There is no doubt that significant changes are needed at The Emirates if Arsenal are going to, firstly, make it back into the top four, and then, secondly, stay there. We have seen changes this summer, but, are they enough?
And is Unai Emery the man to deliver the Gunners a regular top four spot?
Emery joined Arsenal in May and, while fans would love nothing more than for him to lead them to a trophy this season, it appears that the majority have bought into his long-term plan. It is vital that Arsenal plan and work with the long-term in mind because short-term requires money. We cannot compare our coffers to those of Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool.
While it may hurt to say, and it does leave an acrid taste in my mouth, Arsenal should instead follow the path Tottenham have used over the past decade or so; which is, realistically, the only path that the club can follow if they want to break back into the top four.
Neither Arsenal or Tottenham can compete financially with Manchester City in the Premier League, so to beat them, they have to play a longer game. This involves investing in young players and buying them at the right age to bring them in and develop them. They can’t afford a £100 million player, but they can spend £20 million on someone and try to turn them into a star player.
One of Tottenham’s biggest success stories so far has been Dele Alli, a player they signed as a youngster for just £5 million. They have developed him, and it would cost well over £50 million to secure his services now, should anyone be interested in him. This is exactly the approach Arsenal need to adopt; they have to buy young players with the hope of developing them and bringing them through.
This approach will take time to work out, though.
Tottenham have been doing it for a while, and they are still some way off winning the league title, although, unfortunately, they appear closer to it than we do right now. The latest Paddy Power football betting has Arsenal priced up at 2/1 to finish in the top four, which shows that the bookmakers also believe they are planning long term. The quality brought into the squad so far looks good, but on the whole, it also seems young fans will need to realise this before the season kicks off.
If Arsenal are to make the top four on a regular basis, they have to be smart both on and off the field. Unai Emery appears to be an intelligent individual who can help on the field; it is now up to the off-field team to help him out. They have to be wise when they spend money and build up slowly. This will give Emery a chance to succeed, and right now it appears to be the only way that we can have any success.