Blog by: Arjun Nandakumar
It was back in the Premier League season of 2008-2009 that Liverpool last finished in the top four of the competition. They not only finished in the top four, but were second, a mere four points behind champions Manchester United.
Then, a drastic change in fortunes saw Liverpool finish 7th the following year, after players like Xabi Alonso and Arbeloa left the club for Real Madrid. Since 2009, Liverpool have not been able to break into the top four of the Premier League, with clubs such as Manchester City and Tottenham claiming places in the top four.
What does Liverpool’s situation have to do with Arsenal? Well after seeing Arsenal go down 3-1 to Aston Villa the past weekend, I can’t help but wonder whether Arsenal are planning to go down the same road that Liverpool have been stuck in for the past few years.
Arsenal have lost household names at the club every year, with the likes of Fabregas, Nasri, Gallas, and more recently (and maybe the biggest loss) Robin Van Persie all leaving. The one thing that these players had in common were the fact that prior to their departure, they were all part of the core at the club.
Cesc and RVP were club captains at the time of their departure. That really can’t be good for any club. Arsenal have been losing players consistently the past few years. Liverpool lost their players too at one point of time, but unlike Arsenal, they were not able to cope up with the loss of their players enough to hold on to a top four finish.
But now, things look like they could be going downhill for Arsenal, as it did for Liverpool, with the sale of up to 15 players (yes they were fringe players, but yet they were part of the squad) and bringing in none. Arsenal have found themselves on a road that could lead them straight out of the Champions League, and make them struggle to get back to their former glory, like Liverpool are doing right now.
Arsenal (like Liverpool) have a rich history in the Premier League, having won it many times before, and once even going unbeaten for a whole season, but none of that matters right now because they have failed to win a trophy for 8 years. Yes, Liverpool can argue that they have won the League Cup, but is that really a substantial trophy to win for a club like Liverpool? I personally don’t think so. The fact of the matter now is that Arsenal are heading towards the bottom on a steep slope, and once they get down there, it could take years before they can climb back up, just like any Liverpool fan would tell you.
Arsenal need to act, and they need to act fast. With little time remaining in the transfer window, the club will need to pull off major signings, signings who will bring good ability to the side, some refined talent. The signing of youngsters who will “go on to be great” will not cut it for Arsenal this time, as they will need established players to come in and fill the holes that have been left by players who have departed in the past few years.
Yes, the likes of Cazorla, Arteta, Wilshere, and Walcott do a pretty good job, but it can’t be left to them to save the club. The signings are no more just for the sake of signings, but a necessity. If new players do not come, then Arsenal could find themselves sailing the ship that Liverpool now seem to be getting off.
One might argue that Liverpool have spent money, yet they have not been able to do well. The thing is, there is the fact that their signings haven’t had enough quality in them, the only signing who has made a major difference is Luis Suarez.
So again, the important thing to remember here is the simple signing of any player will not work. The players need to bring in raw quality, and will need to have the aptitude to turn the club around along with the players already at the club. If Mr Wenger does not act fast, then Arsenal could face losing the fans; after all, Arsenal do have the most expensive tickets in the Premier League.
Fans will get tired of seeing mediocre results year after year. The fans want more. The history of the club deserves more than just a top four finish – it deserves trophies and medals. Arsene Wenger will have to act fast in order to fix this, or else he will lose the trust of the fans who have stood by him through the bad times and the good.