Arsene Wenger: The Next Move

There was a time when winning trophies was a habit at the Emirates. Or rather, Highbury. Such have been Arsenal’s performances that they have failed to win a major trophy since 2005. Not a piece of silverware has been won since moving to their new state of the art stadium and it is surely high time that Aresene Wenger accepted the fact this formula has come undone.

The Aresnal squad has been comprised of mostly young  starlets over the past few years and while it must be accepted that the starlets in question have loads of potential, there’s not enough in them yet to mount a serious challenge for any title. When Arsenal reached the final of the league cup in the recently concluded 2010-11 season, many thought the trophy drought would end but even that was not to be. The question then remains is how long Wenger can go without bringing in considerable changes to the structure of his team. The answer to that, is quite evident.

Whilst flair and class are eye-catching features of an Arsenal performance, the thing they lacks the most is the drive and determination. While beating weaker teams by 6 and 7 goal margins around August is perfectly fine, what really counts is beating the big teams in close matches come April and this is something Arsenal faltered at time and time again. One of the main reasons that helped Manchester United, who were clearly not boasting their best ever squad, to the league title last season was the grit and determination put on show by Sir Alex Ferguson’s men. And that very determination is what the Gunners have failed to show, with a fragile state of mind being exposed a time too many. All these add up  to the growing calls for the addition of experienced and battle hardened players to the Gunners line-up, something which might prove somewhat easy this summer.

If the players that will be easy to get are to be looked at, the West Ham duo of Mathew Upson and Scott Parker should prove easy targets. Both players will be eager to get back to the top flight and lure of Champions League football will add up to what should prove considerably easy purchases. They both bring experience at the highest level and a robustness that most Arsenal players seem to be lacking. Blackpool’s Charlie Adam could be next on the list. Rumours linking him to Manchester United and Liverpool seemed to have died down with both clubs looking elsewhere for midfield additions and Arsenal could easily benefit from that and snipe away the Bloomfield Road icon. He and Parker could easily add the base that Andrei Arshavin , Tomas Rosicky or Theo Wallcott need to push ahead from midfield.

Looking away from England, Russia’s Igor Akinfeev remains a hot target for a number of clubs and could be the man to give Arsenal firm cover between the sticks. Goalkeeping woes have been one of the biggest problems for Arsenal last season and to get Akinfeev, who has amassed a considerable amount of experience for both club and country, would be an ideal addition to the Arsenal dressing room. He should also be cheaper than other big name goalies.

Other than the aforementioned names , a number of players who could be interested in a move to the Premier League would be Borrusia Dortmund’s commanding centre back Neven Subotic. The Serb has been nothing short of brilliant for Dortmund lsat season and was integral in driving his club to the Bundesliga title. Add to that, the likes of Belgian Axel Witsel and German Per Mertesacker all remain potentially brilliant but reasonably less costly targets.

Regardless of who exactly Wenger does opt for, the criteria remain unquestionable. Arsenal is in dire need of players who will add a solid foundation to an otherwise spineless team. It is only then that the full potential of the likes of Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie will be realized. A few good signings in key areas, namely defense , will be enough to trigger a great season from the London outfit.  Otherwise, it just might be time to bid farewell to one of the greatest foreign managers to have been graced of English football.

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