Archive for July 18th, 2006

Doing the math(s).

38 comments July 18th, 2006

Take a look at this picture. The date was Sunday, April 25th, 2004. Arsenal had just scored one of the goals of the season to take a 2-0 lead in a game which would see them crowned Champions, winning the league at the ground of their most bitter rivals, Spurs. They were unbeatable. They were “The Invincibles”.

That feels like a long time ago now. Of the four faces celebrating Vieira’s goal in the picture, only one remains, and now even Ashley Cole’s future is subject to doubt. The summer of 2005 saw Patrick Vieira sold to Juventus, and this year Robert Pires joined Villarreal, with Dennis Bergkamp retiring. This doesn’t even include the giant Sol Campbell: another key member of our record-breaking side.

Since then, the squad has evolved massively. Some would say it’s been “in transition”. It’s true that in place of these players the likes of Philippe Senderos and Cesc Fabregas have helped to form a new spine.

Wenger’s faith in the young players remains unbowed. But there comes a point where one has to recognise that we need recruits. As things stand, the squad simply doesn’t add up. Last summer we lost our captain, Patrick Vieira. Coming in were the two men called Alex: Hleb and Song. Arsene showed a recognition for the need to buy in pursuing both Robinho and Baptista, but both of those chases ended in defeat to Real Madrid.

This summer has seen yet more key players depart. Pires, Campbell, and Bergkamp were vital cogs in the Arsenal machine over the past few years. If you add the best left-back in the world to the list of leavers, it’s clear that the balance needs addressing. However, so far we have bought a Hleb-like attacking midfielder, Tomas Rosicky, and… yes, Alex Song. Again.

I’m not suggesting that Arsene is incompetent. I’m sure he knows everything I’ve said above full well. But amid rising concerns that we are yet again being priced out of the market, is an injury hit squad going to be good enough to compete next season?

Liverpool have made some good additions, and Chelsea are continuing their Championship Manager-style expansion of their squad. Hell, even Spurs are adding real quality. Can we afford to be left behind? We only came fourth next season, and the third and fifth-placed team have doubtless improved. Just how many transitional seasons can we afford to have?

The most important thing is not to panic. It’s clear from his actions in the January transfer window that Wenger is not afraid to splash the cash when neccessary. But if he is serious about making the first season at the Emirates Stadium a successful one, then he needs to open his cheque-book again, and soon.  Perhaps Portsmouth’s £8m bid for Curtis Davies will force him into action.  Or maybe, if we’re even luckier, he’ll go for Micah Richards.

Search Gunnerblog

Get your Gunnerblog t-shirts now!

get regular updates from GS with twitter

Top Gunn

Cesc Fabregas
The man in form.

    Retro Arsenal T-Shirts from - Bringing Back The Good Old Days!: Click Here!

Latest Posts

Sponsored Links


July 2006
« Jun   Aug »

Posts by Month

Most Recent Posts

Posts by Category


Powered By

eXTReMe Tracker