Friday, June 10, 2011

Is Arsenal in a Crisis?

Just a few years ago, Arsenal was a huge club, one of the biggest in the world. While that still may be true on the financial basis, it isn't so based on footballing terms. Back when the like of Henry, Adams, Bergkamp, and Vieira were still at the club, young players from lower leagues and teams strived to earn a transfer to join Arsenal. The players who wore the Arsenal shirt played with a passion, fueled with love for the club. Stars such as Tony Adams would never, ever even think of talking up a move to one of Arsenal's rivals. Now? Samir Nasri said about Manchester United's supposed interest; "Do I want to go to Man United? First, we should see if it's real and if it is concrete." This is only the start of Arsenal players beginning to crave moves away from the Emirates. Just before, Nicklas Bendtner and Denilson both stated that they will leave Arsenal this summer. Then again, it wouldn't be that tragic if any of those players left. Bendtner and Denilson haven't contributed in months, while Nasri had three good months of football, and then went back to his usual, wasteful self. 

But the thing that worries me is buying replacements for the players who are ready to leave. It seems impossible for Arsene Wenger to secure players, with their rivals, including United, City, and even Liverpool snapping up some of Arsenal's targets. A perfect example of this is Phil Jones, who was signed by the Red Devils for 16 million pound. Arsene Wenger offered the same price to Blackburn, and even higher wages than Manchester, only to see Jones pick United. This looks like a trend in recent times. Arsenal are linked with players in tabloids, only to see other teams come in interested. Even if the Gunners have a deal in the bag, they can almost never seal the deal. There's always some kind of bickering involving the price of the player, or the wages. To be honest, it's quite a bit annoying to be a fan of Arsenal in the transfer windows. The frustration of hearing the Christopher Samba almost joined Arsenal to heal the ailing defnese was immense for me He revealed that, “I think a move to Arsenal was very close in January but that is life." Why was it that Arsenal couldn't seal the deal? Who knows, but it's most likely something hugely stupid.

Now, I want to talk about the club's current captain, Francesc Fabregas. For the past few seasons, he has been constantly linked in papers and on the internet with a move back to his boyhood club, Barcelona. Despite nearly every Barca player tapping him up, he hasn't come out publicly stating his desire to stay at Arsenal, and hasn't condemned the actions of his Spanish colleagues. That's quite a problem. A captain of such a club as Arsenal should be proud of his team. He should rubbish any claims of him going to Barcelona. But he hasn't. Is is heart even at Arsenal anymore? Sure doesn't seem like it. During matches, he's looked disinterested, and not caring of what happens on the field. Then again, during the Everton match, where the Gunners came back to win, he did launch a tirade against the referee at half-time. So it is possible that he's committed to his current club. The thing is however, that he isn't really the captain type. He makes his impact by how he plays, not his character. I personally believe that the only reason he was given the captain's armband was to keep him at Arsenal last summer. Players like Robin Van Persie, Thomas Vermaelen, and even Jack Wilshere would be more suited to be the captain. They're often seen criticizing the referee, and even their colleagues on the pitch. 

So, will the 2011-2012 season be a tragedy for the Gunners. I certainly don't believe so. If the aspects of the squad that need to be addressed are fixed, then it could possibly be one of the Arsenal's best seasons in recent times. One can only hope.

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