Connect in the back of the net

Taken from Zimbio

I’m sure many of you are aware of the Robin van Persie situation by now. I won’t bore you with another blog vilifying him as I’m sure there’s many out there. The situation that’s currently taking place and escalating at Arsenal has affirmed my thoughts: Arsenal are stuck in a vicious circle. Players are leaving because the club are not winning trophies. 

The club are not winning trophies because players are leaving. Every summer the boss is having to rebuild and start again which defeats the objective of his philosophy. There is no continuity at the club and that is down to the players and their complacent attitude. 

Of course, the blame doesn’t lie solely at the feet of the players – some blame goes to Arsène Wenger too but if players faced games with a healthier attitude and played the best they can Arsenal may win something. The Carling Cup final is a prime example. 

There is no way Arsenal should have lost that game. Samir Nasri says he left the club to win trophies but the simple fact is: If he had performed better throughout the season and not just for the first half there may be new silverware in the cabinet; namely the Carling Cup. It’s quite an underwhelming trophy but it could help spur the players on. The attitudes and mentalities of the players have cost the side many points over the last few season, and then players grow impatient and leave. 

Last season, the club finished 19 points off the top 2 with 70 points. Wigan [h], Norwich [h], QPR [a], Chelsea [h], Fulham [a] and Swansea [a] to name a few are games where points have been dropped from poor mentality and/or not being ruthless enough. 

Add on those 18 points and that brings Arsenal to 88 points, then subtract the 2 points Arsenal already won from those games and it gives them 86 – 3 points behind the leaders.  All of those games should’ve been won by Arsenal . 

On top of that in the away game vs Man City Robin van Persie’s goal was wrongly disallowed and if the officials had made the right decision Arsenal would’ve finished with 1 more point (87), and City would’ve lost the 2 extra points from the win meaning Arsenal and City would be level on 87. Also, in the home game vs Manchester United- during the 2nd half- Arsenal were the better team. 

Perhaps, if Arsenal had made the most of their possession we’d be discussing Arsenal as champions. Even if it was a draw (the deserved result) Arsenal would be on 88 points and United on 87 (subtracting the 2 taken away from their win) so Arsenal would’ve won the league. 

Of course, it’s all hypothetical but the proof is there: Ability wise Arsenal aren’t far off. Arsenal outplayed Manchester City at the Emirates last season. It’s the mentality that has prevented Arsenal’s progression. 

Arsène Wenger has invested a lot of time and trust into the team and has built a technically strong side every summer. With the players he has had at his disposal, coupled with the money available and the number of transitions the club have faced, it may not be far off to say Arsenal have overachieved in the past few years with all things considered. 

It’s a testament to Arsène Wenger that the expectations are so high. Maybe that’s the problem? Are the expectations too high? In this money-driven game, the resources available to the reputable Frenchman are that of a team further down the table. 

To be in the top 3 having invested so little is a great achievement. The club should be winning things – there is no doubt about that - but in this current football state Arsenal are actually doing very well and trophies are the natural next step. Why can’t the team make that next step? Because players keep on leaving which brings you back to the beginning of the circle. And it starts all over again. 

What can be done? It’s all about signing the right players and setting them out accordingly. It’s easy to sign many players with your massive funds and put them on the pitch but Arsenal need improvement all over and with the somewhat limited budget it’s hard to spread that around. 

The type of player needed is one with experience. Arsenal have seen a change in the transfer policy in the past 2 summers. Mikel Arteta, André Santos, Per Mertesacker, Yossi Benayoun and Lukas Podolski have all been signed.

Taken from Sports News 24/7

With a combined 292 international appearances between them there is experience there, and they cost no more than £40million. More of that is needed along with winners. Arsenal have lost focus at crucial stages previously and winners will be able remain focused for the whole game – something that will benefit Arsenal tremendously.

Fans would rather a big money signing was made but that may not even be an option. The words is Arsenal have a budget of around £50m-£60m. £20m has already been spent (Podolski, Giroud) so that leaves Arsenal with £30m-£40m. 

Spending £25million on one player with that budget wouldn’t be productive because there’ll still be more players needed, and £5m-£15million isn’t the best budget to sign 2 or 3 Arsenal standard players with. The only way a ‘superstar’ signing would be plausible is if the money generated through RvP’s sale should there be one goes towards a replacement. 

Another issue with the club and a supposed reason for holding the club back is wages. People believe that players are leaving because the club are not offering high enough wages. Why should the club be criticised for not pandering to the money-grabbing vultures that occupy world football? I’m happy to see a club constantly in the top 4 setting a precedent. High fees are understandable; if no player was sold for big money no club would ever progress. But wages shouldn’t be that high so that’s not an issue with Arsenal. 

The wage issue with Arsenal is that it’s one of the highest bills in the league, but you wouldn’t say the players deserve their wages. Average players are on above average wages. Nicklas Bendtner & Denilson earn around £50k p/w each, as does Squillaci. Those players clearly do not merit wages so high. 

That is the only wage issue with Arsenal: Players are rated too highly which in turn makes the player believe they’re better than they really are which makes them impatient and greedy – something that plays a big part in the circle that Arsenal find themselves in.

For Arsenal to progress there needs to be investment, unity, patience and a change in attitude and the injuries need to be sorted too. Arsène Wenger has made many mistakes during his reign as Arsenal boss – many unforgivable – but the club will also need him at the helm. 

His knowledge and understanding of football is second to none and without trophies, Arsène is one of the main attractions. He helps bring the players in. Players who have signed have always paid tribute to the legendary manager. 

Get rid of Arsène Wenger and Arsenal lose their pull. Without him the club won’t ever be able to progress. No other manager would be able to keep the club at this level – along with maintaining the history, tradition and class Arsenal fans are proud of - with the resources at hand. The job he’s done, for the most part, has been phenomenal and Arsenal are very lucky to have him.

Taken from The Original Winger

Arsenal are not in crisis and there is no reason to be so glum. Without Robin van Persie the squad may look weaker. But take Robin out of the equation and add Podolski and Giroud, then ask if Arsenal really are worse off? Simple answer: No. 

Therefore, I say Arsenal fans should be hopeful for next season and look forward to a fruitful summer and season. There are rumours that more players will be joining and it is very likely that will happen. The team is in a stronger position than it was last summer. There are some good, quality players.

Youth mixed with experience and some genuine team spirit within the squad. In this modern football era, it is easy to say Arsenal won’t win things without becoming Manchester City, Chelsea or PSG. But the truth is they can. The infrastructure is there and all that’s needed is a bit of improvement. The club are in a great position to make that next step, the only question is when. 

So, once Arsenal can find their way out of the vicious circle they unfortunately somehow find themselves in I have no doubts they can become a formidable side yet again and reach the great heights they reached years ago. 

The players are there and so is the manager and I hope that one day we will be seeing a team lift the Premier League trophy through hard work and by doing it the old-fashioned way, with credibility.

Written by Ryan Goodenough
Follow me on Twitter @RealYoungGunner

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