Now humming the Champions League Hymn………can you hear the sound? Can you?
Strangely but in a good way we go into the last games of the season not under as much pressure to pull a result like we have in more recent seasons where qualification for the Champions League was left till the last game. The way this season has gone it would have been nice to see how the players would have reacted to pressure in the last four games of the season if we were still in with a shout to win the league.
‘Not so far off but still not close enough’ has to be the phrase that captures our season as Arsenal fans. So we go into the game against WBA knowing a win would guarantee us some Tuesday and Wednesday football while our neighbours who have invested money enough to build some stadiums in their squad still only get SpursDay matches as usual.
Completely agree with @fkhanage there, it’s easy to write off finishing fourth and qualifying for Europe because it has become routine but you take a look at how much Liverpool have invested just to get into the Champions League places and compete for the league, Spurs outspend us almost every season and still can’t get in with the consistency that we do. So it has nothing to do with spending money, but rather how you spend it and manage the resources that you currently have. If Atletico Madrid has shown us anything with their performances over the last 3 seasons, it’s exactly that.
I am in no way saying fourth place should be an acceptable position year in year out but I don’t subscribe to the school of thought either that should we have finished outside it a few times in the last years it would have forced to club to change its methods. For starters I don’t think players of the quality of Ozil would even listen to us if we didn’t have Champions League to dangle in front of them.
The premier league is a hard competition and money invested by teams above us and those directly underneath us make it even the more harder, the truth is we are never ever going to outspend City or Chelsea, aside from the fact that we have a model that doesn’t allow it, I don’t think we even have the resources even if we wanted to.
This season I believe if anything shows that we are not far off, we just need to be more purposeful with the way we approach the transfer market and Wenger needs to find a different approach to games against the top sides in the league. Should we have picked at least 4 points from this shameful United side and beaten any of Swansea ,Villa or Everton at home we would have still being in the hunt for this title at this stage but for now we would have to accept UCL qualification and a chance to win the FA Cup.
Andrea bocelli – time to say goodbye now playing in my head….
It’s our last home game of the season and there surely is an air of goodbyes ringing around this one. For players like Fabianski, Viviano, Kim Kalstrom, Bendtner (fuck him), and most importantly Bacary Sagna it’s the last time they are likely to wear the Arsenal jersey again. For Sagna especially who has been a very consistent player for the club, I am not pretty comfortable with our inability to reach an agreement with him.
Sagna is a lovely defender, excellent at left back, lovely as centre back and willing to put in a shift as right back once in a while, it’s just sad to see him go. I feel as a club we let some our experienced heads go too early, we should have gotten a few more years from Petit, Overmars, Pires, Viera and we are about to do same with Sagna. My biggest worry is not even letting Sagna go, it’s who we get in as replacement and the club hasn’t done anything to make us trust it with getting in the right quality to fill in positions.
We have been in need of a striker for three transfer windows and have been unable to get one in, I sincerely hope there is some negotiation to bring someone and quickly too. Jenkinson is not the answer yet, and I hope Wenger won’t dilly-dally on this position and with a few days to the end of the window promote Hector Bellerin from the youth team and try to convince us that Jenkinson is the best thing since man invented Coca-Cola like he attempted to with Niklas Bendtner when the Demba Ba deal didn’t go through.
“He had nearly gone somewhere else [in August] and in the end he stayed because it didn’t work out and we needed him here,””Now he can convince everybody. We are open-minded, we believe in his qualities. I personally believe in his qualities. It’s just down to attitude and fighting [spirit]. When he has that, Nicklas can be an unstoppable striker. He gets his chance. Our job is about that. Take your chance.
I guess we can all agree that the club should have known better than expect anything short of newspaper headlines from Bendtner and we are not talking football related headlines. While the other expected departures from the first team squad might not be as harmful, we would still need to replace the spaces they leave behind especially the goalkeeper. Do we get an experienced hand that would do a good job in the cups or a young hungry keeper that would give Wojciech Szczesny a run for his place in the team is a decision the club needs to make soon.
We did the job effectively against Hull and Newcastle and one would expect that we would remain on that level against West Brom. It’s not a coincidence that this has happened with the return of Ozil and Ramsey. No need crying over split milk of what the effect would have been if we would have had them play together for much longer and Theo on the wings. Oh well! We pray for better luck with the injuries next season.
I wonder with Champions league qualification in the bag now if the manager might change focus to the FA Cup final and start resting some of his star players but Wenger being the kind of man he is I believe would want to finish as close to the leaders as he can and hence I don’t expect wholesale changes to the match day squads for our last two games.
So, 3 points in the bag today should be a great way to start the week and we draw closer to the FA Cup title. Have a good day friends and best of luck to Bacary Sagna anywhere he decides to continue his career.
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All I would js say is that its cos u av seen too much of sagna dts why u think he is d best deal….I’m not saying he is not good,I’m just saying we can get sum1 beta if Wenger really wants to..tho we all know he wld tell us Jenks is d best tin since slice bread,and he wld bring in a 17yr old to undastudy him…4thposition?..I’m not going to even talk abt dt…it is wat it is,we av UCL futball next season,,2nd round elimination again?dts left to be seen…d only tin in my head now is May 17th…
Like I highlighted in the post, its not that there isn’t any one better. It’s getting them in that is usually the problem. Sagna is consistent and I can do with consistent performances rather than another year of experimentation at right back……
Coleman?Clyne?Chambers?dn ds oda guy frm crystal palace,cnt remember his name right now…established in the EPL already,won’t cost so much,we can still bully their parent club,he won’t ask for ‘sagna-like’ wages,win-win situation…my thots….
Another great piece of insightful blogging!
Players come and players go. The club have now matched what Sagna was demanding: 3 years and a substantial pay rise. If he leaves it will not be due to the club or AW not trying he will choose to leave on selfish reasons. That’s his prerogative he is a free agent. However, his departure open’s up opportunities that Jenkinson needs. Jenkinson is a fine player and will be the type of “soldier” every team needs. That’s why we call him the corporal! He’ll never become a captain but with the “death” of Sergeant Sagna there is a promotion that he is more than capable of stepping into. We don’t need another journeyman sergrant to stop his promotion. Bellerin is good but is still too raw a recruit to be given the nod ahead of The Corporal.
Fabianski may yet stay as AW has confidence in him signing an extension. Now, I hear the sharp intake of breathe from the doomsayers. He said the same about Cesc and Nasri and … If that becomes true we will buy one but not a Neuer or an Iker Casillas and we don’t need a hungary understudy as we have 3 of those already and believe me Josh Vickers is good, very good! Expect a Viviano type of signing; maybe not giving someone a free holiday in the greatest capital city in the world, but you get my drift!?
I’m not going to mention the Greatest Striker That Ever Lived because he isn’t, never was but could have been so much better than he choose to become! Meh!
There could be another departure; that of our Belgium centreback and part-time captain, TV5! This is the position we need to concentrate on alongside the fabled “why u no sign a striker?” TV5 has always been a liabilty and I can’t see him staying. AW will need to sign 2 CB’s or 1 CB and defensive utility aka Lars Bender! Djourou will stay at Hamburger SV (he’s been an Arsenal player for nearly 10 years!) and we didn’t adequately replace him during last seasons loan period! We have some prospects in the under 18’s but we all know that 18 year olds can never be CB’s. O wait Tony Adams! D’oh! Seriously we must strengthen here.
The little problem that is a striker. Watch the pulling power of the UCL! Chelsea are in the market. Liverpool will be too when the Bitey Racist moves after the world cup. There will be a lot of movement after the world cup and we are in a prime position to land one of the big names! Only one mind don’t go getting your hopes up that we will sign 2!
We do need to add to the midfield as this is aging now! Arteta will be 32 and Rosicky 34 at the end of next season. These will need replacing now so that we can bed in whomever we replace them with; little bit of Cesc return is rampaging through the rumour mills! But do expect 2 world class midfielders and maybe another attacking midfielder to boot!
Who’d be my picks (realistic picks) CB: Martin Hinteregger or Matthias Ginter DM: Lars Bender CM: Cesc AM: Julian Draxler CF: Mario Mandzukic
Bare in mind we have Abu “Like a new signing” Diaby and Joel Campbell to come into the squad next season as well!
Finally UCL. If you saw my tweet and like a fact (Dozie) then we have qualified for the 17th year in succession. There are only two clubs ahead of us in this record table. ManUre on 18 and they won’t be making 19 (ha!ha!) and RealMad who have just equalled United’s record! What does that mean? That AW is the master! That the sponsors love us as we are so very consistent: consistency pays! 4th place trophy anyone? Pay gets you the money to invest and we will invest. For now and continue to do so for the future. 2 more years for AW to winback our title and get that elusive European Cup!
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