Where Are We Going?

The worst part about being where we are today is that our aura has vanished. It has eroded to the point where teams no longer fear playing against us. We used to go into matches with an advantage because they knew that they would struggle to keep up with us.

Teams knew we could score goals early and shorten the game. Our most recent profile has shown a squad with no more than three or four top level players. Cesc is all-world. Alex Song will have to repeat what we’ve seen this past season, but he is a very, very good player. Robin is arguably as good as the Drogbas and the Rooneys, but only if/when he stays injury free.

Andrey Arshavin is a world-class player in under-achieving mode. What has he done of major significance since saving us from dropping out of the top four a couple seasons ago? I am very disappointed in him. It’s fair to have expected loads more.

Thomas Vermaelen is another player I rate and who could probably walk straight into most teams, in any league, in any country. The problem there is that we will likely lose his under-appreciated, much maligned partner William Gallas. In a world where top quality CBs are few, we need a player of Gallas’s ability. And for the record, I don’t see any good reason for Samir Nasri to report that he and others don’t speak to Gallas. What is the point?

Sadly, our current squad is comprised of too many players who have either proven nothing, or are running out of time to do so. Some might argue that they’ve had enough time, no matter what their age. The fact remains that we risk being left behind by the clubs above us and one or two below us with designs on moving into the top tier of English football.

That fucking Sp*rs have got as close to us as they have should be enough to send Arsene on a major shopping spree. We need reinforcements if not replacements, 8:25 rule notwithstanding. I know we have come close, within a few weeks and maybe a player or two from winning but let’s be clear, our players’ abilities in aggregate do not match our ambition or our stature.

It’s time to fix that. Remove the dead weight. I call for players good enough to push or replace the under-achievers and those who are not up to it. When the player behind you is just above average or a teen who has proved nothing, it doesn’t make you better. Fabianski cannot make the current No. 1 better. We’ve lacked proper competition for places. I know it’s been a struggle financially but I am reading regularly that we have money to buy the players “we think we need”.

We are a world class football club. The team is a mainstay in the Champions League. We have an A1 stadium that Brazil calls its home away from home. Our global reach and influence is surpassed by few. These are remarkable achivements that signal a commitment to excellence. We have an exceptional if not legendary manager. We are one of the most valued sports organizations in the world.

That excellence must be transferred to the quality of players who make up Arsenal Football Club. The nursery phase is over. Men must separate themselves from boys.

Another trophyless season will be the result if we do not address all of our weaknesses, not to mention the calls for Wenger to be replaced. We are well and truly at a crossroads. How we respond this close season and in the year to follow will shape not just an era but the club’s future.

Keep the Faith

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