29 luglio 2013

Let’s face it, Arsenal could sign NONE else this summer: would it really be a disgrace?

Despite reports, rumors, interviews, quotes and any many speculations, nothing looks more realistic than Arsenal ending up with young French striker Yaya Sanogo as their only signing of the off-season.
I still believe that two or three new senior players will be at the Arsenal sooner than later, however we might all start to realize that Arsène Wenger could be happy to stick to the current team – or may be forced to.

Should that be the case, how terrible would it be?

As per today, Arsenal look in a quite decent shape and seem to have kept in mind the values that led to a magnificent run of 11 games without a defeat, resulting in the 4th spot ahead of Sp*rs.
Same unity, same focus, same spirit so far – which is encouraging; Olivier Giroud scored six times in four matches, youngsters impressed (especially Geodion Zelalem, Serge Gnabry and Chuba Akpom) and everything went quite well in the Far-East, where thousands of fans cheered the team and everyone had glimpses of spectacular football.
The opponents, however, have been Indonesia All-Stars, Vietnam, Nagoya Grampus and Urawa Reds – not exactly what we will face during next season.

And here’s the problem.

The current team has a great mix of tenaciousness, technique, experience and enthusiasm but looks terribly short.

We cannot hope to compete in the Premier League with the likes of Zelalem, Gnabry, Akpom, Eisfeld or Miquel – not on the long-term.
Some of them are absolutely exciting prospects and will definitely play some first-team football in the Capital One Cup and FA Cup but we cannot rely on those young shoulders to challenge Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Europe’s big guns for elite trophies.
It wouldn’t work and it wouldn’t be fair to those youngsters; they need and deserve time to develop, it would be a shame to waste the amount of talent we have on hand.

In my opinion, we have today fifteen players I will blindly trust for the whole season, plus two or three who will definitely be important but who won’t be able to feature more than 25 times next season.
Numerically speaking, it’s not enough to be serious contenders.

We should definitely bring in quality but quantity as well, our promising young players must be free to play with no pressure when they will be called into action and this wouldn’t happen if suddenly we have an injury (a rare fact at the Arsenal) and Serge Gnabry, Geodion Zelalem or Ryo Miyachi has to start a few matches in a row.
The hype would grow, expectations would mount and suddenly we would all rely on a talented teenager, inexperienced at the highest level.
I believe we have a very good team, far better than many analysts and fans think, but we must build on this excellent base and add experienced, solid players who will help the Arsenal to reach the next level and be consistent over the season.

Finding those players won’t be easy at all, however.
The players currently at the Club went through some very hard times during last season and the ones before, they overcame some great difficulties and became a unite group thanks to those difficult moments, something which could make an enormous difference between winning and losing.
Anyone stepping in this summer must be aware of that, no matters how stellar his name is: the likes of Mikel Arteta, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny and Aaron Ramsey went straight to the bottom before winning the fans back; they’ve been all labeled as losers, amateurs, useless players by a large chunk of so-called supporters and so-called experts before showing everyone how good they can be and how important to the Arsenal they can be.

I will never swap that mentality with any skill, talent, gift or whatsoever.

That’s why I am more worried about the quantity than the quality within the team and that’s why it wouldn’t be a big disgrace if Arsène Wenger doesn’t bring a Luis Suarez or a Gonzalo Higuain.

As the boss himself told during a Q&A session, “a star was once a talented guy who was given a chance”.
As long as some new motivated players are ready to give it all for the Arsenal, I am happy.
I trust Arsène Wenger and his judgment, I don’t need anything else to believe we can challenge for major trophies in England and Europe.


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