It’s not all doom and gloom. There have been a few performances that should give us great optimism – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain seems to be a revelation, Mertesacker, although not so bright yesterday, is growing into his role, while Van Persie has yet to pick up a serious injury even though we’re into October!
For me, the downside is that we seem to still play like a group of individuals rather than a collective unit. The defence leaves far too many gaps and the midfield seems to struggle to retain possession – especially in the latter stages of a game where you need a cool head. Unfortunately this has been coming for the last three years. We have failed to strengthen the team sufficiently as and when required and the long-term lack of investment is being found out in today’s team. To be fair to Arsene, he has done a fantastic job in papering over the cracks by continually qualifying for the Champions League, every year for the last 14 years. The consistency is there and Arsene has to be commended for such an amazing feat.
What frustrates me, however, is that since 2005 (coincidentally the last time we won a trophy) we have been only two to three players short of having a truly world class dominating team. However, these players have never been brought to our club. In fact, we have decided to follow an economic policy of buying cheap young players, making them into superstars and then selling them for a huge profit. These are not the actions of a football club aspiring to be the ‘best in the world’ (as quoted from Arsene in Friday’s media) but rather that of a feeder club.
So, what is Arsenal Football Club today? I wish someone from our Board of Director’s would be happy to answer this very important question. I doubt we will ever get answers to but at least we can make plenty of noise about it.
Last week the club released its financial figures for the last year, announcing a net profit of £15.4m even though our turnover had actually gone down compared with last year. However ,what’s even more amazing about these results is the fact that they don’t include the £70m+ recouped from player sales over the summer. This is even more evidence that backs my statement that the people that run our football club are more focused on making money than producing a top class team. What they need to realise, however, is that there are paying customers, us football fans, and we cannot be expected to pay for the most expensive football tickets in England if we don’t have a decent team to follow!
I am very curious to see what will happen to season ticket renewals if we don’t finish in the Champions League places this year!
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