With high spirits and buoyant mood it cannot be undermined that the 2013-14 season has been a successful one for Arsenal Football Club. Even after failing to produce at the business end of the season the club did achieve the highest points tally in a while (79 pts) and stayed atop of the premier League for the most days (128 days). All these efforts were duly rewarded in Wembly when the club ended their 9 year trophy drought to win the FA Cup in an epic and dramatic encounter. This was the first trophy Arsenal have won since moving to the Emirates. But the question that arises now is, How do arsenal move forward? How do they compete for even major honours? How do they ensure that the silverware keeps coming?
The answers to these question may very well be complicated but they are not things that cannot be achieved. The following options may sound interesting :-
- Effective and efficient summer:-The first step in the process of re-establishing, is the summer transfer window. The loom that surrounded the club over the whole summer due to lack of activity in the transfer window was very much the cause of the opening day defeat to Aston Villa. But the signing of Mesut Ozil for a club record fee proved to be like a breath of fresh air. That lack of transfer activity cannot be afforded this time around, especially with the World Cup on the horizon. Arsenal have been linked with a few names in the past few weeks but signing the player is a much different song. The club needs to land at least one player before the spectacle in Brazil starts and the selling teams illogically bump a few millions in the price that they were looking for. Serge Aurier, Carlos Vela, Antonie Griezman, Karim Benzema and even Cesc Fabregas are being linked to a move to the club. But the key for the manager would be to get atleast one player before the World cup and then go for the rest before the pre-season tour so that there is enough time for the players to gell up and the team to be well shaped and prepared for the next season.
- Changes in the backroom staff:- The biggest point of argument this season has been the unavailability of the key players that Arsenal lost at crucial times all throughout the season. It is undoubtedly a debatable topic but this is also a cause of concern because a club with Arsenal’s stature shouldn’t be so unprofessional about major issue like this, but the leniency of the board and the management made the team suffer its consequences and get mauled by the other top teams and eventually get thrown out of the title race. Whether that’s because of the so called obsolete training methods or the inefficiencies of the medical staff, this matter must be resolved within the summer. The signing of Mesut Ozil was a big statement by the club but there is still a genuine lack of intent during the transfer periods, maybe a Director of Football may do that. So there is a need to address the injury situation in depth and there is a need of a person who keeps a track of all ‘behind the scenes’ activities of the club.
- Squad Rotation and tactics:- The squad which we have now is adequately sufficient in depth except in a few positions but the rotation policy followed by the Boss looked absurd at times. The game against Coventry was a clear example and there were many notable cases throughout the season. Ozil should have been rarely played in December but the opposite happened and lead to his injury, fatigue also played a part in Ramsey’s injury. This, if not 100% could have been avoided to a certain extent had the squad been rotated properly and especially in midfield where we were ample in terms of quality and quantity. Secondly, the tactics in the big games especially in the latter half of the season looked so foolish and embarrassing. Playing the high defensive line against counter-attacking teams like Chelsea, Liverpool and even Everton made it difficult for the players to play and for the fans to watch. This should not be the case anymore or we would go from becoming a ‘Selling team’ to a ‘mauling team’ according to Jose Mourinho.