What Next For Arsene Wenger And Arsenal?by Mick Bates / 07 July 2011, 10:23Tweet
Following their sixth straight trophyless season, Arsenal fans have drawn accustom to seeing manager Arsene Wenger planting his head in his hands in absolute despair as his team once again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. While their nearest rivals are all busy signing new players to bolster their squad ahead of the new season, in contrast, Arsenal are struggling to hold onto their main assets. The club and manager need to act fast, otherwise they will start to feel the wrath of their very patient supporters. Wenger's odds have already been cut to 12/1 in the Next Premier League Football Manager To Be Sacked Betting and this figure could shorten further if Arsenal get off to a poor start to the 2011/12 season.
Arsenal's failure to grind out victories and preserve a lead has become a reoccurring theme that, at present, shows no sign of changing. There is no denying that their style of football is aesthetically pleasing and exciting to watch, however, the last few seasons have proved beyond doubt that they cannot always play the silky way. Wenger must now reconstruct his side's style in order to suit the physical nature of the Premier League, and install a winning mentality to ensure that his player's remain calm under pressure and see out games.
There were countless moments last season when a crucial lapse in concentration cost Arsenal dearly. From the calamitous defensive mix-up in the last minute of the Carling Cup Final, to conceding a last gasp equaliser against Liverpool after taking the lead seconds before, which all but ended their title charge. Arsenal obviously have an abundance of talent and flair at their disposal, and on occasions have proved they have the nerve - they were one of only a few team's to beat Barcelona last season - but the key is consistency.
The recent loss of Gael Clichy to rivals Manchester City has come as a blow. His decision to leave The Gunners marks an end of an era, as he was the last remaining member of The Unbeatables of 2003/04. Many critics believe that Clichy's departure confirms that Arsenal are no longer major contenders and have thus declined into a selling club. This view is further strengthened with the seemingly inevitable departures of their influential captain Cesc Fabregas and playmaker Samir Nasri, with the later set to join either Chelsea or Manchester United
It is now critical that Arsenal hold onto, and build a steam around, the likes of Robin van Persie and young guns Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey. The fans crave new signings and it has now come to the point where it is essential that the club spends money. At the moment it looks like they have lost the ability to compete for the signature of top players, with the transfer window coming to an end in less than 50 days Wenger must act soon. While Arsenal are pottering about, their rivals are spending. Manchester United have snapped up Phil Jones and Ashley Young, Liverpool have invested their faith in Jordan Henderson and Charlie Adam , Manchester City have prized Clichy away from Arsenal and have just signed the highly rated Stefan Savic, while Chelsea spent heavily in the January transfer window and can't be ruled out from adding another marquee signing this summer.
Although Arsenal cannot compete with these teams financially, they will receive a hefty sum of money if Fabregas and Nasri do leave this summer. They must use this money to find some solid centre backs - they are reportedly after Gary Cahill of Bolton and Chris Samba of Blackburn - who will provide them with some much needed stability at the back. A top class goalkeeper is needed, as is an experienced and powerful midfielder who can work in conjunction with Wilshere. Furthermore, they desperately need a strike partner for Van Persie, with Real Madrid's Karim Benzema a possible target.
At the moment the future does not look particularly bright for Arsenal. However, if they start to take a few risks and bring in some exciting new signings then they can start to swat away their doubters and do their talking on the pitch.
Arsenal 2011/12 Specials:
- 1/5 - No Trophies
- 50/1 - Premier League and Champions League
- 50/1 - Premier League and FA Cup
- 66/1 - FA Cup and Carling Cup
- 100/1 - Premier League and Champions League
- 150/1 - Carling Cup and Champions League
- 150/1 - FA Cup and Champions League
All odds supplied by Betfred