Following in the footsteps of Martin Keown, former legend Ian Wright has now added his own version of constructive criticism to the Arsenal dilemma. Wright’s blunt version of Arsenals woes are hard to swallow but no doubt carry validity in their claims. Feel free to comment below to share your own views in relation to what Ian Wright has to say. Here is his full article:
On Tuesday I was stopped in the street in Camden by an Arsenal fan, who asked me, simply: ‘What the hell is going on with our club?’
It sounds brutal, it sounds blunt, but it sums up the mood of the supporters as this summer lurches from frustration to despair.
Gael Clichy’s move to Manchester City wouldn’t bother me much in normal circumstances.
I’m not that fussed by it on an individual basis as Kieran Gibbs is coming through nicely. But now it looks like Samir Nasri is set to join him.
Since when did Arsenal become Manchester City’s feeder club? And with Cesc Fabregas looking a goner to Barcelona too, it’s very, very sad to see. How on earth will Arsene Wenger attract any top players to Arsenal?
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It’s come to something when a player like Clichy feels Arsenal is not good enough for him anymore. He can see that Man City is going to be challenging for top trophies next season.
For a start, he won’t have to go through Champions League qualification, unlike Arsenal. It is a club going places and this summer City look like they will kick on again. Manchester United have made it clear they mean business too, being bullish in the transfer market and buying Ashley Young, Phil Jones and the keeper David De Gea.
Liverpool have got Jordan Henderson and are making serious moves for Stewart Downing.
Chelsea have got a new manager in place and will soon be very active.
Arsenal are being left behind. And the trouble is, when all the top-class players have gone, it becomes extremely difficult to lure other top players to your club.
Wenger has put his faith in picking up little gems from abroad, little-known players who he can nurture and develop. All very well. But he has filled the dressing room with players who ‘owe’ him. It’s a nice cosy arrangement.
There are no players who are big enough and experienced enough to turn around and say ‘hang on boss, let’s try this, or let’s do that’.
Serious teams need established world-class players, who can bring it to bear in February and March when the youngsters need a gee-up, when the going gets tough and the demands of a long season kick in.
He’s been asking too much of the young players he’s brought through.
Nicklas Bendtner, Fabregas, Robin van Persie, Clichy, are all good players but Arsenal should be courting the star players before they move to other big clubs. But they’re nowhere to be seen.
What’s Wenger doing? I see the Gervinho deal looks close to being finalised. He might be good, fingers crossed. Well I’m sorry but fingers crossed doesn’t work anymore. It hasn’t worked for six years since the Gunners last won a trophy.
Downing, Jones, Henderson. Even Young. They might not be the sort of players Wenger likes but at least those other clubs are having a go. And by doing so, they send out a statement of intent they want to be even better next season.
I’d love to see Wenger being given the same sort of transfer pot that the likes of Jose Mourinho had at Chelsea, or Andre Villas-Boas will get. The same backing Alex Ferguson enjoys at Manchester United.
I’d be so curious to see where he goes and what he does with it.
But I have my suspicions that he would still dither about, take too long to make up his mind and then plump for someone in France or Spain hardly any of us have ever heard of.
Fabregas has clearly recognised the fact that Arsenal will not be competing with their rivals in the transfer market.
He has been loyal to them and played his best but now he can see what’s going on and looks set to go.
That’s been going on for some time but the whole transfer thing is like a house of cards. Once one big name wants out, the rest see it and it all comes tumbling down.
I get accused of having a go at Arsenal. But I’m only putting in bold black and white the problems that the real fans are deeply concerned about.
And I’m not referring to those who came with the flash new Emirates Stadium, some of whom don’t like singing on Saturday afternoons.
I’ve been engaged in fierce debates with some of whom have fallen for this guff that at least Arsenal’s not in debt. They point out that the Glazers have borrowed fortunes in Manchester United’s name.
True. But Man Utd have also been in three Champions League finals in the last few years and have won Premier League trophies and FA Cups. Man Utd may have debts but I tell you this, if the club suddenly went on the market, it would be sold within a week. Would that happen with Arsenal? I’m not so sure.
Real fans don’t give a hoot about debts. They pay a lot of money to come through the gates and they don’t want to see their heroes passing them on the way out.
Wenger is still the right man for the job but he needs proper backing and I do feel that sometimes he needs a good shaking.
Right now, I can’t see Arsenal challenging for the Premier League title next season, which is seriously depressing in July!
What I’d like to see are some bullish signings.
Go out and chase the likes of Michael Essien. Get him back on top form and he’s a fabulous player, plus you’d be getting a player from Chelsea, one of Arsenal’s supposed rivals from the Premier League and just across the River Thames.
Then go for keeper Joe Hart and Vincent Kompany and get your own back on Manchester City.
Make the rest of English football sit up and take notice for once – not just Arsenal fans who can see the lights going out on their club.