Same Old Arsenal?
Wonderful flowing football, magical moments, title aspirations but ultimately the same old Arsenal?. Another season without silverware at the Emirates Stadium coupled with having to qualify for next seasons Champions League has led to angry reactions from supporters. Arsenal were battling for a quadruple in February but ended the season trophy-less and 4th in the Premiership table.
A lack of depth in the Arsenal squad became apparent as injuries stacked up. Injury to Thomas Vermaelen highlighted the frailty of Arsenal's defence while Wenger's midfield made do with their usual flair when physical presence and tenacity were sorely needed. The turning point of Arsenal's season was undoubtedly the Carling Cup final defeat. Birmingham City stole the show in the dying seconds and stole the wind from the sails of the Arsenal juggernaut.
Arsenal bursting with optimism overcame both Barcelona and Chelsea at the Emirates with epic performances but as with seasons gone by they ran out of steam in sight of the finish line. Arsene Wenger is now left under more pressure than ever to revise his transfer policy and to address the perennial flaws in his side. While nobody expects Arsenal to break the bank over the summer transfer period fans remain hopeful of at least one marquis signing to move the club forward.
Arsenal's tenure as a top 4 team in the EPL is under threat more than ever. Liverpool look to spend big in order to return to their glory days with Kenny Dalglish at the helm. Man City march on with an open chequebook humgry for silverware and to oust neighbours United from their lofty perch.
The Gunners continue to reap benefits from their youth policy with the succesful integration and continued development of Jack Wilshere. However, to compete at the highest level Arsenal need to look outside the confines of their academy and add both depth and experience to the team. Acquisitions of Carl Jenkinson from Charlton and potentially Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Southampton boosts the numbers but is hardly a step towards dominating the EPL. Arsenal's actions in the transfer market this summer are crucial to next seasons success. Without investment Arsenal are in danger of losing key players and being overtaken by a number of developing sides. If Wenger gets his signings wrong this Summer, then the mantra of "Arsene Knows" may come under even closer scrutiny.
Tags: Arsenal, Emirates Stadium, Thomas Vermaelen, Arsene Wenger, EPL, Jack Wilshere, Gunners