Arsenal are not in a Crisis

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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  1. Anonymous

    July 15, 2012 at 20:13

    Great article why don't you write for BR ?

  2. Anonymous

    July 15, 2012 at 20:18

    whats br? u should write on, arsenalzone or my favourite arsenal sites! love this one too tho!

  3. Anonymous

    July 15, 2012 at 20:35

    I commend the writer on the great article. I never thought Arsenal was in crisis outside of the newspapers. I also believe the team will be stronger when the season starts with the addition of 2 or 3 more players. RVP should be allowed to leave and stop the distractions, likewise any player that wants to go. Great post.

  4. adamski

    July 15, 2012 at 20:36

    Awesome, well put together Ryan. Perspective is key and i think the fans play an important factor in this circle as well. We need to be behind the team and manager as soon as the first game kicks off, making sure not to carry the negativity from last season through because it just adds unnecessary pressure for zero gain.

    Fanbase is also important to a lot of players in their decision to move clubs, just look at the likes of liverpool/Newcastle. The 98% of real gooners need to make sure they drown out the 2% of knee jerk, paper fans who call for Wengers head and demand us to buy hazard and gotze at the drop of a hat.

  5. Anonymous

    July 15, 2012 at 20:45

    Really good article. Great to hear some sanity at last.

  6. Anonymous

    July 15, 2012 at 21:00

    I agree with this article we can hang with the big boys on the pitch on for most part out play them. Consistency is all that's need and that never say die attitude will allows us to make that next step. The players should feel like they owe a lot to the manager and want to play out the skin for him

  7. Anonymous

    July 15, 2012 at 21:24

    great post man! Keep up the good work.

  8. Anonymous

    July 15, 2012 at 21:42

    great article arsenal man who understands

  9. harshil

    July 15, 2012 at 21:46

    An excellent article after a very long time.
    What i would say is our team looks strong, players would be coming in for sure. Its definitely not AW's fault if players keep on leaving. And by now he also would have been frustrated with such attitude of our star players. 2009-Cecs(left in 2010 but started talks of leaving in 2009), 2010-Nasri, 2011-RvP he builds his team around such players and then they leave when actually there is a chance to win the next year.
    This time i think we have what is called as a TEAM, no player would be considered better than others.
    All our players would have to go and prove their worth.
    I am very sure 2012 is the new start as we would not have any Cesc or RvP planning to leave.

  10. Donnyfan1

    July 15, 2012 at 23:06

    That is about it! Excellent stuff! Thanks!

  11. Anonymous

    July 16, 2012 at 00:56

    The headline shd have been; Arsenal are not in crisis… yet. They will be if they don't start winning games and are out of the epl race by Xmas. By then Wenger would be wondering what has gone wrong.
    It takes a third party to tell him but he has been ignoring the flaws in the tram the last ten years.
    First,Arsenal have been plagued by below par goalies the last seven years. 2nd the defence doesnt know how to defend corner kicks and set pieces same period of time.3rd they need the perfect pass to shoot,etc.I'm no soccer but these are my observations. Until Wenger can rectify them,Arsenal will be another team in the epl.When fans get frustrated they will stay away in droves leaving yawning gaps in the ES.
    Btw sponsorship deals are due to expire in 2014. If the gunners fail to win anything they will be unable to get the maximum outlay on their brand name. Incidentally,sponsors want to be associated with winners and just another club.i

  12. Anonymous

    July 16, 2012 at 02:00

    Nobody asks Wenger to spend 50 miilion on a big name. Just get the experienced quality playrs who can make a difference. The problem is he has been overbuying kids. If they had fulfilled their potential they could have taken the team to the next level. Unfortunately they haven't and Arsenal are paying the price.
    Our fm buys African born players because they are cheap. The ANC takes place every two to three years and when these guys go away,the rhythm of the team is disrupted. It happened during kanu's time and will happen until the fm knows it is not worth the cheap price.
    I believe and all fans believe that if the gunners fail to challenge for the epl,Wenger should not be given any more time.Enough time has been wasted by him.If not Arsenal risks being dumped in the doldrums thru his philosophy.