Arsenal Message Board
The first great team under Wenger, he inherited to a large part although he did bring in great new additions, prolong careers and revolutionised training / playing.
The second great team came as players he bought in matured in some cases to greatness, other brilliant additions supplemented this team. The result - the Invincibles
Now - he is building a team I believe in his own image. He has started with blank canvasses and moulded players into what he wants them to be, hence no superstars signings and relaxation at older or unhappy players who have left. This is shaping into a team of young, hopefully hungry, pacy, technical ball players unhindered by tactics (possibly a strength or a weakness). I believe Wenger has more time for this current bunch as a team than any before them, I hope this loyalty will be reciprocated.
IF this team can learn, toughen up, improve finishing, stay together this could be his best team in his image, what he has always worked for.
Of course it could all go horribly wrong, a bad start, injuries, players or manager leaving etc.
I do not see us winning the EPL or CL next year - I think the best we can realistically hope for is substantial improvement on last year, narrowing of gaps and them maybe something the year after if the team develops.
Inspite of what others are spending and how far ahead they appear to be, can this be the team that proves beyond doubt Wengers greatness? Or will it prove evidence he is blinkered, inflexible and self indulgant?
Hi dave,i get your point about arsene hand picking this current squad of players,but i also think the 2002-03 team was also handpicked;with the exception being the peerless bergkamp.
I'd be extremely happy if this current team can go on a emulate the previous team.
Although (as previously stated by someone)the 02-03 side didn't do that well in the champions league,it was due,in part,to the quality of opposition they faced.
I don't think this team is entirely the result of a strategy that Wenger embarked on three-four years ago, when plans for the new stadium were green-lighted, and he knew he has heading into a period where money would be tighter, and where success would, at the same time, be demanded.
I disagree that this side is the weakest we have had - but it is the most inexperienced - and the interesting thing is - only a handful of them have any pedigree other than that which they have established with Arsenal. (Hleb, Gallas, Rosicky, Jens, Sagna)
Think of :
.......... none of them really had any 'reputations', to speak of, before they joined Arsenal - so the project is entirely different to any that AW has undertaken before. If I were looking for a modern day comparison, I'd suggest that Sir Fergie's first great side - with Becks, the Nevilles, Scholes, Giggs, Sharpe, et al was probably the closest example of where one of the big clubs tried to build a team around a core group of young players.
If AW pull this one off - it will far and away be his greatest achievement.
(and with at least a half dozen other kids waiting in the wings, there's every chance that the success can continue for years to come).
I think the simple truth is players that lack the technically abilities and flair tend to makeup for these lack of skills with an aggressiveness only seen in those types of players, therefore it is inconclusive to argue that English players are more aggressive and determined to win than the foreign compatriots players. After all if you have the skills why limit your abilities to the domestic league only and not Europe or the international tournaments.
Just a thought here, and i will be ready to get slammed for even just bringing it up. BUT,
dont you find it odd how the arsenal teams of old where we had more english players did better in the premiership and the arsenal teams of new with all foreign based except for a couple of exceptions has done better in the CL and worse in the premiership.
Is this because English players are more passionate about their countrys premier league and want to be recognised as being the best team in their countrys league, whereas the foreign players seek to gain their recognision throughout the remaining major european countrys.
Just think about the passion you used to see from players like Keown, Cambell, Adams, Seamen, Wright, Parlour, i dont think i have seen any player in our current team show as much passion as these guys did when they were at our club.
This is just a point of and it is just my opinion so if any of you disagree thats fine, but dont go accusing me of being a bad supporter etc like some people that have critised our team have been labelled.
I'm sure if the AFC team win either the CL in 2007/08 (with vast improvements in the EPL) or win the EPL in 2007/08 (with vast improvements in the CL in 2007/08), everyone here would join the bandwagon and start making the comparison with the Invincibles team or calling them the "greatest team" Wenger has ever produced.
To answer the question, I think the new team being built by Wenger are progressing very fast indeed, and fans should try to exercise some patience rather than being too critical and willing to knock Wenger at the slightest opportunity. We've got to let go and face the fact that the Henry /Veira /Pires /Bergkamp era is gone and it's not good going on and on about that team.
We have a new team which can emulate or even better than Invincibles team, after all with all their greatness and abilities the Invincibles failed miserably in the CL year after year, and only a lesser AFC team that includes the likes of Flamini, Senderos, Clichy, Cesc, etc made us proud by going to the limit, only to be undone by Barcelona, the greatest team in the World in 2005/06 season. The same thing cannot be said by AC Milan who won the CL in 2006/07 season, had we being lucky and drawn Milan in that CL final, who knows what might have happened.
It's about time we start having confidence in the team and wish them luck in the upcoming campaign in 2007/08 season.
I don't see why not. Anyone see the article the other day in the Daily Mirror? Was saying about Ferguson's young team of 1995 I think it was (not sure though), who, without Cantona had a younger average age than Arsenal of today, maybe we can emulate Fergie's success with that squad and make the critics eat their words.