I would like to make it clear from the outset that I am a Manchester United fan, however, it has had no standing in my writing of this article.
It’s been no secret at all that over the years, Arsene Wenger has established himself the nickname of ‘the scrooge’ for his refusal to make big money signings.
However, the difference this season is with a new owner set to create a stir at Emirates, there seemed to be ‘pressure’ on Wenger (not least of all by the fans) to bring in some established fresh blood into a side which has come to be seen to be lacking an ‘all out striker’ in recent times. Injuries to Van Persie, Bendnter, the questionable form of Eduardo and the difficult transition for Arshavin to play as a lone-striker have thrown a spanner in Wenger’s youth orientated system.
But the thought that everyone seems to counter this argument with is simple – what about the one they call Cesc Fabregas?
Well the young phenomenon has proved to the world that he has what it takes, putting together a brilliant tally of goals, assists and playing the football that has commentators salivating over their microphones. However, he has also proved that he too is not exactly immune from injuries, albeit for only a few games, leaving a rather lacklustre side to fend for themselves (however, to their credit, the team have performed admirably during these absences).
The only question left begging is – do Arsenal have what it takes, as well as the depth and experience to pull off the trophies Wenger has for so long promised? Well, the chance is for the taking, and the time is NOW.
The thing lacking from the frontline is basically, someone with a work ethic, but a person who will be a ‘goal poacher’. What they need is a Ruud Van Nistelrooy or someone of the like. While I am completely mindful that these players don’t grow on trees (and neither are these trees exactly cheap), as the adage goes, you have to spend money to make money (and trophies).
Arsenal have played their free flowing brand of football brilliantly this season, but at a stage where football fans hold their breath, teams click into the highest gears and begins runs of wins, the time is now for Arsenal, or they will be left behind where they have remained for so many seasons – one of those ‘Top 4’ teams who ‘go far’ in the Champions League.
While that is all well and good for clubs looking to improve and develop, Arsenal has been through this stage for a long period of time now and the chance is there for the taking. As far as I’m concerned, it’s now or never for Arsenal, because you can’t expect a team lacking strike power to score an overwhelming amount of goals.
As well as this, their next few fixtures (as at time of writing) are Manchester United, Chelsea & Liverpool. So if they have the title aspirations they seem they do and they want to put an end to the ‘trophyless seasons’ I think it’s time to put up or shut up really.
It’s either get in the reinforcements with a little amount of fuss and actually, dare I say it, part with some cash, or put your money where your mouth is. I think they can still do it, but it’s going to take the will of the team, sparks of brilliance from all players and the tactical awareness that Wenger no doubt possess and demonstrates constantly.
All in all, it could either be the ideal ending to a great season, or the curtain could come crushing down prematurely. Will it cost them in the long run? In my opinion, it could go either way, but there is a line between success and failure… can Arsenal cross that line and go the whole hog?
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