Arsenal Message Board
It sound funny to say, but aiming for 4th and accomplishing this aim is both an achievement and poor one, but better than can be expected of this below quality team.
Wilshere apart when fully fit I cant think of another player deserving of a place in any if chelsea, city or man us subs bench, which is where a problem lies. Drastic changes must be needed to close the huge gap between us and title challenging potential to be taken seriously, and I do not have any faith that wenger will make said requirements this summer in the transaction window opened. Sad but true to form Im afraid.
I understand your point of view but don't share it. I think we are in a great place to close the gap to the title challengers. Players like Cazorla, Wilshire, Kos and Nacho would very possibly be starters for the top 3 teams and Walcott could potential also be a starter but would definitely make the bench.. Walcott might be inconsistent but not as much as before and on his day could be as good or better as Valancia for Man U.
I think young players like Ox and Ramsey will also benefit, like Walcott and Wilshire from yet an other year of experience whilst Podolski and Giroud should be more familiar with the pace and play of the PL. On paper we should be OK for next season and if we add selectively but meaningfully we could be more than OK.
We need strengthened if we are going to seriously challenge, that I agree with, but you're overly harsh on the squad as whole. Wilshere, Cazorla, Kosc, Arteta could all do a great job for anyone of our competitors. As for many others we have, they could easily we welcomed or recognised 1st team players.
Its all fine and well looking at players on an individual basis and saying that our big competitors have better options. I would agree generally their 1st 11's are better than ours, but not overly so and not in every position. What City this season has shown us, and what many teams have shown us in the past...individuals may win you a handful of games a season, but TEAMS win you trophies, and a teams dynamic/strength can vary from season to season.
The biggest factor for us in recent seasons is that we have lost a key player or two every year which starts us half a step back on our competitors before the season even begins. We have always managed to regain that half step come May but to really challenge we need to start half a step forward rather than back. We should start on the front foot not the back and until that happens we will never have a real chance of challenging. At least this summer for the 1st time in years (fingers crossed) we will not be losing any of our key players. And that would be a huge positive for us.
Say for example we followed your idea with a bit of mine, and did the unthinkable, got rid of everyone bar say Cazorla, Wilshere, Arteta and Kosc, then replaced everyone with a "big name" or a recognised big name. I guarantee it would be more likely we fall out of Europe than remain there due to the team having to rebalance and learn each others movements. It would be a bigger disaster than keeping our strongest now and considerably improving on our deadwood.