Too long has it been since Arsenal have claimed a trophy to their name. Their trophy cabinet has been collecting a lot of dust these days. I'm beginning to lose track of how many years it's been...
This off-season has been much the same as last years. Arsenal still aren't good enough to fight for the title—I feel like I've heard that one before. Just like last year, many pundits, reporters, and even fans wrote Arsenal out of the "Big Four" last season, before the first ball was even kicked.
Arsenal proved everyone wrong.
However, last season left us fans wanting something more. It was a season that promised so much. After a run of good performances early, it ended yet again empty handed. It gave frustration at Arsenal's incapability to score again Man United and Chelsea—one goal in four games and zero points says enough. This season brings much the same, although it is not so much Arsenal's fight to say in the "Big Four," that is in jeopardy, but their ability to challenge for the title this campaign.
Much more rides on this season than meets eye. It is, as they say, a make-or-break season for Arsenal, but for many other reasons than you would normally expect.
One of the most prominent reasons is that players need to win to stay happy. Playing an attractive style of football only takes you so far. This could easily be Cesc Fabregas's last season at the club, and it's not a coincidence he is wanting to move to Barcelona the same time they are winning trophies left and right. Everyone knew he would return eventually, but I am sure if we won the league a few times he wouldn't be as anxious to run back to Spain this summer.
It is a simple concept: trophies equal happiness
Fabregas isn't the only player we should be worried about too. Robin van Persie could easily find his way to Real Madrid, Inter Milan, or AC Milan if Arsenal fail to produce for another successive season. Clichy, Sagna, Eboue, and Bendtner, just to name a few, have all been linked away to other clubs recently and a continued trophy drought could swiftly see their loyalty to Arsenal tested.
As we all know Arsenel Wenger's contract is up at the end of this season, and although most fans are really worried about him signing a new contract, maybe you should be.
Five years without a piece of silverware, one beings to ask questions. Of course "In Wenger We Trust" still applies, however, you have to wonder, at age 61, is he beginning to lose his touch? Fans shouldn't be drastically worried, Wenger will always be a genius of a coach, however, Arsenal need to a make a change to spark a new title run, and Wenger needs to implement that change, or risk being heavily criticized this season.
Much of this change relies on his transfer dealings this summer. Renowned for his crude spending habits, Wenger will literally need to break the bank this summer to add new fuel to the fire, if he wants to reach his title aspirations. Another failure of a season, could see Wenger begin to question himself, and who knows what could happen then?
Patience is something Arsenal fans have learned, one way or another, whether it be with prolonged transfers, lack of trophies, or waiting to potential to turn into results.
But when will the patience run out?
Long have Arsenal fans been engaged in bringing in youth prospects and integrating them into the first team over the years. In fact, Arsenal's youth team have some of the largest following in all of Europe now.
However, with a lack of results with this philosophy, fans, players, and even the Arsenal board, could be running out patience with this ideology. Another barren season could see a whole change in the way the club is run, more focus on the immediate future, and less concern for the long-term one.
Ask any Arsenal player, any coach, any board member, about the Arsenal Fans, and they will tell you that they are amazing, fantastic, and unlike any other—which are all true. But fans need results as well.
No one wants end up like Tottenham fans!
Watching Arsenal play is mesmerizing at times, but yet when the big games come up, Arsenal seemingly always falter, for one reason or another. Fans need a new song to sing and a new trophy to hold. It's time to step up.
This season really is make-or-break for Arsenal, in more ways than one. Arsenal must yet again prove everyone wrong, and against all odds, win it all.