I feel like the news keeps rehashing itself. Chambers landed yesterday and I think Ospina did as well? I can’t keep up. Whatever is going on, I think we’ve signed some players. Some good ones.
Wenger described Chambers signing as a gamble. Choice words to take from the man who signed Chamberlain from League 2 with 20 games under is belt and Theo from The Championship with 13 games to his name. Both at younger. The chances of success tend to increase with age and quality of competition if Billy Beane is to be believed. Calum has played 20 games in the Premiership, that’s a pretty good barometer he’s going to be ok.
The people are excited, some a little too excited. I’ve had people telling me Wenger has already delivered. Steady on kids, a ball hasn’t been kicked yet. It seems the manager spending some cash has sent some into a frenzy when all he’s done really is address gaps in the squad. Something he could have done over the past 4 years.
It’s amazing how history has rewritten itself so many times. Last summer the handbrake was off, now, this summer, people are reiterating that it’s THIS summer the shackles are off. Make up your minds. In fact, don’t, just look at the surplus cash generated over the years from player sales we’ve not reinvested for any reason. Then look at Dortmund’s expenditure and success. Then tell me in 8 years, it’s not been possible for us to progress.
This year is important because this new contract has obviously come with stipulations either written or verbal. Either the realisation that going out with a bang is massive, or the realisation of the board that they have no control of back room infrastructure. Whatever it is, I’m happy. I have what I’ve wanted for years.
Ambition from the manager.
Behaviour you’d associate with a big club. An attempt to rebuild our reputation in Europe as a ‘go to’ club. This summer pushes us up a level again. Which, if this season is good, will make us appealing to even better players. The project is looking good. We need to get beyond being a ‘project’ this season. Win a league and you’re the place to be. Players knock down your doors.
I took some flak the other day for suggesting that Arsenal weren’t in the elite echelons of European football, I’m not sure why. I can sell Arsenal better than anyone, because it’s my club. We have a great stadium, world class training facilities, revered manager, we pay well, we have a nice kit, Piebury Corner is excellent and North London is a beautiful place to live. However, you can’t avoid the facts when it comes to footballers. They go where the mega money is and they go where the trophies and prestige is.
Arsenal aren’t yet part of European royalty. Players don’t push Barca, Madrid, United or Juve to join Arsenal. There are few reasons for this. Firstly, we never compete for European Cups. Lately, like, ten years lately, we rarely compete for the league. Our trophy haul is low. We don’t ooze spectacular anywhere at the moment. You can join Arsenal and maybe win an FA Cup, you can go to Juve and win Serie A, a cup and compete for the Champions League because they’ll spunk tonnes of cash to make it happen.
… and I hate to say it, but the atmosphere at their stadium is incredible.
Arsenal are in the process of pulling a chair up to the top table of European football. We have some money, but look, money on its own doesn’t entitle you to an elite space. You have to start behaving like one of the big boys. You have to win a European Cup. You have to dish out sustained expenditure. You have to start making world class players again. You have to have BIG CLUB at the core of your culture. 4th place trophy gets you banished, acceptance of mediocrity gets you nowhere, being anything bar ruthless is sneered at. You have to behave how you want to be treated, you have to communicate ‘winners’ in everything you do.
Arsenal have been revered in Europe in the past. But that reputation died 10 years ago. Wenger now has the chance to rebuild that. Much in the same way Brendan Rodgers is trying to reignite the stunning reputation Liverpool still have around the world. He has an easier job than Arsene, because Arsenal have never hit those heights. This summer will have people taking note.
… but like I said, this is just phase one. Phase two is what it’s all about. Phase two is where I’m not convinced by Arsene. The second part of the shift won’t become apparent until February next year. We need to see how Wenger fairs against the big teams, we need to see how our players react to better strength and conditioning, we need to see what the team will look like if we have a fitness coach implementing load management techniques, we also need to see whether Wenger starts dabbling in deeper preparation. Will Steve Bould be given more freedom? Will the new players adapt to our system? Will we have more than one system to operate under? How will he deploy his front line?
What’s the vision for the playing side this year? How do we capitalise on last years FA Cup and 128 days at the top of the league.
It really is a fascinating year ahead because it’s all about Wenger. The shackles are off, when I say shackles, I mean Wenger has realised what he has to do if he wants to keep his job and remain relevant in world football. That’s exciting. Let’s see what he can do!
The old man, wearing a shirt with his wife’s name on. What a joke. pic.twitter.com/T6AR5dHhrW
— Le Grove (@LeGrove) July 28, 2014