Arsenal Season Conclusions Preview

It’s just a quick post today to let you know my plans for the blog in the next week or so.

I mentioned last Friday as well as yesterday a need to take a step back from things to make some conclusions on this season. However, I believe I’m almost ready to do that.

As such, I’m going to spend the next few days discussing some of the issues relating to this season that I consider to be important and what I believe needs to be done to improve on things next season. It will be things like Arsene Wenger’s need to bring in experience, Emmanuel Adebayor’s attitude, the impact of Andrey Arshavin, things like that.

Next week I will invite the readers of the blog to participate in an end of season survey to assist with the compilation of a Season Review article and podcast to be posted after the final game of the season, against Stoke. The survey will gather your opinions on which players have done well, which haven’t, how the manager has performed and what your thoughts are on what can be done to achieve more success next season.

With not too much going on today I thought I’d take the opportunity to spend some time considering my conclusions for this season and prepare my posts and ideas for the next couple of weeks. I hope you understand.

Anyway, that’s it. I’ll have the first of a series of ‘season conclusion’ posts for you tomorrow. Until then, have a good one.

Have your say on anything Arsenal by leaving a comment.

21 Responses to “Arsenal Season Conclusions Preview”

  1. Dally
    May 12, 2009 at 5:38 pm #

    @SF
    I think you are in for a hard time, especially if you want to come up with positives, apart from the purchase of Arshavin. The season started with the promise of silverware but this was soon dashed, 5 losses by Novemeber, but then we go unbeaten for 21, we get in to two semi-finals and are in the CL for another year and we didn’t need any dodgy cases of food poisoning. Good luck.

  2. Spanish Fry
    May 12, 2009 at 5:46 pm #

    @ Dally – I’m ever the optimist, so I’m sure I’ll figure something out. There have definitely been positives this year, it’s just that we’ve been found out by some painful negatives.

  3. frank gunner
    May 12, 2009 at 5:53 pm #

    The positions which neeed strengthening shd be known to AW. If he claims we have improved be prepared for another similar seaon in 2010.
    Perhaps it’s his strategy so that prices don’t go thru the roof when he start sniffing around.s

  4. Neilo
    May 12, 2009 at 6:03 pm #

    @SF Quite excited about this post. Looking forward to it. As optimistic as I was last year the AW would bring in talent to replace Flamini and Hleb during the Summer, he absolutely HAS to do it this summer, otherwise Cesc, etc. will be demoralised as they all realise I’m sure that they can’t go on without reinforcements. Good luck SF!

  5. godfrey
    May 12, 2009 at 6:25 pm #

    Have been ON and Off for most of this season,but come next week,iwill be here to air out what has been coooking up in my mind

  6. astroangel
    May 12, 2009 at 6:50 pm #

    Great…….I am waiting to read your pieces

  7. justin
    May 12, 2009 at 7:05 pm #

    If I was Arsene Wenger this summer I would consider doing the following; I’d sell Emmanuel Adebayor and use the proceeds to sign Carlos Tevez.

    If Arsenal get offered anything near the rumoured £20+ million offers for Adebayor I think that Wenger will bite their hands off quicker than a piranha would.

    As far as I’m concerned Adebayor should leave Arsenal and be replaced by someone who would give 100% every time he wore the shirt. Carlos Tevez is that man.

    The Argentinian gives everything to the cause and I’m sure that when, not if, he leaves Manchester United this summer, there will be plenty of tears from all those Cockney Reds.

    Tevez could inspire a young Arsenal side. Adebayor can’t inspire himself. Ade says Arsenal have gone backwards this season? Well he has gone more backward than the backward man from the film Freddie got Fingered.

    Signing Tevez would be a huge signing of intent and the way he has been treated at United I’m sure he would relish a move to the home of football.

  8. Old Timer
    May 12, 2009 at 7:17 pm #

    Just want to say this.
    There’s a false re-writing of history currently being perpetrated by some visitors to this board suggesting that AW has deliberately presided over the destruction of a great Arsenal team.
    In fact the majority of the players from the squad that won the league title unbeaten in 2004 either retired from football altogether, as good as retired, joining lesser clubs for their last remaining seasons or left the club against AW’s wishes.
    AW decided to replace them with mainly young players, some of them coming from the Youth team and reserves etc. It was a bold move which hasn’t quite come off. If it had, he’d probably be being praised now as the greatest football manager of all time, given the huge sums of money that have been spent by rival clubs.
    As it is we have a team that plays some brilliant and exciting football but lacks what ever it takes to win the final prize.
    Yes, the trophy cabinet is begining to look like an antique stall. But Arsene knows and no one knows better than he how to fix it up. Don’t be fair weather supporters. Arsenal, when confident and in control are still the best team on the planet and the best to watch.
    Thanks to AW’s youth policy we have a squad of very talented players who may be around for a long time. Plus Arsenal are financially secure and the only one of the ‘Big 4’ not owned by foreign sugar daddies who are losing money.

    Next season, with AW’s stewardship, Arsenal will come back stronger than ever.

  9. tish
    May 12, 2009 at 7:24 pm #

    Tru dat SF.Personally,I think the positives outweigh the negatives.I bliv we’ve reached a place wea so many clubs would have wanted,esp the CL semi finals.Even liverpool didn’t make it to that level.

  10. guyfrmars
    May 12, 2009 at 7:27 pm #

    Defense wise, this season has been hampered by infighting and later injuries. Although, one might point their fingers at our defense, i feel our main problem is discipline. Defensive players must cover for one another. If one goes up for a corner, the other stays. How many times have we seen both our centrebacks up front? The same goes for Song. I named Song, as he is currently our best DM. DM’s job is to break-up attack, harass the playmaker before he even passes/receive the ball.Im pretty sure Song will learn this sooner or later but, he has to learn when to commit a foul to prevent playmakers from starting an attack by anticipation of play. He has to learn to be behind Cesc, in other words, As Chelsea and Man U have done, once the midfield gets the ball, they pressure the playmaker, and isolate him from the width, effectively breaking up play(which is always our weakness). I can see why Wenger prefers Diaby (Yes! i dont like him too) but Diaby, is the only player we have that is capable of going forward in the central midfield, when our opponent isolate our wide players from the game. Look back at Viera’s play (yes it is cliche, but i have not seen anyone else do the same role as he does). When our wide players are isolated, he brings the ball up, forcing the players marking our wide players up to close him down and 1 pass later, our Bobby or Frankie would have shook their markers off.That simple move breaks the opposition defense and that is why Wenger plays Diaby (in hope he does a Viera) and why time and time again, our opponents get the better of us. Flamini/Gilberto was no Viera, but he made it up by being defensively minded, look at his old game. Where he is positioned, whenever Cesc has the ball, he is always in the position to do 3 things
    1. Cover for Cesc if he loses the ball
    2. An option for Cesc to pass to if he gets pressed (and Flamini is always, in Cesc peripheral vision). That accounts for the “telepathy” in between them as regardless of where Cesc is, he knows where Flamini will be.
    3. Break up play. Man-marking. Identify the playmaker and harrass them before they even reach the edge of the box.

    Flamini is great but he is still no Viera. Opposition still put 1 over us in those season, because unlike Viera, he is not one to bring the ball up when our wide men are isolated.

    New players? I for one think our crop of players are better technically but lacking experience. Wenger can either get someone to teach them positional disicpline or get a player who breaks up play.Ship out those who are playing indifferently.

    It annoys me to see them playing with not a care in the world.

  11. jay-jay
    May 12, 2009 at 7:36 pm #

    I want Adebayor gone and David Villa or Tevez in. Bendtner has impressed this season, although he was 0% effective in the 2-0 loss at Burnley despite 3 1-on-1s, he really has played well and scored a lot of goals this season, defo had a better 2nd half of the season.

  12. rilub
    May 12, 2009 at 8:16 pm #

    Like it or not Wenger will never be sacked – reaching the semi finals of the champions league and securing fourth spot for one of the longest uninterrupted champions league qualification runs ever is better than not progressing at all in europe and coming 7th or 8th. AFC is a business and Arsenal are consistant top performers. Not the top, but no business in their right mind would sack the CEO if he consistantly broke into the top four in the field.

    With that aside, the goalkeeping thing – Almunia has had an excellent season and I just do not subscribe to the view that he is useless. Considering Cech, Van Der Saar and Reina conceeded 4 goals each at various points in the season I don’t see how anyone can label them better than Almunia. Sure all goalkeepers have exceptional games but Almunia is developing into a consistant and effective shot stopper.

    Fabianski has had it. He’s a broken boy after his semi final nightmare and he’ll be off in the summer if we can get a new reserve. I feel sorry for him, because he has made some great saves, but equally his positioning is balls and his tendancy to rush out (Kolo’s OG on Sun) ruin it for him.

    We have the best Wingbacks (and they are wingbacks) in the country and we have the best English leftback as our backup. Eboue also effectively deputises on occasion (though semi final found him a touch lacking in positioning) – he had a good season playing almost completely as right back.

    We have Toure and Djourou who, on their day, are both excellent centrebacks… but this is the first real position of worry.

    Gallas and Toure are our best players in the position but they don’t talk. They don’t even like each other. Therefore one of them has to go, and for petulance and age, it’s Gallas. So we need at least 1 new centre back of international quality. Perhaps two in case of injuries/suspensions. Who else do we have to play there? No one.

    Our midfield is looking pretty good. Walcott, Nasri, Arshavin, Fabregas, Song and Denilson are all excellent and whatever anybody says, have all turned in some brilliant performances even Song and Denilson. Eboue also after a rough patch has had some good games and between him/walcott etc the right wing is covered.

    We don’t have a left winger though. Arshavin has two feet and can play there, but I don’t like the tendancy to stick Bendtner or Vela on the left wing. They are strikers. Diaby is shit and needs to go – he’s crap wherever he plays especially on the left wing.

    I’m probably in the minority – apart from the left wing I reckon we probably only need on midfielder and I wouldn’t always go for a multimillion pound midfielder either. Song and Denilson have the defensive midfield covered, Nasri/Fabregas/Arshavin have the creative attacking midifield sewn up – but we have no effective cover for injuries or suspension.

    Fabregas almost serves as the lynchpin between defensive and attacking midfield – take it from Song pass it to Nasri etc. It’s where he is best and where he excels. But we don’t have anyone else who can play there. We almost need a 2nd Cesc as back up – you only need to check out the teams decline whilst he was injured to see the need for a similar player.

    In attack we also aren’t as bad as people make out. Bendtner – I hate him. But! He gives 100%. He can hold the ball up. So for a sub he is fine and he can leap like a salmon – Spurs equaliser a particularly important goal.

    Adebayor though – bye bye. What a useless arrogant moany c**t, 5% effort, miserable season. Just leave.

    RVP and Vela are good strikers of the ball but it’s here in the central striker role that I really believe arsenal are lacking. We had 12 chances on Sunday and scored one. Chelsea had 5 and scored 4. What does that tell you? We need a clinical striker.

    Who fits the bill? Edaurdo. But can he stay fit? Since he has come back we’ve seen him for a few minutes at a time punctuated by 2 week breaks.

    The lad would solve AFC’s problems up front if he played 90 minutes every match. With his clinical strike and Van Persies balls to his feet I think I can see the perfect frightening storm spearheading our attack.

    Perhaps a striker of quality as back up (if RVP/Edaurdo were injured, would you really want Bendtner leading the line for 90?) or as a replacement if Edaurdo can’t stay fit (RVP also has injury issues)….

    So when argued like that – we have a pretty impressive team shaping up. Anyone who will tell you we need more big buys is nuts – Nasri and Arshavin are £15m players, Adebayor is touted as £30m which must make RVP at least £20m+ and Cesc could easily command £40m – £50m even in the current climate.

    What we need is effective back up for the team – perhaps a little experience in places. We only have 3 players I’d get rid of – Diaby, Fabianksi, Adebayor. I haven’t even counted Silvestre who should also leave.

    My shopping list would then be 1 GK, 2 CB’s, 1 LW, 1 CM, 1 ST.

    That hardly looks like a major rebuild to me.

    Look at the other way – would you really, honestly, do what Chelsea have done and spend £30m on a player who will give you 4 years of service before he gets old and slow and retires and replace a talent like Edaurdo, Song, Vela or Djourou?

    Sorry, got a bit carried away.

    Also forgot Ramsey, Wilshere and Randall. Brilliant players already and they are not even shaving yet.

    The futures bright, the future’s red and white.

  13. Giddie
    May 12, 2009 at 8:28 pm #

    see u then

  14. jebo
    May 12, 2009 at 8:38 pm #

    i guess your conclusions will emphasize on the posetive sides, but i prefer if you can be a little bit pushy on the management…

    expecting your podcast!!

  15. D
    May 12, 2009 at 9:20 pm #

    rilud, u talk positively n thats good. so what denied us the chance to be 3rd atleast if you have this notion that we are not bad. i never saw Arsenal leting 4 past its goal to Chelsea, let alone MAN U.
    Old Timer. u accept the fact that the trophie cabinet looks antique n then you defend AW from blame on the situation as it is. yes i am a new comer to the board but am not a new comer when i watch those games. what i wonder is, with all those positives, how will you keep talented players from leaving if the cabinet starts roting coz there is no silverware coming. you think players like Cecs, RvP, or even the new signing Arshavin will stay at a club(Business club) where the manager is lacking ambition, they are still young and as someone poited out,Cesc could now command as much in transfer fees as well as RvP. its just as well if the club was owned by whoever, but the ultimate is if it is winning anything at all. there is no point of just playing fancy/beautiful football, its meaningless if at the end you soak up 4 goals. so now AW is aware of what needs to be done???, lets wait n see. n one thing, so who takes responsibility for this trophyless season, the players, AW, supporters, or maybe it was just a matter of being unlucky, you know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Spanish Fry
    May 12, 2009 at 9:24 pm #

    @ jebo – I won’t be overly positive. I’ll be realistic. However, my feeling is that there is too much unfair negativity being aimed at the management and I will try to present a more balanced argument.

  17. Dally
    May 12, 2009 at 11:01 pm #

    Question, I was just reading another blog article, sorry SF but we are not married we are not even going steady and I can stray if needed. In it mentioned qualification for next seasons CL, now I thought that the whole point of getting 3rd spot was that we went straight in to the CL proper and that in 4th we will have to qualify through a knock out phase. My question is this, will there be any seedings, I believed not i.e. our beloved Arsenal could be tied against a very good team, or will Arsenal be seeded as in previous years?

  18. Spanish Fry
    May 12, 2009 at 11:02 pm #

    @ Dally – There’s no seedings. We could face a big gun although it’s still fairly unlikely.

  19. butterfingers
    May 12, 2009 at 11:31 pm #

    @ dally over the last 3 years we have lost in the cl to pem teams beaten the likes of real, ac and inter milans to name a few so going up against valencia or any other team doesn’t really matter as the way barca played against chelscum I reckon with the last loss against them in the final would of really made our boys go for it but it’s a funny old game and it only took 1 slip to render a lot of what if’s. next season I’ll be looking for a good pre season and a couple of cups as we are going to learn from our mistakes and come back and also not think we will have to turn up for a game against lower teams and expect to win it like hull ect.

  20. DB10
    May 13, 2009 at 6:56 am #

    Tevez is settled where he lives oop norf. He’d probably prefer a move to Liverpool. That way he could also get up Fergie’s arse as well.

  21. Darragh
    May 14, 2009 at 12:14 am #

    The fact is Arsenal are a top 4-5 Champs league team, unfortunately, 3 of the other teams are also from the premier league. Hence, why the PL is the best league in the world.

    Tevez and Mascherano would be great signings – but will United/Liverpool allow this? Probably not (I realise that Tevez is on loan from West Ham…that might not be a prob).

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