I have been quite critical throughout the season regarding many things from Daniel Levy, to AVB, to the player’s attitude and contribution, to referees etc, but in the cold light of day I think we have to accept we are simply not good enough for Champions League football.
Firstly, lets look at the facts. There were a number of things that went wrong, but in my opinion there were 5 major things that caused us not to reach Champions League.
(1). Losing the 2 goals in injury time away at Everton
(2). Losing away to Liverpool thanks to a disastrous back pass
(3). Losing at home to lowly Fulham
(4). Taking only 2 points off of relegation threatened Norwich
(5). Relegated Wigan taking 4 out of 6 points from us
I mentioned many times that we struggle year in – year out against poor sides, and as always it has proved our undoing once again. It has happened for as long as I care to remember. Top sides have the odd blip against relegation threatened teams, but Tottenham have major blips every single year.
Secondly, Daniel Levy and AVB. Levy must take a massive share of the blame for not putting his hand in his pocket in January when everyone in football – and those who know nothing about football (by that I mean Arsenal supporters) – knew we needed a striker. We will never know for sure what difference it would have made, but it’s obvious it would have helped. With Ade away in Africa and JD injured, do I need to say more? Regarding AVB, as you all know I was not happy with his appointment in the first place. He didn’t help his cause with his naive tactics early on, and certainly didn’t help his cause when he said in January on TV “we won’t be buying a striker, we are happy to take a chance without one”, Well, he took a chance and as everyone knew it would, he failed. He also said right at the start of the season that if we didn’t reach the Champions League then he would class ‘himself’ as a failure. In that case, AVB you are a failure.
He also has a lot to answer for to the thousands (like me) who travelled to Leeds in the FA Cup only to find that we played with not One Forward on the pitch. He needs to think more about those who follow the club here, there and everywhere.
I said in a later article that I was slowly warming to AVB, and to be honest, I cannot now see why we should not keep him. We do need changes, big changes, but no point in changing the manager again.
Daniel Levy should be the first to go, but he wont. He portrays himself as a Spurs fan, well if as a Spurs fan he wants the best for the Club, the best thing he could do is resign.
With us not reaching Champions League, player-wise, there will surely be a number of changes, some we will agree with and some we dont. Will Bale stay? I doubt it (but obviously hope he does). I also have doubts if players such as Lloris, Dembele, Sandro, Vertonghen will also stay. It makes no difference if they have contracts – contracts only mean we will get money for them if they move on. Then, there are talks about what ‘Top Class’ players we will get in. There are talks about David Villa – we would struggle to get Ricky Villa (and he’s now 57 years old).
Then we have the problems of what players we will keep. Walker, who had a wretched season, must step up to the plate, Lennon who looked a sorry state at the end must improve again, JD & Ade – what will happen to them, BAE was not the same after his injury, Huddlestone will never be a top premiership player as long as he has a hole in his arse, Dawson & Caulker i think could make a top class centre half partnership along of course with Kaboul, Parker, I think has unfortunately gone past his best, Dempsey is not quite good enough and as I said in an article, Gallas can continue walking our of the club and down the High Road.
We do though have Danny Rose and Andros Townsend to return after loans, and a young lad Tom Carroll who looks like he could make the grade.
Somehow though we need to bring in top quality experience, my concern is that they simply wont come. Man U and Man C have 1st choice, Chelsea then have second option, and now the Woolwich Wanderers are set to splash the cash, they will get third choice. We are now well down the pecking order in getting top quality players into the club, and it is a massive concern to me that it will be a number of years before we get another opportunity to reach the Champions League. That may be a pessimistic view, but as much as it hurts me, I do believe it is a realistic observation and iI really dont think there is a great deal of optimism to be had.
Saying all that, for the 40th year running I have renewed my season ticket and will continue to support the club as I have always done. Yes I moan, yes I have my opinions which many agree with and some certainly dont, but no-one can say they have Blue Blood running through their veins more than me – apart from those who have been embalmed.
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