5 Questions on Every Arsenal fan’s mind
It is an interesting time to be an Arsenal fan. With the recent changes behind the scene and the, perceived, lack of change on the pitch, the club has raised more questions than answers in the minds of its supporters.
With the WOB in full swing, there was an overwhelming sense that Wenger’s reign was coming to an end towards the latter stages of last season. This was confirmed by the announcement that the club’s longest serving manager would be stepping down. Many thought this would be the catalyst for a revolution at the club but in the months that followed, influential figures like Ivan Gazidis and Sven Mislintat have left the club thus throwing a spanner in the works.
Below I look at some of the questions on my mind and, presumably, on the mind of many Arsenal fans at this time.
What is the direction of the club going forward?
One of the main taking points before the 2018-19 kicked off was the full takeover of the club by Stan Kroenke through Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE). Many fans have taken issue with how he handles the club considering the involvement from owners of other Premier League clubs. Since the takeover, the elephant in the room has been what this means for the direction of the club.
In a recent interview, Josh Kroenke was quoted saying that they harbor the ambition of Arsenal playing in the Champions League final but to most this has not translated in their handling of club affairs.
Despite the appointment of Emery as head coach and Raul Sanllehi and Vinai Venkatesham taking over the helm of the club hierarchy, there still lingers questions over the direction of Arsenal FC going forward. The issue of a new Technical Director was also thrown into the mix with the resignation of Sven from his position at the club.
Can Arsenal survive another season without Champions League football?
The race for the top four is heating up as the season approaches its end. As it stands, three teams seem assured of a slot at next season’s Champions League, with the remaining spot left for either Manchester United, Arsenal or Chelsea.
Having now spent two seasons in the Europa League, the prospect of a third season in the second tier European competition is proving a hard pill for many to swallow. A lot has been written about the financial boost that comes with playing in the UCL and it remains to be seen how Arsenal will cope without this cash in the coming season.
Will Emery get the support to revamp the squad this summer?
With an aging back-line and the lack of balance in the squad, everyone is agreement that Arsenal will need to revamp their squad in order to compete with the other top sides. A lot of focus has been on the defense as the main weakness point in the team but Arsenal is also suffering in other areas due to a shortage of wide men and slow transition from defense to attack in the middle of the pack.
Aaron Ramsey has already confirmed his departure to Juventus with Petr Cech announcing his retirement at the end of the season. Injuries have ravished the clubs defense with the likes of Bellerin and Holding out on long-term injuries and Mustafi and Sokratis having their injury issues in the course of the season. Koscielny, Lichteiner and Monreal aren’t getting any younger. Arsenal will need to invest in a new goalkeeper, full backs and center backs in order to shore up the defense side of the squad.
There is also a case for new wingers and midfielders to help quicken the transitions. During the January transfer window, the club could only afford loan signings and it remains to be seen what transfer policy will be employed before the 2019-2020 season.
Who will be club captain from next season?
Emery decided to go with five captains this season with Koscielny retaining his spot as club captain. However, those chosen to be captains this season have not cemented their spots in the starting eleven. Koscielny is back from a long-term injury and isn’t getting any younger, Petr Cech is retiring, Ramsey is leaving and both Xhaka and Ozil have not been in the starting eleven on a consistent basis.
With all this issues factoring into the decision making process, the debate is now raging over who should be the captain next season.
What does Adidas have in store for the kits next season?
One of the positives to look forward to next season is the start of a new kit sponsorship deal with world leaders, Adidas. There is already a level of excitement with the news that they will release a retro kit once the deal with Puma comes to an end.
Pumas tenure as the club’s kit sponsor has not lived up to the expectations of many and it is up to Adidas to produce something that will have the Arsenal kit stand out in the coming seasons.
There are obviously more issues at hand for the club to tackle but these, in my opinion, will certainly be top of the list as the season progresses.
What’s on your mind as an Arsenal fan?