On the 100th anniversary of Arsenal’s rivalry with Tottenham, The Lily-Whites currently sit seven points ahead of The Gunners with just ten games of the season left to play. To make matters worse, local rivals Chelsea also have a five point advantage over Arsenal. Qualifying for the Champions League, looks improbable.[quote_right]”Arsenal currently find themselves staring into the abyss of the Europa League.”[/quote_right]
The combination of a thin, poorly assembled squad and a ‘one-size-fits-all‘ approach to match tactics has proven lethal to The Gunners’ Champions League hopes. Unfortunately, Arsenal have nobody but themselves to blame.
Of course, thanks to the remaining ten games, Arsenal do have a chance of overturning the seven point deficit and claiming a Champions League spot for the seventeenth season in a row. But just in the worst case scenario, what should Arsenal’s plans be in response to playing in the Europa League, and bouncing back to where they belong?
[title]Navigating The Abyss[/title]
Arsenal have a long, fruitful relationship with the Champions League. The Gunners have qualified for the prestigious competition for sixteen season’s in a row, yet despite their proud history, Arsenal currently find themselves staring into the abyss of the Europa League. An abyss which clubs as big as Liverpool have struggled to navigate.
The first plan of action should be internal. Dropping out of the Champions League will wound the Arsenal, which is an open invite for other clubs to make approaches for our best players. The club will have to sit down with the players who will be most tempted to leave, and explain to them how and why Arsenal will quickly bounce back.[quote_left]”Players like Nicklas Bendtner, Marouane Chamakh & Sebastien Squillaci are doing nothing but occupying squad space and consuming wages.”[/quote_left]
Secondly, dead wood lurking within the club need to be dealt with. Players like Nicklas Bendtner, Marouane Chamakh & Sebastien Squillaci are doing nothing but occupying squad space and consuming wages.
Back in July, I published a list of players who should Sling Their Hook. Unfortunately for Arsenal, all four players listed are still here.
My third and final plan for facing the Europa League and bouncing back to the Champions League, will be explained in greater detail later.
Essentially, the internal workings of Arsenal are in tatters. Contracts are allowed to run down to their final year, and the finest players are consistently sold to the most detested clubs. Some may argue that in order to change the broken system within the club concerning players, wages and contracts, is for the board, and the manager, to be given a wake up call. Such as failing to qualify for the Champions League.
I just hope that these logical internal changes don’t have to come at such a heavy price.
[title]From Bad To Worse, Stubbornly[/title]
The third and final point of action is certainly the most important. Recruiting the right players to not only win the Europa League, but also to do well enough to obtain a top four finish in the Premier League.
Getting rid of dead wood will undoubtedly make this step easier, but in recent years, Arsenal have struggled to buy the correct players needed to maintain the quality of football the fans have come to expect. A brand new approach to recruiting needs to be introduced. Preferably, the old one.[quote_right]”The most regrettable aspect of this situation is that Arsenal have allowed it to decay from not being able to win trophies, to not being able to challenge for them at all.”[/quote_right]
Gone are the days of Thierry Henry, Martin Keown & Patrick Vieira. Today, we have Gervinho, Aaron Ramsey & Andre Santos. One has to wonder what went wrong.
Financially, perhaps Arsenal are not capable of competing in terms of transfer fees and player wages. Which is why some fans have been baying for the Alisher Usmanov takeover to be made possible. A controversial topic, to say the least.
The plans put forward in this article are by no means groundbreaking. They are logical steps leading to a solid, structured financial setup which will at least maintain our status as a top four club. These ideas are years old, but the sheer stubbornness of the current Arsenal board & manager have kept them as just that, ideas.
Further refusal to implement these plans of action, will certainly result in a Liverpool-esque decline.
The most regrettable aspect of this situation is that Arsenal have allowed it to decay from not being able to win trophies, to not being able to challenge for them at all.
What do you think of Arsenal’s chances of making top four this season? If The Gunners have to face the Europa League, what measures should be taken to ensure a quick bounceback? Share your views in the comments section below.