A bit extreme? Maybe. Then again maybe not.
People will accuse me of jumping on the bandwagon after defeat at Fulham yesterday but since the summer there has been a general unrest amongst Arsenal fans.
But if anything I should have written this years ago. At least then it would have been more prophetic.
We lose experienced Premier League players such as Flamini, Hleb, Gilberto and Diarra, and apart from Samir Nasri the arrivals to replace them are hardly going to excite the fans.
We’ve brought Mikael Silvestre (Â£750k), Amaury Bischoff (Free) and Aaron Ramsey (Â£5m) – one of which is a 17 year old and the other two have big injury problems hanging over them. Our squad also contains Abou Diaby, Tomas Rosicky and Robin Van Persie who spend more time on the treatment table than on the pitch.
You can harp on about the state of the squad once we get our injured players back but it seems like Diaby and Rosicky are destined to never get a decent run in the side. And the purchase of Silvestre and Bischoff has most Arsenal fans scratching their heads – are we so desperate for players that we have to resort to injury-prone personnel?
Would Manchester United, Chelsea or Liverpool ever do that?
The fact is that since the invincibles season, we’ve become a selling club. Probably because of the Emirates Stadium. I mean look at Wenger – he’s waiting for the last week of the transfer window so we can get cut-priced players! We have no money, despite what crap you hear from Arsenal.
Just think of Arsenal as an Ajax Amsterdam.
People ask why didn’t Arsene strengthen the squad last January so we could push on with our title challenge? It’s because he’s got no money to do so. Remember Wenger had no problem forking out around Â£12 million for Reyes in 2004 to reinforce an already awesome squad. We were spoilt for choice that season. This was a squad that had a midfield choice of Wiltord, Ljungberg, Vieira, Edu, Gilberto, Pires, Reyes and Parlour. Players full of experience, power and excellent technical ability. At the weekend against Fulham we had Denilson and Eboue in central midfield. How on earth did things get so bad?
Since 2004 another trend that’s begun is the fortunes of departing players. We used to say that players leaving the club were going to see out their careers but is that really the case these days? Patrick Vieira left for Italy and he’s won the Italian league. Mathieu Flamini and Alexander Hleb have joined AC Milan and Barcelona – two of Europe’s real superpowers. Thierry Henry is at Barcelona too, and even Jose Antonio Reyes joined Real Madrid when he left. Wiltord went to Lyon and won a couple of French titles, and Ashley Cole is at Chelsea.
Hardly terrible destinations for those players are they?
I hate to say it but those players have got more chance of winning honours at their new clubs then they would do at Arsenal. And that is heart-breaking to even say.
And we haven’t even talked about Emmanuel Adebayor who wanted to leave the club in the summer. We keep hearing Arsene talking about how we should get off Adebayor’s back after the summer but that just reeks of desperate damage-limitation.
Things look to get worse before they will get better. And maybe that is the whole point.
Arsene’s policy on youngsters is obviously driven by the lack of funds at the club. Before the financial constraints he didn’t have a problem bringing in experienced players like Emmanuel Petit, Marc Overmars, Giles Grimandi, Nwankwo Kanu, Sol Campbell, Gilberto Silva – the list goes on.
The fact is Arsenal will have to go through a few more seasons without silverware before they can even consider challenging for honours. And the problem is you’re playing a dangerous game, because even when we are ready to compete in the transfer market again to buy quality players attracting the very top players is going to be difficult since titles speak volumes. Who is going to want to join a football club which has been trophy-less for years?
Arsene knows we’re in no state to challenge for the Premier League.
He’ll never say it in public, but he knows we’re miles off. That’s why he hasn’t spent anything! Why waste valuable money on buying players when we’re never going to win the title. Wenger is playing the waiting game and will only spend the money when he truly believes we can challenge for the biggest honours. But is that going to be in one, two or three years time?
That’s the big question.
And don’t even get me started on Gareth Barry. He is not the solution to our problems and has to be one of the most overrated players in the Premier League. On the state of the squad this season we need at least 3 or 4 experienced players to even think about challenging for the league, but we all know that’s never going to happen.