first goal was caused by an unfortunate and forgiveable slip from youngster Gibbs and the second was an unstoppable Ronaldo thunderbolt. Arsenal had shown early promise, but once the goals went in Man Utd had a huge advantage and did not need to take any risks and could concentrate on defending their position; making a comeback for Arsenal difficult at best.

Many people are calling for a complete overhaul in the summer with signings to seemingly replace the whole squad. While I agree that the squad could do with some strengthening, I think the calls for a mass upheaval are short-sighted.

Whilst our rivals have spent themselves into massive debt to compete, Wenger has built a strong young team for a tiny percentage of the cash spent by other clubs, and Arsenal have been competing at the highest level but just fell short of the standard this season.

Many fans would seemingly have Arsenal spending themselves into debt to get themselves to the very highest level, but this is a blatantly unsustainable trend. I for one would rather see the team spend within their means and safeguard the future of the club rather than bankrupt themselves – it is only a matter of time before our competitors find themselves in this sort of monetary trouble.

I would also remind people who say that Wenger is scared to reach for his cheque book that he spent a good deal of money on Nasri in the summer (another player who has yet to reach his potential) and broke the club transfer record for Arshavin during (or slightly after ;) ) the transfer window.

There is change underfoot in the Arsenal board room and I expect Wenger to make a signing or two in the summer; but we do not need to get ourselves into that sort of debt.

The key for Wenger’s strategy is to keep the squad he has built together as it matures, something I agree he failed in doing last summer and which has cost us this season. But next year the team will mature further and will feature a Champions League squad bolstered by Andrei Arshavin, something I am really looking forward to – look at the impact he has already made in the Premiership.

Even Adebayor was quoted yesterday as calling for signings, a position I find ironic because all that Arsenal really lack apart from another steady central defender is a top-class goal-scorer – which I would have no problem with Arsenal financing through the sale of Adebayor.

Furthermore, whilst Arsenal were humbled by the master-class Manchester Utd gave them, they did not disgrace themselves in the sort of way the Chelsea players did yesterday evening with their shameful and petulant display at the end of the defeat to Barcelona. There are indeed more important things than football results, and I happen to believe that grace and sportsmanship are but two of those things.

I’m not saying that Arsenal are necessarily going to magically transition into the best team in the world next season, nor am I saying that Arsenal’s season has been a disaster or that the team are useless. In other words, football (and indeed life) is not black and white like a Newcastle shirt but a palette of greys like Liverpool’s awfully hideous away kit.

Unlike the ageing Chelsea squad, the Arsenal team have time on their side, these players all have long careers ahead of them and I truly believe that in time they will deliver triumph and deliver that elusive Champions League trophy.

Tags: adebayor, champions league, chelsea, debt, gibbs, liverpool, manchester utd, transfers, wenger

10 Responses to “Keep the faith – All is not lost for Arsenal”

  1. Hempdrix Says:

    Well said, it took a while but next year will be the year wenger will finally have his team in top gear, i truly believe so. This year was supposed to to be the year but losing flamini and hleb sort of slowed the progress aside from so many injury woes.
    Ultimately,in regard to the champions league, I think that the team suffered because of Arshavins absence, you can literally feel the invisble force he waves about to inspire the others. Arshavin Nasri Fabregas Walcott, Wow, now if that doesnt bring hope. :). I bet well see a different Arsenal on sunday, an arsenal with their pants on :)

  2. Dave Says:

    All is lost. Bollocks to faith. Time for the losers to go. 5 years without a tropy is terrible.

    remember that Wenger only won things with George Graham’s defence.

    Wenger has never delivered. Pretty football with skinny lads don’t do it fo rme. Repay the faith, strong, tall players with guts not a bunch of girls.

  3. wambam Says:

    NEXT SEASON THIS,NEXT SEASON THAT. HOW MANY MANY MORE SEASONS ARE ARSENAL FANS GONNA KEEP HEARING THIS SAME RUBBISH. WE ALL KNW THIS SQUARD NEEDED EXPERIENCE SINCE START OF SEASON. THE FA-CUP DEFEAT WAS MORE PAINFUL AS I KNEW WINNING CHAMPS LEAGUE WITH THIS WEAK YOUNG TEAM WOULD BE HARD. AT LEAST IF WE’D WON FA CUP IT WOULD HAVE BEEN A GREAT PLATFORM FOR THESE YOUNG PLAYERS. OTHER TEAMS FANS KNW WHAT POSITIONS THEIR PLAYERS PLAY BUT AT ARSENAL I’VE BEEN CONFUSED ALLSEASON,esp when you see players like EBOUE playing central-midfield…hmmm? he’s awesome at right-back and wenger was to blame for him getting abuse frm fans. You dont play a right-back in mifield and expect quality performance.

  4. Mathias Says:

    I agree with the author 100%, going in to this season I said it would take a lot for us to win anything this year and a semifinal in the CL is a great achivement. Since we are not spending all our money to buy a team that will only last a few seasons we are able to keep many of our own and develop new talent with their heart in the club, something I think will give our players that extra edge in the future, heart will always be a stronger motivation than a big paycheck….
    GO GUNNERS!!!

  5. Carlos Says:

    Those who want to see massive signings just for the sake of getting new players can fuck off to Chelsea or even Tottenham. Despite the billions these teams have spent they are no better than us. I do agree howerver that some strengthening in defence and midfield (DM)may be necessary just to bolster the team. I trully love Risiscky but if he doesnt start the season injury free we should definitely let the guy go and get another attacking midfielder in the class of Aeshavin.

  6. Gooner Says:

    Good, well thought out article.

  7. Should I stay or should I go? Wenger hurt by Arsenal fans impatience | Arsenal Online Says:

    [...] In this time Arsenal have not managed to get their hands on a trophy but contrary to what the doom-mongers say, we have not been that far away. There were some disappointing performances this season but the Gunners should still be playing Champions League football next season and reached 2 semi-finals. [...]

  8. ekpukane dennis Says:

    i belived that this secssion title will be for arsenal, amd we have a
    title this 2009=2010

  9. ekpukane dennis Says:

    i love arsenal

  10. ekpukane dennis Says:

    with god will sher make it this year champions laegue title amen

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