I want honesty from the Board, not aspirations…

I want honesty from the Board, not aspirations…

Arsene Wenger struck a lonely figure during his press conference, still trying to see the positive out of the worst defeat ever suffered at the Emirates. He acknowledge that the opportunity to get third place were finished. He said that we have to improve our defence. He pointed out that in the games that mattered the team failed to win. He stated clearly that the defence had to be improved.
He said that we have quality defenders, but the balance was the cause of the difficulty. On the subject of fans leaving the stadium, Arsene Wenger said they are free to leave when they want. Arsene Wenger said that “Divers are being rewarded” On the topic of transfer funds, he does not know how much money will be available, he is waiting to find out. He does not feel that major investment is required.
“Not the quantity of money, but the right players.”
He tried to point out that the team had improved since January, when no chances were being created. He reminded journalists that some had tipped Arsenal to finish tenth. He was clear that whilst painful, Arsenal has managed to finish fourth.
Well yet again Arsenal have been humiliated. But this time there is no hiding place for Arsene Wenger. The formation of the team that played was bizarre. Robin van Persie lacks the penetration to play point man, and behind him was Fabregas. Theo Walcott was wide right and then Diaby was well anywhere. Nasri appeared to be defensive at times in midfield, and then in advanced positions. But when Nasri moved forward, Diaby did not drop back, leaving Song with often two or three players and acres of space in front of the back four for Chelsea to play into.
The defensive problems remain. If no improvement is made, then Arsenal will find it difficult to win another trophy for quite a while, as other teams such as Tottenham have better home defensive records. Perhaps I could defend Arsene Wenger had the team shown an improvement with the substitutions. Niklas Bendtner apart, Adebayor and Denilson added nothing. Fabregas looked absolutely fed up, and all over the field, the heads were down as Chelsea carried on winning bizarre free kicks. Drogba’s diving was just the insult to add to injury.
Tonight Ivan Gazidis is to meet the Arsenal Supporters Trust. I doubt very much if he will give away any clues about the money available. In fact, I expect him to provide more news for fans about the financial state of the club and the plans for expanding the opportunities for extra revenues. The Board dynamics have in my view the exposed the turmoil at the club. There is no-one that believes that the squad does not require improving. This will require money. It is now up to the Board to stop worrying about their retirement funds and how much profit can be made from their share investments and provide Arsene Wenger with enough funding.
I was criticised heavily last close season for calling out for the likes of David Villa to come to the Arsenal. I have been consistent in stating my belief, that the young stars need World Class Players along side them to take them to the next level. Theo Walcott learned a lot from Thierry Henry, and Robin van Persie learned a lot from Dennis Bergkamp. Whilst we delay in bringing that calibre of player who will provide the extra quality in key areas of the squad. How many more humiliations must Arsene Wenger suffer before he finally accepts what we all can see? Yet I have argued regularly that Arsene Wenger is as much the victim as we are.
The Board has a responsibility now to prudently increase the amount of money need to buy key players. Getting rid our several players from the existing squad will be necessary. This will not harm the youth coming through, as not all of them are potentially world class. There is also the small matter of the African Cup of Nations, so we will lose players like Eboue, Adebayor,Toure and Song at a crucial time of next season, so no African buys please! The last thing we want is to weaken this team still further by buying players that will be absence for six weeks of next season.
I do not believe that Arsenal fans have been told the entire truth by key members of the Board throughout this turbulent two seasons. I do not feel that £25 million is enough for a club like Arsenal. Part of the problem is Arsene Wenger’s egalitarian wage structure, where squad players are paid very handsomely so that there is not a great differential between the highest paid players and the lowest. There is thus little financial incentive for average players to improve significantly. It is utterly ridiculous that Arsenal Football Club have the same wages bill as Manchester United bar a few million, yet we lack the number of players who cost the Mancs thirty million or so a piece.
We lie fourth, with the season coming to a miserable end. I cannot defend Arsene Wenger for his formation of players yesterday and neither will I defend the Board for my suspicions that insufficient funds have been made available for new players. However Arsene Wenger is right to indicate that our final position is better than that which we expected after such a miserable start.  What we need at the moment, is honesty and hope. There is a good foundation at the club with much potential, but as the introduction of Arshavin has shown, there is the need for the introduction of more world class players in key positions.
I trust Arsene Wenger to deliver, providing that he is given adequate funds. I repeat what I said at the beginning of the season. Success begins at the back. So sort it out Arsenal Football Club! It would be easy for Gooners to join the anti-Wenger bandwagon at the moment, but try to stay loyal. We have a big game at Old Trafford next wekend. How much pride will we have to make sure that when we go there, we can prevent the Mancs from celebrating winning the Premier League against us? We need fight and pride. We are the Arsenal for pity’s sake!
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