What Does The Future Hold For Arsene & Arsenal?

Wenger admitted like most Arsenal fans that he felt ‘lost’ after our exit from the Champions League and consequently left Arsenal out of all the cup competitions and all but out of the Premiership race.

And like most Arsenal fans you start to question the future of the club – we have become a top 2 team to a top 4 team in the matter of a couple of seasons.

Last season could have been so much different for Arsenal. Wenger has been long considered a great manager, and a person who changed the face of English football with improved eating habits and new training methods – as well as introducing some of the most attractive football ever seen in the league.

But unlike Mourinho, Benitez and Alex Ferguson – Arsene Wenger has never won the Champions League, the one competition he wants the most. And last season it looked like all his hard work had paid off when Arsenal reached the final of the Champions League – and a 1-0 lead got him even closer to his dream. But poor refereeing and even worse luck took away the trophy and all the accolades Arsene would have received and deservedly so, but it just wasn’t to be…

A Champions League success last season would have put all the ‘transistion season’ talk in the background and our poor league form with it. But along with this season, our last campaign will be regarded as a failure.

A lot of people have called for Wenger’s head which, well – I’m undecided about it all to be honest.

There is no doubt Wenger has pulled Arsenal from mediocrity into one of the biggest teams in England, but is he the man to push on and continue that success?

I guess the biggest question at the moment is whether this is the end of Arsenal pushing for honours? Will we look back at the last couple of seasons in the future and think that this was the moment we slipped back into mediocrity?

Dear god I hope not.

The problem is the face of football is changing, and not just in England. Wenger’s idyllic vision for beautiful football with success brought some of the greatest football I have ever seen but because football is all about business and the money more than ever these days it seems clubs will pay any price for success on the pitch.

And I hate to say it but with our style of football if Arsenal were playing in the Spanish League we would be competing for the title.

We all wonder where the club will be once Wenger has left Arsenal – can anyone else do what he has done for our football club?

And has Arsene had enough?

Next season will be his biggest test since he’s arrived at Arsenal. When he first arrived there was the dominant force of Manchester United who monopolised the Premiership but Arsene managed to win the double in his first full season. Since then, it was Arsenal and United at the Premiership summit but now Chelsea’s millions have raised the bar. After a couple of seasons United have finally mounted a challenge but can Arsenal do the same?

On the plus side, Arsenal should have a full strength squad for the start of next season with Thierry Henry, Robin Van Persie, William Gallas and many others having been out for most of this campaign.

There is no doubt Arsenal have done well in pushing with Liverpool this season without major first team players out for lengthy periods. Our injury problems have been comparable to that of Newcastle and you cannot dismiss the absence of Henry, Van Persie and Gallas in particular. Chelsea fall apart when Cech and Terry are missing and Manchester United have been fortunate this season with their key men being fit for most of the season.

But I am not turning to the injuries as an excuse or having a pop at United (although I would love to) – injuries (or lack of) are part of the game and you have to soldier on.

With Rosicky and Gallas settled into their second seasons Arsenal will be a big force along with fit again regulars such as Henry, Fabregas, Van Persie, Gilberto, Toure, Eboue, Clichy et al.

But questions need to be answered on certain areas of the pitch and certain players in the squad.

Should Arsenal keep Julio Baptista? There’s no doubt he is a decent player but at times his touch has been very poor and despite impressing earlier on in January the fact is that when Arsenal have needed to rely on him he hasn’t performed. He has had a decent run in the team but continues to miss opportunities you really should take at this level. Possibly he needs a year to settle into the pace of the Premiership but with a fully-fit Henry, Van Persie and Adebayor then he will be lucky to make the bench.

The same could be said for Jeremie Aliadiere. After showing signs of promise in the Carling Cup he has shown the jump up to Premiership level is just a bridge too far for him, and if you’re not going to make it after over 7 years with the club then maybe his time is up.

The other players that people have been wondering about are Hleb and Freddie.

I’m a big fan of Freddie and I might be in the minority here but I still believe that he has something of offer the club. There’s no denying that he might have lost a bit of pace but he is one of the few players who when presented with a goalscoring opporunity – he will take it. He is still one of the best finishers at the club and I for one would be sorry to see him leave.

And onto Hleb. People slate him because he doesn’t shoot and it could be said that he isn’t up to the physical nature of the league despite being in his second season at the club. I personally think that his ball rentention is excellent and he is one of the few people in the team who has the ability to play that killer final ball which has been lacking in the couple of months he has been out injured. And I think the criticism over conceding that foul against PSV is unjustified.

So where do Arsenal go from here?


42 thoughts on “What Does The Future Hold For Arsene & Arsenal?

  1. A much more intelligent piece than most that you read on these websites. There is something wrong with the squad that getting rid of Aliadiere and Baptista isn’t going to solve. Let’s face it though, the only world class players in the team are Toure, Gallas, Fabregas and Henry and Henry’s not playing at the moment. Walcott is not the answer.

  2. Arsenal have winners throughout the squad, exceptional technique and an abundance of talent which will hold the team in good stead for may years to come. With the likes of Chelsea with unlimited funds, Wenger has done the smartest thing by going back to the foundations and building a team for next season or day I say the season after. However we as fans want trophies today but with our current financial state, Wenger spending big could cripple us, he is much much smarter than we are giving him credit for today.
    Today’s team lacks a warrior, A Vieira-esque monster who could stand up to any bully boy in The Prem. We are a little too fragile. We also lack sharpness in front of goal and our wide men have to shoulder some blame. Baptista needs until the end of the season, we need a Steven Appiah like monster who bosses the centre of the park and provides the ball for the lightweight magician that is Fabregas.

  3. The answere is investing money in the transfer market!!!!!!
    The base of our team is good,but we need for maigor players-goal keeper,tall center half,tall defenseve midel feil player(ow viera’what acrime-letting him go!!!!since he went out of arsenal-no trofies!!!),and a REAL striker(NOT “THE FOX OF THE BOX”-geffers!!).
    if the arsenal owners can’t give arsen the money please SELL THE CLUB TO SOMEBODY WHO CAN!!!!
    You need to anderstand fellow gooners-If we would’nt by BIG these summer the gap between us and the other big clubs will get bigger and bigger,and than in order to close the gap we will need much more money!!!!!!!!

  4. The future of Arsenal is bright only if the youngsters of arsenal can take that step up from carling cup to premier league. If not i see the future of Arsenal to be taken over by a consortium and Arsenal will turn into chelsea and united and have millions to spend. This summer we need to sort thing out with a few signing. Ribery,eto,o would be my main targets if i was wenger and a utility player in defence wich would allow gallas to play centre back all season (Ferrar has been named). Regarding Baptista i personally dont think he is good enough but thierry henry was bad the first season he came to arsenal and i have a funny feeling baptista is the long term replacement in wengers eyes for henry. I would get these players in and these players out as follows:

    Hleb(not good enough doesnt score goals
    Baptista(overall a crap player reyes much more usefull for arsenal)
    lehman(gone down hill from brilliant season last year maybe becuase of age)

    Ribery(top class player reming me of a young ljungberg)
    eto’o(will solve arsenals problem and score goals)
    akinfeev(one of the brightest goalkeepers in europe)
    Ferrari(nice utility player to stand in for any injuries in defence)

  5. I think the problem many people are currently having with Wenger is his awful team selections tactics and substitutions. There is no doubt that the injuries have been the major reason for our failures this year and credit to Wenger for not complaining about it all the time. (it is quite frankly far more pertinent than the constant tired excuses). However in the past few weeks when it has all gone down hill ie the cups (let’s be serious we never had a chance to win the league and are currently where most expected us to be) his team selections against Blackburn at home, the Senderos move to right back, the constant playing players out of position, bringing a clearly unfit Henry on for PSV, have all seemed to be desperate decisions that have all cost us heavily. The team against Everton and subs were a nightmare and for him to admit he took off Baptista to bring on a 50% Walcott is astonishing. His comments about future purchases should be ignored until the end of the season as he can not admit current players are leaving. However if he can not see that Bap/Ali are not good enough, and that Freddie is past it, and that we need at least one goal scoring midfielder, then we and him have problems and at that point serious questions need to be asked of his ability to get us back in the race. If we have no money we should be told that and then he should carry on as is but if there is money and he continues on the same path, then it should be good night and thanks for the memories.

  6. Realistically Wenger won’t buy big, when did he last do that? He doesn’t like to pay over the odds and has been burnt by purchases such as Reyes and the benile Jeffers.

    Ribery, at a stretch but we are much more likely to get an Eastern European Centre Back who we have never heard of before and a keeper whose name we will not be able to pronounce.

    I still think we need a warrior in the centre, as much as I love Gilberto (this season anyway) he’s not World Class, Diaby has potential but we need a ready made engine yesterday!

  7. Wenger will have to swallow his pride and realise that we need a plan b.No matter what kind of superstar player he is about to bring in it does not change the fact that teams know how to “play us “.The Cska Moskva game told all about our season,wonderful positional play absolutely no end product.Extraordinarily chances created and wasted…….you would not believe that they were professionals.Since then it has been a few good games put together replaced by a handful very awful.It takes no rocket scientist to tell that the league is not and object of desire.Put what really worried was the 11 days of horror.We were feeble against Psv in Eindhoven.Played decent against Chelsea and then went out with a whimper against Blackburn and Psv again.But it all felt so inevitable…….and that is so worrying.This team will be in exactly the same situation next season and they better grow a spine or the same will happen again.

  8. Furthermore Wenger always wheels out the mental strength card but i would suggest to him that he stops talking about it because his team in tose eleven days showed us that they have not

  9. Paul Vaesen – remember him? How about Stewart Robson?? Or even Jimmy Robertson??? And then there was Jensen.

    On the other hand what about Henry, Fabregas, Toure, van Persie, Rosisky – and now Denilson, Diaby…

    Give me a break you bunch of plonkers. You’re watching the best football seen at Arsenal since the 1930’s.

    If you haven’t got the good sense to know that Arsene Wenger is the best thing to happen to AFC – then fuck off and watch the spuds. L

    Let’s get back to real Arsenal support – land et’s have a little bit of perspective.

  10. I have 100% faith in Wenger. If you’d asked Gooners ten years ago whether they’d be happy with a guaranteed top 4 finish for the next decade I think they’d rip your arm off.

    As for “spending big” lets not forget that we have a fantastic new stadium to pay for first. Remember what happened to Leeds? Champions League 5/6 years ago…. relegated from the Championship in 2007 – NO THANKS!

    We’ve had shedloads of injuries this season
    Thierry should not be Captain – Toure?
    We need a Bufon-like replacement for dear old mad Jens
    We need a mid-field enforcer to kick the shit out of the bully boys.

    There are too many ungrateful, impatient Gooners out there who need to stand back a second and have a good look at where we are today.

    The picture ain’t as bleak as some would have you believe

  11. People talking about buying eto are living in cloud cuckoo land it will NEVER happen. After charlton go down they should buy Darren Bent, he knows where the goal is, has played at this level, wouldn’t be desperately expensive and would be satisfied with being part of the rotation of forwards. (TH/RVP and Ade aren’t going anywhere).

  12. There seems to be two sets of Arsenal fans: the ones who appreciate the success and want it to continue, then there are the fans who will back Wenger is whatever he does.

    How long does this have to go on for before people express their opinions and concerns? The fact is the last couple of seasons have been failures compared to the 10 years that preceded it.

    Now there’s no doubt Wenger has been awesome for Arsenal, but to possibly slip down the league year after year and then turn around and say ‘Well if we were asked if we’d be happy with a top 4 place every season we would take it…’ is complete nonsense.

    Where does it end? If we finish 6th next season, will people say ‘Well if we were asked if we’d be happy with a top 6 place every season we would take it…’

    Why are Arsenal fans scared of constantly pushing for the best?

    There’s understanding and then there’s blind faith!

  13. These constant complaints about fans that express concern as being mercanary and out of order, and harping back to Paul Vassen are ridiculus, we are not talking about 20 years ago we are talking about now and the future, how can we compete again, that is the question, where we were 3 years ago is far more relevant than where we were 20 years ago. Yes we are spoilt but that is life, in everything after you have the good life who wants to go back to the old one. We have a huge stadium, massive fan base and up to two years ago a team to match. There is no denying we have gone backwards and all we want is to try and go forward, and just because Wenger brought success in the past does not mean he can replicate it again, certainly the whole Chelsea thing has changed the picture and can Wenger adapt accordingly, Ferguson ceratinly has. As I said this summer is crucial and if he doesn’t resolve the problems everyone can see, then we need someone who will be able to.

  14. Best football since the 1930’s? Brilliant…

    We may have the prettiest wife but she isn’t bearing us any children…

    I have faith in Wenger but I still believe we need reinforcements. His analysis of the stats at the end of the season will say the same thing.

    He may have a Toure-esque vision and stick Baptista in the middle…who knows….

  15. all u fuckin non gooner fan dont know nothing about arsene & arsenal watch and see next seasons we will be competing for first position without buying any players because our team need time not replacement. u dont expcet a team to win tropies every seasons because no one has.

  16. aint it just a strange thing that when a team has new players or coach, we talk about the players needing to settle in. and yet all of a sudden we all believe that getting in ribery, etoo etc will make next season an arsenal quadruple season. oh how fickle fans are. the simple truth is that any new player needs time to bed, which will only make u whinners complain more about AW buying crap and how he should know that quick fixes don’t work. in essence, i guess there just aint no way of satisfying………..

  17. With the money that we have compared to that of Chelsea and Man U Arsene has done a miraculous job. Spent less than Spurs, Newcastle, Liverpool, Man U, Chelsea and argubly we have at least the second best squad in the league when all fit. We could do with some experienced heads but with all the fantastic youngsters at the club we need to get the balance right and I guess that is the problem, the right player in the right position at the right age with the right mentality and most importantly the right price. I personally would love to see Buffon come in and one pires like goal scoring midfielder and I would be well happy. Ribery would be great although I can’t see both joining. Up front we have tried the fox in the box and it doesn’t work. Thiery is our main striker and Van Persie is now looking like a great scorer. A fox in the box doesn;t offer the movement and passing ability that our other strikers deliver.
    Verdict buy – buffon and ribery
    sell: Ljunberg (past his best), Aliadiere and let Baptista go (Touch of conference player)

  18. But it is not about money…….Wenger himself stated that and Psv showed us that a team put together for a few Euro vastly outdid us tactically,fighting wise and very surprisingly technically.Its about pride in wearing your shirt fighting your bollocks off to achieve……To many off them are going through the motions when we are behind and sort off…..Ohhh well its only Arsenal and Wenger will never tick us off and the next bumper pay of Madrid or Barca or Milan is just around the corner.

  19. money has nothing to do with making stupid decisions about playing Gilberto/Toure and Hoyte out of position when he could have played Traore or gallas there, money has nothing to do with playing senderos at right back with 10 minutes to go when gallas was on the pitch, money has nothing to with playing TH and walcott when you know they are not fit, it has nothing to do with playing such a poor team against blackburn in the first game in the FA cup. Money has nothing to do with not being able to do anything with set pieces, defending or attacking, or how slow we have started in so many games this year, and only woken up when we were behind, or how we keep letting goals in in the last few minutes. My frustration has nothing to do with the money if he hasn’t got the cash than there is nothing he can do, but these are just plain bad decisions and useless coaching and have compounded the injury problems and left us with nothing to play for from the first week of March, for the first time since 1999.

  20. I don’t care how pretty our football is. I just want us to win matches and trophies by whatever means necessary.

    I’ve been a fan since 1972, so I’ve seen the good times and the bad.

  21. Myles is usually full of it but he makes a good point about will Arsenal fans keep paying top money so see lovely passing but no reward? Chelsea might be boring but winning ugly is better than playing beautiful football and losing. Wenger’s philosophy is fantastic when we win but when it starts to come up short then you have to adapt.

    Winning is everything? You bet it is.

    I hope we don’t turn into a Newcastle United – entertaining football but never looking like winning anything!

  22. what a pleasure to read a constructive article about our team-
    i may be a girlie – but have played and followed footie since i was twelve, having to borrow my PE teachers boots for my first match!!

    hleb – his only problem is his passing, but that will get better, his abilty to hold the ball is spot on –

    baptista – i really rate him, albeit he has had a shocking time recently, but i put this down to pressure – he and aliadiere have been the only strikers available which piles on the need to deliver – also, i think he really wants to stay and is trying to hard – remember TH had a poor start, as did Dennis, Pires, Edu and many more – i hope he stays

    rosicky – i love him….and nest season he will have settled and we will see him perform

    galla – injury hit first season and not had a chance to settle yet but will,

    and then all the other injuries and suspensions have hindered us, something we are not used to – apart from PV always being suspended!!

    look at those young ones we do have – dennilson, theo, diaby, cesc, rvp, connolly, bendtner, traore, kolo, ade, eboue (still not sure on him) both the hoyte’s, djourou and on and on…. oh and now SUNU has joined us
    this list is a team in itself – well, with almunia in goal – and no reference has been made to the ‘oldies’ – do you know a side how can as excited for its future – they are at an age where they can learn the arsene way and make us proud for a long while –

    we forget – we had a lot of older players for so long that had top be replaced, and prior to arsene it is obvious no one had thought of this, and only now our future is being set up.

    we should all be happy, not sad
    calm and not mad

    we have a very positive future ahead, and dispite what the boss says, i think he will add a little experience in the summer – he always does, but dont expect to have heard much about the signing – but he will be good….

    to finish – sorry but i hope Jens leaves us, and Almunia takes over, he is still young enough to be between the posts for a long while, and i think the defence looks more sure with him behind them – oh, and lets hope phillipe is in jen’s suitcase

    07/08 – watch out

  23. all arsenal fans should dream of getting to the first 4 by next season and so on…keep dreaming with ur young stars…and dont go for experience…i support chelsea the best club in the premiership, with young stars and experienced players, the likes of sincliar, ben sahar, diarra, obi mikel…so i dont know why arsenal are chating about the future…chelsea as also got a future…so please shut up u arsenall fans. bye

  24. waqi
    i think its too early to bring out the knives for the great man…he has done a lot for the club..its coz of him we can rub our shoulders against the sides like REAL MADRID and scare the shit out of BARCELONA for 65 mins.if you look back at our season there are a lot of positives and to tell you the truth positives are what we should be looking at..every one out there wants us to feel bad, talk bad about our team which we have supported and loved for years and will be loving for the years to come and we are playing in thier hands. this is the time to stand behind our team show them that they are not alone and when they go out there to play for us they are not 11 we are all there urging them to do that extra bit.
    our season has been like a rollercoaster ride with more lows than highs and yet we are sitting at 3rd place with all our young players.our young players are wanted by big teams all around the europe thats something to be proud of.how many players would you like to buy from liverpool,chelsea or manu..not more than 2 and yet we see clubs like MILAN chasing players who are out on loan.manu didnt win anything for 2 years..chelsea didnt win anything for 50 years..liverpool havent won the league since years…we on the other hand seem to have better future atleast thats the way it looks..
    forget about financial hurdles and all that..this is the way chelsea has changed the game for them its all about money and thats it…
    this debate can go on and on and on..in short lets stick together enjoy the games which are left and lets see what future holds for us…every single team needs changes every now and than just like life nothing stays at one point..we have seen glory days and we will soon enough see some more….
    this is waqi signin off from LAHORE PAKISTAN…

  25. yo crisp just to let you know if you didnt know that chelsea didnt win anything for years..till they sold themselves.. so may be you should stick to ur side of london coz it wont look nice if you come down to our side and you lose….i wouldnt want you hide yourslef at that time…ciao

  26. i’m confident of my club…the match will end 1-2 in chelsea’s way so arsene and is wackie team will see us rejoice so wackie or waqi shut ur mouth and dont say what you dont know.

  27. Great analysis, Wenger does look lost. he doesnt seem to know his best team, since Vieira left he’s been signing central players and playing them in wide positions, our midfield is so wrong & there are only 2 goal scorers in our whole squad. Wenger has to correct that in the summer

    Freddie is alright but he earns £70,000 a week and we need to pay this sort of money to a superstar who will score & create goals, someone like Pires.

    I dono whats the plan with Toure, he is similar to Gallas & I think we could use him in midfield. If we make a really good signing I think we can challenge for the title next season.

  28. ash, i think u dont know what u are sayin bcause our team is equipped enough t challenege for the title next season. all we need is time for them to develop into superstars. we got diaby who could be a very strong dm in coming seasons.buying new players wont solve our prolbem, it could even make it worse caus it will take time for them to setle inso i dont think any players both maybe a keeper [young keeper] to replace fadin jens.

  29. Shame how a discussion can degenerate into a pointless slanging match. Quite possibly Chelsea might beat an understrength Arsenal at the end of the season,however that has no bearing on the subject. Arsene needs to accept that a few new faces always liven up a dressing room,possibly he already has those in situe on loan or in the transfer pipeline. As supporters we are not privy to the private dealings of our scouts or our management but I caution you to remember that despite that you will see any number of names being linked to us Arsenal never publicise their buys until they happen.

  30. The answer is not investing Money in the transfer market. Arsenal is unlike Man U. Chelsea, Barca or Real Madrid. We may have the money to purchase the players in the transfer market but do we have the money to hold onto them after Wenger make them an even bigger star? Just look what is happening at Man U with Ronaldo, if Ronaldo was playing for Arsenal there is no way they could match 120,000 pounds a week. The only reason Henry stayed is because he loves the club and it’s manager, he could have been the highest paid player in Europe by now if he would have signed for Barca. Chelsea can afford to keep their players on such high wages because the entire team is banked rolled by the ugly billioniar.

    Arsenal must grow it’s stars and hope and pray that their luv for the club and loyalty to the fans will keep them regardless of the temptation for more money.

  31. Crisp how are you slating Arsenal when chelsea needed 300 million to win the premier league when arsenal has dominated the english league for past 10 years without many big money signings and go 49 Unbeaten what records have chelsea broken except for getting the most luck in a season

  32. sniper, our team as it is wont challenge for the title next season. Our rivals will sign players like Hargreaves, Eto’o, Alves etc etc. You dont go from 4th to 1st or 2nd without strengthening, where will the goals come from? Cesc & Rosicky might score 10 between them but will Hleb become a goal scorer? Will Flamini become world class?

  33. We were in a new stadium without major signings, plyed with kids,
    still undefeated at home, fcuked Man Ure twice, reached Carling Cup final and finishing 3rd at the end of the season….
    Apart from 11 days Arsene has done a brilliant job with the resources he has.
    How many of us were expecting Arseanl to win the premiership this time??
    See guys Arsene will build this team and go after the clubs who are winning the silverwares bcoz of money…
    I dont want Arsenal to buy Silverwares! I want them to win it.
    Keep Faith u gooners!

  34. The thing that he always had when we were title contenders (and what this years challengers have) was a free-scoring midfielder to take the burden from the strikers and the rest of the team.

    Arsenal have Henry and Van Persie out, and without them we can’t score! in 1998 we had Marc Overmars, and when he left we had Robert Pires. The fact is now Rosicky, Hleb and Ljungberg combined score nowhere as near the number of goals Marc and Bobby did. Last year Drogba wasn’t a 30 goals a season man but they had Lampard to win the league, and this season Saha & Rooney haven’t be prolific either but they’ve got Ronaldo. We have nobody.

    Rosicky and Hleb are good players but without contributing that many goals from the wing like Giggs or Ronaldo, they may as well be central playmakers like Scholes. Two wide players who don’t score is useless!

  35. arsenal cont need any big name tranfers because it would spoil the youngstars future. all we need is a very good keeper. ash if u are a real arsenal fan then support arsene in what he is going to do in the summer transfer window because trust me on this ARSENE WENGER is not going to sign any player for more than 20 mill to 40 mill because if u are taking about big names coming to are [eto,buffon,etc] it will up to 30 mill and also the salary is a diferent matter . we arent chelsea who could spend up to 100 mill a season, we are arsenal

  36. gk fabianski df micha richards,eboue,gallas,toure,clichy mf tomas rosicky francesc fabregas ryan babel frank ribery st henry eto van persie

  37. for arsenal football club too make waves this coming season we definately need atleast two outstanding strikers to pair with t henry and a (attacking midfielder that can strike shots from short/long range distance. since lehman is getting old its high time we start looking for good goal keepers and developing our back three defenders in order for our team to compete with the top two which they are not all because we lost focus. we need to buy players it is just as simple as that.



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