It’s preseason, that time of the year again when Arsenal fans get to breath hard, not for poor results this time but for the usual links to players that will never wear the famous white and red and the eventual frustration of seeing next to 2cents players as consolation jogging to fans during parked out unveiling. Sometimes in the past, Arsenal had world beaters, players that would stroll into any team in the world, effective double winners, the famous Tony Adams-Martin Keown partnership in defence with the former impressively replaced by Sol Campbell, the cement in midfield, impenetrable, made of quality grade A granites of Patrick Vieira and Gilberto, the famous era of Frederick Ljuimberg on the right and Robert Pires on the left, a team with a pool of enviable top quality upfront, the days of Thierry Henry, pace and trickery, Dennis Bergkamp, finesse at its best, Nwankwo Kanu, intelligence in high places and Sylvain Wiltord the French assassin, the last of the invincibles eclipsed at the FA Cup final against Manchester United, and ever since it’s been a case of ifs and what nots.
The golden era was relieved by a better forgotten one, new stadium excuses earned us the likes of Senderos and Djourou in center backs, frustration to say the least, Alex Song and Denilson picking shifts in between them, there was even a certain Baptista in the mix for wherever he likes, sandwiched by a few quality in Cesc Fabregas, Sami Nasri and Robin Van Persie, unsurprisingly the trio asked to leave for silverware which they all earned instantly. Injuries and wrong referee calls are next excuses but every other team had their shares of each a different times, squad depth was never in Arsenal’s lexicon as the petrichor of yesterday’s success taste staler than history can remember. The tradition of exiting the champions’ league at the second round stage was established on strong foundations by this Bendtner-Adebayo attack era, hopes end too quickly in February and the team goes on wild goose chase with promising hopes for next season and then an epic repeat…
After the exodus of stars on silverware hunt, Arsenal turned the corner with the acquisitions of Mesut Ozil, one that did little to erase the shameful miss on Luis Suarez same window, FA Cup success followed and it was built on by the signing of the fiercest beast in the league, Alexis Sanchez, another cup success followed, one season of drought as expected when only a goalkeeper was added, even more painful seeing the title head eastward to Leicester… Leicester City! While more than five teams would feel the pain, Arsenal knew that was the year. A few additions again and FA Cup success came again, this time beating a more formidable opponent in the final than the previous two of Hull and Aston Villa, needless to recount the ordeal against the Tigers at Wembley, it came at a price though, Arsenal missed out on the holy grail for the first time since I started watching football, something I strongly believe is the beginning of happy days at Arsenal.
Europa league is much tougher than the Champions league, more games, bigger risks with rough opponents, incessant travels and common sense teaches that a thin squad can’t survive such competition. Activities in the transfer window is keeping fans on the edge as usual, Saed Kolasinac and Alexander Lacazette have joined, both on the back of impressive seasons and one can only expect more, Santi Carzola is effectively out till next April, whew! If you realize how crazy it is with Ramsey and Xhaka you’ll feel a need for a quality addition in midfield and with Theo Walcott never dependable, the rumours of Lemar and Mahrez had better be true. Beyond adding players, the contract situations of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil need urgent address, for me, Ozil seems to be in the bag, whatever happens, both should be kept, if they want to go for free they can, challenging for the title in a season we’re in Europa needs quality legs and not just numbers, wherever Sanchez is trust he’ll give his best, keep them both! Alex Oxlade Chamberlain is another one stalling on signing; it’s ridiculous considering how frustrating it’s been with him, he had a good season last term no doubt but what about the previous years? When only the first half showing against AC Milan back then was the only performance of note in four years? Liverpool is calling, if he doesn’t want to stay please ship him there with a barber from London for his over bloated egoistic hairs.
We want to challenge on all fronts next term without pressure, let Theo Walcott go, keep Giroud if he understands his role as a backup striker, Gibbs should not be given a squad number, it’s been great having him around, Sczcesny wants Juventus move, we wish him all the best, free up the wage bill and launch brave bids, actual bids and not paper talks for the trio of Fornales of Villareal, Lemar of Monaco and Mahrez of Leicester, we won’t have to care what opponents are throwing at us if we have a strong squad, let’s make a statement in the window, impact on the pitch, and our hands will lift something great at the end of the season. We can’t help injury, squad depth is the answer, VAR would likely end wrong referring so we can hope Xhaka and Coquelin will get the memo. For now we can hope and wish, it’s down to Wenger to add and the players to turn up, but as a lifetime fan, we stay loyal till thy kingdom come.