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Arsenal FC: Time For Wenger To Rethink

Arsenal is a club that possesses enormous talent, faithful supporters and strong financial backing.  Being one of the Big Four clubs, it is quite surprising that Arsenal have gone trophy less for 6 straight years . It is indeed very painful when one of your better defenders go to the rival club claiming that he wants more piece of silverware. For a club that has been sitting proudly in the English top flight since its inception, it is a slap on face, and more bruises are to come.

Make or break season beckons for Arsene Wenger

As of date the situation is not clear whether the Gunners will have services of their captain Cesc Fabregas and the French playmaker Samir Nasri . Even more tragic is the subdued presence of Arsenal in transfer market . While Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool are all going with full force to lure better and talented players from market, Arsenal have been sleeping and acting ignorant. So far there has been only one significant signing in form of Gervinho while Denilson has gone on loan to Sao Paulo, Nicklas Bendtner has confirmed that he won’t play for Arsenal next season. The Fabregas saga is frustrating fans and so are the Barcelona antics, and on the other hand if Nasri goes to Manchester United or City, there cannot be a greater seatback for Arsene Wenger. Though Wenger has come out strongly in press saying that Cesc and Samir won’t leave, he has not fulfilled his promise of strengthening the much maligned defence. Since the departure of William Gallas to Tottenham, the Gunners have suffered a lot in defence. Last season, they conceded the most number of goals among the top 4 teams and won just one  single league game throughout the entire months of March and April!


yet to prove his worth

Gervinho: Arsenal's only addition to a much maligned squad in the summer

Till December, Arsenal were competing for trophies in all four major tournaments, but at the end of the season the result was the same as the past six years – trophy less. Yes, Wenger has been a remarkable manager who is loved by fans , appreciated by critics and contemporaries alike but it is time for him to rethink and rework his team . It is often intriguing  that the little known talents from French League are drafted into Arsenal squad, a move which has often failed. It is high time that Wenger looks for home grown British talent, learning from teams like Liverpool  and Manchester United who have shown that local players are capable enough to win silverware both in home and Europe.

A glimpse at current Arsenal First Team and you find that there are only 4 British players: Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs. This is a bad situation to be in, considering that FA wants to implement rule of 6 British players in starting line up in near future. Where Manchester United and Liverpool are busy recruiting home players like Jones, Henderson, Young, Downing and Adams, Arsenal have purchased yet another foreign player. One look at the club’s first team and you find the maximum number of overseas player from  Wenger’s very own country. You may say it is harsh judgement but sometimes I sense he is a bit biased.

Secondly, Arsene Wenger needs to improve the team’s defence. I clearly remember the Barcelona-Arsenal match at Nou Camp, experiencing the agony of seeing pathetic defending and the lack of an experienced central defender who would rally his troops properly bring the team down. Wenger has stressed time and again that the team needs to improve defence but he has done very little to make it count. His words have surely not resonated in his actions.

Then there is the problem of goal keeper.  Such was Arsenal’s pathetic condition last season in the goal keeping department that they had to call Jens Lehmann out of retirement for his services. One match you see Almunia between the poles, the next match he is gone.  In the third match he comes back and the cycle goes on. Arsenal desperately need stability in the goalkeeping position.  They could have outbided their rivals Manchester United for David de Gea but they showed no interest.  It is very unlikely that likes of Buffon and Casillas will leave their clubs so Arsenal need to find an established goalkeeper soon who can help them get out of their troubles.

Hopefully Gervinho will prove to be well worth his 11 million price tag or else he will go the Chamakh way. But the hope remains, the pre-season so far has been good.  Hopefully Nasri and Fabregas will play for another year.  The celebrations may become even more bigger if the club break their trophy drought in what is a special year: the 125th year of their establishment.  It is a make or break year for Arsene Wenger.


Gunners kit commemorating the 125th year of establishment of the club

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