Former Arsenal winger Fredrik Ljungberg has deemed the 2012/13 season a failure as yet another campaign goes by trophyless, however he believes the foundations are there for a decent squad.
Arsenal left it late to secure fourth spot and with it Champions League qualification for next season. Players celebrated after the 1-0 win over Newcastle and the Swede launched a stinging attack on the club stating his unhappiness at the players reactions.
The last piece of silverware Arsenal lifted was the 2005 FA Cup in which Ljungberg scored one of the winning penalties, and the retired Gunner feels it is a failure if a season goes by without a trophy. This opinion was shared by former assistant manager Pat Rice.
Although the former Swedish international spoke negatively of the antics at St James’ Park, he believes Arsene Wenger has the foundations for a solid team but just needs some extra classy acquisitions to bolster his chances of winning a trophy next season.
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Ljungberg reportedly said:
I’m not too happy that they celebrated. How I see the club is different, I’m from the old school and [former coach] Pat Rice said to me if you don’t win a trophy every year it is a big failure.
It’s a bit different now and they have all the debt from the new stadium and we will have to see what happens this summer.
I think they have the foundations, but maybe they need to get some very good players to spice it up a little bit.
It’s hard for any team if you let your best players go every year. It’s not even possible to compete to win then and Arsene Wenger has done really well with the squad he has.
While his criticism of the players happiness at claiming fourth seems a little harsh, there are a lot of encouraging factors to take away from the end of the season. Like Ljungberg said, Wenger has the foundations of a strong side they demonstrated a togetherness that we have seen for sometime. They managed to grind out a string of wins that in the past they probably would not have won.
So why did the players celebrate so intensely at claiming fourth? Because it is a tremendous achievement after such a dismal season, star players left (again) in the summer and new signings finally settled in while the likes of Ramsey, Koscielny and Szczesny demonstrated their abilities. We must remember, Manchester City have spent millions and millions every year and they still managed to end an entire season trophyless too. But Wenger must listen to the advice of Ljungberg and ‘spice things up’ with some quality signings this summer.
There are only good times ahead for Arsenal, COYG!