You have a Champions League final and only one team have beaten both of them and that is Arsenal.
You have to love Arsene Wenger for saying that. Not that his statement is untrue, we did beat both clubs this season. However that does not necessarily mean that we deserve to be in the Champions League final more than Manchester United or Barcelona. To his credit, the past few days Wenger has been saying the right things.
That we need to add to our squad. Not because we need to shake up the whole playing staff but more because we need the special individuals that can come into our team and drag us over the line. That could in terms of the coaching staff or in terms of new players. On one hand, you could say that it is something we’ve said for the past couple of seasons. But that would be untrue as well.
Wenger did make new signings each season. We clamour for a defensive stalwart and in come Thomas Vermaelen in 2009. Then we pleaded for a striker to ease the burden on Robin Van Persie and in come Marouane Chamakh. In football, maths is not the figure to go by. Adding one to one doesn’t always make two. Essentially because the competition also brings in their own new players or change the way the play football. It is more about adapting yourself to the competition as the season progress, with the personnel on hand.
More importantly, we should not allow our team to disintegrate this summer. Central to that topic is of course our captain, Cesc Fabregas. Although Fabregas has already played a couple of years for us, there’s no denying that his best years is still ahead of him. It is only right for Wenger to want to keep him. It will be a big signal to the rest of the squad should Fabregas be allow to leave. If we hope to sign big names, potential signing may think differently on whether to join Arsenal should they see that our best player is being transferred out. That being said, ridiculous sum of money should seriously be considered. I’m all for keeping our team intact but if any club were to come in for more than £60 million, then I really believe that Wenger should at least consider it.
There’s also good news for Ryo Miyaichi, who looks set to join the team for the pre season. I know most don’t view the Dutch Eredivisie too highly but let’s put things in relative perspective. The boy played only high school football in Japan and in January was loaned out to Feyenoord. He was immediately put into the first team. Comparatively, the standard between high school football and first division Dutch football is massive. For him to do as well as he did during those 5 months is nothing short of remarkable. How much he will feature next season for us remains to be seen and also largely depends on whether we are able to get a working permit for him.
I’m looking forward to the return of Henri Lansbury. The lad also had a successful loan stint, with Norwich. Having helped the team secured promotion to the Premier League, Lansbury is riding on a wave of confidence. Whether you view him as a wide or a central player, he deserves a shot at a regular spot in the team. While he may not be as talented as Aaron Ramsey or Jack Wilshere, this boy has the drive and passion that the team severely lacks.
Sadly though, the drive and passion is not something we will be associating with Denilson, any time in the future. This follows a quite shocking set of quotes from the Brazilian. I understand his frustration of being converted to a defensive midfielder or perhaps the lack of playing time. But surely, it never helps to criticise the team’s failure that he is very much part of. If he had left this summer without saying those things, we would think any less of him. Not sure we can think the same now.
I’ll admit that I used to be a big fan when he was coming through the team but that feeling has mellowed down over the past 2 seasons. I’ve defended him on numerous occasions in the past but have given up on doing that following his below par performances for the past 1 year. I find it hard to hate any player who has ever worn the great red and white shirt (Ashley Cole apart). If and should Denilson leave this summer, I would not shed a tear.
Match preview tomorrow. Thanks for reading.