There is still hope for Arsene
As another season rapidly approaches, the Emirates faithful look set to lose another one of their idols. Robin Van Persie strangely announced his decision not to extend his contract via his own website and whilst doing this, burned all his bridges at the club by criticising the way Arsenal Football Club is looking to move forward.
The imminent departure of Van Persie would mean that for the second consecutive year, Arsenal have sold their captain to a major rival in Europe, and what’s even worse in this scenario is that Robin could yet move to a domestic rival.
Understandably, Arsenal fans are not happy and some are even calling for Wenger to be sacked due to him allowing Van Persie to run into the final year of his contract and they may have the same situation with Theo Walcott, as he too is in the final year of his contract.
Despite all the doom and gloom around the Emirates, there is reason to be optimistic for Gooners. Wenger may have made an error with Van Persie’s contract situation, but he has acted early in trying to rectify this with the signings of Lukas Podolski and Oliver Giroud.
Podolski will add international experience and a winning mentality, which has been missing from this current Arsenal side.
Oliver Giroud looks as though he is the direct replacement for Van Persie and his physical presence will be a great asset in the coming season. Giroud can play as an old-fashioned centre-forward, but he also has neat ball skills on the deck and this makes him dangerous when dropping back to collect the ball.
Another reason for Arsenal fans to get excited about the new season is the prospect of having a captain who actually leads a group of men when the going gets tough. Thomas Vermaelen will no doubt be given the armband and this will be the first time since Tony Adams that Arsenal will have a proper organiser at the back, marshalling the team. Recent success for other sides will tell you that this is vital for team cohesion with Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea all winning trophies in recent years with a centre-back as their leader on the field.
While selling star players is obviously a worrying trend, this year Wenger has acted early to strengthen the team and there are reasons to be optimistic this year.
Alex Smith, Football correspondent