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Friday, 12 August 2011

Goodbye Cesc - now, how are we going to move on Arsene?

The longest transfer saga in premier League history has finally come to a conclusion, with Cesc Fabregas being unveiled as a Barcelona player today. He will go back to his boyhood club, after learning and developing all his talent at Arsenal FC to becoming one of the best players in World Football. This is no exaggeration and the stats do not lie either. When people said he had a poor year last year, they are wrong. Fabregas suffered from a lot of injuries last term, but still managed to lead Arsenal's assist table. He still managed to create the second most chances out of every premier League player and the biggest stat of all is that for the past 5 years, Fabregas has created the most chances out of the top 5 European leagues. He is that good!

As an Arsenal fan, I want players playing for my club who want to be there, who want to drive the team forward and who want success for the team. That classic saying, "nobody is bigger than the club". This also applies with the Nasri situation, who clearly is intent on leaving the club considering he does not want to sign a new deal. Arsenal need to now accept the situation and move on. But the fan's want to know, what's next?

Arsene Wenger has come under a great deal of criticism this past couple of years by football fans, pundits and from his own fan's. Never from me though. I will never criticise a man who has transformed the game in England, transformed the club of Arsenal and transformed the way Arsenal play the game of football. "In Arsene we trust" and I am a firm believer of this. However, if I ever have had any questions that need to be answered for the future of Arsenal Football Club then this is the time.

Many people target Arsene Wenger for the current situation, but people need to start focusing their anger and questions to those higher up at the club and to an ageing out of date board. In my view this is what needs revolutionised at the club. The board need to step into the 21st century and focus the club on the changes that are fast apparent in football. Yes we have a fantastically run football team financially and have a great amount of stability at the club, which is not very apparent at so many clubs across the country, but something is not right, otherwise we wouldn't be letting go of our best players. Plus it is very unfortunate that the time has come in football where you have spend millions and millions of £'s to be successful, but if that's what brings in success, then let's do it!

Where do Arsenal go from here in the transfer market?

Arsenal have already improved their defensive line with having Thomas Vermaelen fit again, which will definitely offer some strength and more importantly, leadership in the back line. But it is a defensive partner we need for him, a no nonsense type, and preferably some British steel in the side. For me, Gary Cahill will be the perfect addition to the squad, as he ticks all those boxes. Unfortunately for Arsenal, when players like Koscielny and Djourou have come in, they have made crucial mistakes and haven't been consistent enough with their performances. The consistency is the difference between winning the premier league and not, it's simple.

However, one area that people are forgetting that we need to improve is at the other end of the field. We need another forward to support the key role that Robin Van Persie does for the club and we now need replacements for Fabregas and potentially Nasri too. The money received needs to be immediately spent on new players, and fast. Juan Mata is a start, but this deal is struggling to really get going. So, the question lies, who can we get?

I do not have these answers and I am sure head coach Steve Rowley will be working day and night in search for an answer. The one thing Arsenal need is to finally start putting up the cash and paying what is necessary to secure the services of top players. So many have failed to make the trip to the Emirates, due to Arsenal not wanting to pay the money. Xabi Alonso is one of a list that Arsenal let slip through their fingers. Change is needed and the next 16 days are going to be crucial for Arsenal FC.

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