Every season for the last few years Arsenal supporters have been bitterly disappointed over the lack of real quality signings (established, experienced players) that a big club should be investing in if it hopes to win trophies. This has obviously been substantiated by the fact that Arsenal have failed to win a major trophy in 8 years.
In the early years after winning a trophy, Arsene would go out and add a new face or 2 to freshen the squad and build upon the previous year’s successes (something Sir Fergie of United was adamant that had to happen to ensure the club challenged for honours the following season).
We all know about the supposed lack of funds, moving stadium blah blahblah but it now looks like Arsene has a serious amount of money to spend from new commercial deals coupled with finally off-loading some of the deadwood that seems to have been clinging onto the club like a bad smell for far too many years.
The other exciting aspect is the amount of changes at top level of some of our closest competitors. All the teams who finished above us this season are going through a transition. New managers will take time to bed in their expectations, methods and of course, new players they will invariably sign. This gives Arsenal an immediate advantage in having the longest serving manager at the helm with a squad who will have played a complete season together with the added advantage of not having our best player poached from under our noses (or the upheaval and impact that a protracted transfer deal has on the squad).
This brings us onto the quality of the current squad. I’m not the most optimistic of Arsenal fans but I do see a real togetherness in this team that has been sadly missing for far too many seasons. We have real quality players in Jack, Santi, Kos and Theo backed up by players such as Per, Gibbs and Arteta. What we do lack is the big physical presence in centre midfield (Diaby looked the ideal Vieira replacement but his injuries have prevented this from happening), experienced keeper and most important of all, a real quality centre forward.
If Arsene can dig into the Arsenal piggy bank and find the top draw players that the team needs and the supporters are demanding, then we’ll never have a better chance of pushing for the Premiership title. If we fail to purchase at the top end of the market, then we either have to accept that fourth is as good as it gets or a more drastic change is required to compete for trophies. Every pre-season I get excited by some of the names rumored to be on their way to Arsenal and every season I’m disappointed by the names we finally sign.
Every year I promise myself not to believe the press and every year I fail miserably. Well Arsene, it’s time to deliver. Give us the marquee signing that we deserve, give us the quality players that The Arsenal expect, give us players that our children want on the back of their shirts, give us something to believe in. Do this and the fans will love you for it. Fail to do this and still expect the supporters to put up with another season fighting for fourth whilst having millions earning interest in the bank for our bloated owner, then you really will have lost the fans backing. And after 8 years without winning a trophy, who can blame them?