Tuesday night saw Arsenal humiliated at the hands of Bayern Munich. In a post match interview Arsene Wenger claimed Arsenal were in great shape despite the embarrassing result. How can he string together such a sentence after this shambolic display?
I took the time to speak to an Arsenal fanatic, Luke Byron, to get his verdict on the clubs current situation.
One of the first things we discussed was what the team need to move forward and there weaknesses. Luke felt that first and most importantly they need a new striker in order to make Ozil more productive in midfield, also leaving Sanchez to be more effective coming in off the wing. The Arsenal fan then added who he would like to see up top for the Gunners, Alexandre Lacazette was his first option.Then followed by Inter Milan star, Mauro Icardi and Everton golden boy, Romelu Lukaku. Three very talented strikers, all very young and prolific, any of them would have a lot to offer Arsenal. Luke then moved on to say that Cazorla being injured has highlighted that Arsenal have attackers that attack and defenders who defend, there is no in between. Luke would like to fill this vacancy with Miralem Pjanic, which in my eyes would be a tremendous signing, brilliant at going forward, yet very good at get back.
We then moved onto the question on everyone's tongue, does Wenger need to go? Luke got straight to the point, "Yes. A fresh start is needed." However he then added that he'd like to see Wenger go out on top, an FA Cup so he's not going out on an awful season. I agree with Luke on this one. Arsene isn't ahead of the game anymore, back when he was new at Arsenal, he had new tactics that was new to the Premier League. Times have changed, other clubs have caught up now. They need a new game plan.
Next on the agenda was do they need time out from the Champions League? Luke's response was "I don't think so, we need it now more than ever." Arsenal need Champions league to attract big named players and a new manager, but Arsenal being out of the competition could lead to the board waking up and realising they aren't the club they once were. Despite Arsenal never winning the biggest trophy in club football, they used to compete with the giants such Real Madrid and Barcelona, but have really gone on a downhill slide in recent years. Luke is sure these times will come again for the North London outfit.
The Gunners fan was then asked who he would he bring in and where do Arsenal need strengthen? "A new left back for sure." He would love Switzerland international, Ricardo Rodriguez at left back. Rodriguez offers a lot going forward, pace and determination are his main traits. Whilst only being 24, he still has his best years ahead of him. Luke also has Grzegorz Krychowiak on his wishlist, offering a similar style of play to as Blaise Matuidi of PSG. Matuidi is currently in the Paris lineup ahead of Krychowiak making him a reasonable option for Arsenal to look into. He would also like decent back up for Mustafi and Koscielny as Mertesaker and Gabriel aren't up to the challenge.
One more question for Luke, Is Wenger right in saying Arsenal in great shape? "He's right to say it, but he's not right factually." He says Arsenal are in the worst state he's seen them in in his time as a fan. I couldn't agree more with him on this one. The fan-base is in bits, the expectations are at an all time low and being demolished in Europe. If this is "Great shape" then imagine what awful shape looks like. Arsenal are in need of a complete revamp, they lose a layer of paint each year and are slowly becoming business and not a football club. Once a club of 'invincible's' to being hammered 10-2 by Bayern. Invincible no more.