It is hard to win anything with too many mercenaries. In every organisation a healthy mixture of loyal ‘stayers’ and so-called job-hoppers is a pre-requisite for continued success. For a football club, where the players are not just employees but the entire ‘product’ at the same time, loyalty of its key personnel is absolute paramount.
Recent departures of those who were developed by the club, often with incredible patience and determination, have hurt the club; and especially the fans. For most of us, it is hard to just love the club and treat the players as a separate, temporary entity. They are not machines, but the very people who are lucky enough to wear the shirt and call themselves a Gunner: the ones who can bring us as much ecstasy as agony for one day to another.
There will always be players who simply cannot be kept at Arsenal – for one reason or another. At best these are so-called club or job hoppers (Hleb, Overmars); at worst, selfish mercenaries who are purely driven by cash (Nasri, Anelka, Tevez, Ronaldo).
But there is no way a club can build towards sustained success without a strong core of quality, and most importantly, loyal players; who intrinsically identify themselves with the spirit and culture of the club.
In recent times, Fabregas appeared to have it but the call of his childhood home became too strong for him. RvP fooled me, and I reckon many of us, when he flirted openly with Gunners immortality; by saying he loves the club and that he is a Gunner for life at the start of this year, only to let us down at the first opportunity in the summer.
And so many others have left us recently which is utterly unacceptable for a club of our stature and history. Therefore, the announcement by the club of the signing of Jack, Aaron, Kieran, Carl and Alex is really good news for us.
With Vermaelen & Koz already on long-term contracts, and last and this season’s signings secured for the next few years at least, we should now enter a period of stability and continuity. Some of these players have potential to become really loved at the club, but we just cannot tell whether they will do a runner as soon as big money is being offered to them, and/or a Spanish giant will turn their heads.
There is a better chance in achieving player loyalty with those who come from these shores and have been nurtured by the club into quality players. Our improving financial position should also enable us to pay them (closer to) the going rate by the Oilers, and therefore keep them at Arsenal for as long as we want.
The Brit-Pack should provide us with the all-important core for Arsenal, and on top of that, Arsene can buy the quality needed to further succeed. And that’s why, yesterday’s announcement of securing five key, British young players is fantastic news for the club in the long run.
Bayern in the CL
Like most of us, I did not want to draw Barca and I was also not keen on Juve or Bayern. But out of those three, I would prefer Bayern; in fact, I think it is pretty ideal.
They will be the favourites and that will suit us fine. I don’t think Arsenal can win the CL this year, but we do have a chance against Bayern and if we were to eliminate Die Lederhosen it could give us that all-important momentum in this tournament. As we all know, the Germans have the best classical wingers in Europe in Ribery and Robben, and if and when they are both fit and firing on all cylinders Bayern are almost unstoppable. But, if we can further improve our passing game and start gelling better, we have a very decent chance. Beat Bayern and we could go all they way: we have nothing to lose and I reckon we do it.
Writen by: Total Arsenal.