For us humble fans it has been glaringly obvious where Arsenal’s deficiencies have lied this season. Experienced centre halves, a defensive midfielder and an experienced striker would have transformed a season which as swung high and low but is ultimately ending in disaster.
The noises coming from the Emirates suggest that Wenger will have some money to spend but it will not be the wholesale changes many people hope for. Wenger has already told us he wants to keep Bendtner and Diaby, which after the campaign they have had is rather confusing.
Every year we see the reserves smash sides in the Carling Cup (http://betting.betfair.com/football/carling-cup/) and have the media drooling over the potential of these young stars. But when will these performances be transferred onto the Premier League stage? Potential is one thing, success in another.
The game at the top is ruthless and unforgiving and sometimes raw talent just isn’t enough to survive. Given time and space to fail this side may develop into a world class side but the reality is in the Premier League you are not given that time or space – success needs to be instant. And that pressure could ruin a young person’s career.
Therefore Wenger MUST upset the Premier League odds (http://betting.betfair.com/football/premiership/) and bring in some experienced players to lead the younger stars through the tough games, someone to look up to and be inspired by – a Tony Adams or Patrick Viera type character.
It is another unfortunate aspect of this season that the one player in our side who can lead by example, William Gallas, decided to turn on the players instead in his now infamous mid-season rant. I wouldn’t be surprised if Gallas never plays for Arsenal again.
I think that if we can bring in a solid experienced defensive midfielder to sit in front of the back four it will give the likes of Cesc, Theo and Arshavin the space to flourish. I honestly don’t feel we are that far away from a great side. I just feel Wenger’s utopian vision of an all-conquering young team growing together is not applicable to the tough, modern game.
People remarked after the Champions League semi-final that the distance between Arsenal and United was frighteningly wide – the champions were light years ahead of us. But with one or two key additions (evolution not revolution as was quoted in the media) maybe some of that well publicised potential can finally be realised.