The Importance of Keeping the Squad Together

Carlos Vela has just signed a new six-year contract. There’s an indication of Arsene’s faith in his talents if ever you wanted one. The Mexican putting pen on paper takes the number of contract extensions signed this year to eleven. Apart from Vela, senior players like RvP, Eduardo, Song, Walcott, Fabianski, Bendtner and Denilson have agreed fresh terms. Youngsters like Ramsey, Watt and Wilshere have also renewed their commitment to the club. Talks are on with Gallas, Rosicky and Merida.

To me, this is a clear indication that Arsene believes in every single player in this squad. He has been talking about keeping the squad together for a long time now. We haven’t managed that over the last three years with departures of Henry and Ljungberg in 2007, Hleb and Flamini in ’08, and those of Toure and Adebayor this year.

Have we seen so many players commit to the club in a single year? Is it because these contracts were running out or is it a conscious effort on the part of the club to keep the squad together? Have the players learnt from the careers of those that have left? Is it down to the fact that these players genuinely believe in each other and the potential of the squad?

Whatever be the reason, I think it is important that we don’t see too many changes to the squad every year, particularly with the first team regulars. Thankfully, everyone seems to be buying into this thought process.

I think our game style is such that it demands a very high level of understanding on the pitch. Every player has to be in sync with what the others are doing and are capable of doing. I believe any team that likes to dictate the play will need such harmony. When the team is playing well we can easily miss the intricacies of the movement as it looks natural and easy. On the other hand when the team struggles we can see the passes go astray or the links breaking down.

The recent injuries have highlighted this issue once again. We have seen many forced changes to the starting line up while some players have had to change their positions from game to game. It cannot be easy for a young squad to play the beautiful game against high level opposition with so many frequent disruptions to the structure. I don’t think many people realize the standards that have been set for and by the Arsenal players.

We have seen the improvement in Song over time and we have seen the adaptation made by Van Persie. I am confident Nasri, Vela, Walcott and others will develop into high quality and consistent performers capable of playing in different positions. All the youngsters deserve their opportunities and need support.

Of course, there are always those who believe in the here and now philosophy. I don’t believe in short term results and I am not sure Arsene will cater to that either. That does not mean we should not add to this squad. We should always add top quality talent just as Arsene has done by signing Nasri, Arshavin and Vermaelen.

The biggest fact is that championships are won by squads and not individuals. Some individuals, like Ronaldo for instance, get into the limelight, but the squad continues to compete even when these individuals move on. Other clubs have been able to buy large squads by spending hundreds of millions. Arsene has created something much better with chump change. Now, more than ever, this creation needs to be united from within and without.

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3 Responses to The Importance of Keeping the Squad Together

  1. venky says:

    Good one guys

  2. 0.9 Calibre says:

    Spot on!! There are a bunch of people out there shouting get Dzeko, get Gignac get this and that but what they really dont understand is that the Arsenal way of playing doesn’t require the quintessential “Superstar” on the pitch but someone with good technique and the ability to read the next pass. Like I have said before Arsenal do about 40 passes a minute and each of them are woven into our intricate build up.. Just bringing someone out of the blue will only create a void.. If you want to sign a 25 million pound player every transfer then whats the point of Le Boss putting in such a humongous effort in developing talent from the bud? There are people out there who are actually happy that Bendtner is out injured for a longer time cos now they feel the Boss has no “Excuse” not to buy someone in the Winter.. Lol.. Frankly, are people so naive? Do they think Arsene has no better job than to sit and give us excuses? He has worked tirelessly for 13 years to transform Arsenal into a world class club to sit and give excuses?? Its just that people get so stereotypical that they think the Boss has got to buy if he has the cash.. That is something that pulis, brown or McLeish would do but Wenger’s Job isnt that simple and lets thank heavens for that.. There are so many things that people take for granted about our side.. They really need to understand the EPL and Champs League.. It doesnt come so easily.. Even “Le Professeur” has to work his ass off every season to deliver things that are being taken for granted!

    I am really happy the young guns are committing themselves to the club.. But for such committment we can never hope to enjoy the Arsenal brand of football week in and week out..

    @Desi– Although the departure of Henry, Ljungberg and Flamini seriously disrupted the Team’s composition, I think the sale of Adebayor and Toure was intended to keep the squad TOGETHER if you know what am getting at!

    And Alexander Hleb’s career stats have been transformed into lectures at the Arsenal academy to demonstrate to the young players what happens if you dont stick to the worlds best club and be a pompous prick instead 🙂 !!

    • desigunner says:

      Yeah I agree about Adebayor sale but Toure I am not sure. I don’t think Kolo can ever be a disruptive kind of person. And If I had to choose between either Toure or Gallas, I would always pick Kolo. Would love to know more about that transfer if and when the details come out.

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