By Harry (@arseneseleven)
With the end of the season drawing ever closer, let’s take a look at what lies next for Arsenal. The club finds itself amongst the big boys of the premier league with the title seemingly a few shrewd signings away and Yannick Sagbo between AFC and F.A Cup glory. Let’s not beat around the bush, for the majority of the season Arsenal remained title contenders and supporters could dream. On reflection, a fourth place finish and an F.A cup win would be an improvement on the previous season. With the Wenger debate currently as heated as ever, nothing would bring more intrigue to the situation than an F.A Cup victory this season.
Peering impatiently in to the future it’s difficult to predict the direction of Arsenal and this seems a crucial time in making decisions to encourage future success. With top clubs continuously spending ludicrous sums of money on players that the Gunners are often after, it has become increasingly harder for the club to reach the heights of previous Wenger sides. Most clubs now have extensive knowledge of Europe and it is becoming harder and harder for Wenger to seek out his little gems which helped AFC to rise above the competition. Now the club must deal with the dilemma of paying huge sums of money for the quality of player that would improve the side & managed to pick up for a bargain price a decade ago. The simple truth; football changes and Arsenal must adapt to the current environment if they wish to continue to be successful. Is Arsene capable of this?
When people question the success Arsene has brought to the club in recent years, we must look at the long term stability he has provided the club. There is also the financial model that would rival any business. To us fans though, it’s not business, it’s the club we love!! We understand the difficulties involved in building the new stadium and keeping competitive, though at the same time it is the duty of the club to use the tools it has at its disposal as effectively as possible. Remember the fans often pay extortionate prices just to watch their team. Of course, as fans, we want the club to win every game and there have been points in recent years where Arsenal have not been as competitive as they could have been, most notably the 8-2 game, I’m sure I do not have to specify further.
Wenger is tops in what he does and has done for the club. The hard years are over now Arsene, put your feet up and let loose a bit. You see that car you used to look at as you walked to work every day, you can have that now, it’s yours! You’ve earned it! You’re no longer the little boy with his faced pressed up against the glass. You’re there, it’s the Promised Land.
It should not be suggested that the new found financial stability should encourage a move away from the concepts that the club value so highly. The moral stance of playing attractive football and giving youth an opportunity can still allow the club to be successful if supplemented with well executed transfer expenditures. Smashing the transfer record last summer may have been the breakthrough the fans were looking for. It may help to understand whether Wenger is truly capable of changing from the cherished bargain hunter to the flamboyant spender some wish him to become.
Wenger’s reign has seen a number of players come to the club as nobody’s and leave as superstars; I don’t need to name names. It should be different now, this is the part where they stay rather than leave. We will soon find out whether the signing of Özil will pave the way for other top names or if it has merely stopped fans from ripping the chairs out of the stadium for another season. Surely there is nobody that would want to see a successful Arsenal side more than Arsene Wenger? Is spending money the only way? In this current environment, sadly it seems so. Most top European leagues have at least one billionaire mad man feeding money into a club like an agitated gambler. The worse thing about it is that it seems to work; spending brings success. Nothing symbolizes this quite like Samir Nasri’s smile after helping himself to another premier league title.
If Wenger is not the man to take the club forward? I’m sure there are plenty of others willing to have a go. The next manager will undoubtedly be judged on the signings and where Arsenal finishes in the table. Wenger however has allowed himself to be judged on so much more. His input into the club is invaluable and this must not be forgotten regardless of what the future brings in terms of his own relationship with the club. Sometimes it seems we will never know the alternative to empowering a man to the point at which the perspective of what is best for the club is undisputed. There may be a man ready to take AFC to the next level. Is his name Arsene Wenger? I do not know.
Wenger is a hand of 16 in Blackjack. Stand or hit?
You can follow him on twitter : (@arseneseleven)