There’s a need for change in the Arsenal camp. Even the most ardent Arsenal fan must recognise it. When the going got tough this season the Gunner’s failed to pull through – time after time. Frustration amongst fans has boiled over and it’s widely acknowledged that there are players in this Arsenal squad that just don’t cut the mustard. The problem isn’t that Arsenal lack in talent – it’s that there are too many passengers in the squad – too many freeloaders riding on the ability of their more prominent team-mates.
I’m not usually one to call for a player’s head, but something has to change.
There’s a few names that will probably be on most people’s lists when it comes to a summer clear-out at Arsenal. Players need to be shipped out, transfer funds need to be accumulated and various areas of the squad need to be assessed. Arsenal need to address the goalkeeping situation, find some tough midfield cover and get Robin Van Persie a world-class striking partner. I’m sure that Arsenal’s new leading man Stan Kroenke would be only too happy to stump up the cash for new players, but that doesn’t mean the Gunners should hold onto their dead weight. I just want to see Arsene Wenger demonstrate Darwinism in action.
Players like Gael Clichy, Denilson, Abou Diaby and Thomas Rosicky may well find that their Arsenal careers come to an abrupt end this season. I doubt too many tears will be lost over their absence – providing quality players are brought in as replacements. Whilst the likes of Samir Nasri, Jack Wilshere and Cesc Fabregas not only have bucketloads of talent, but also manage to play their hearts out in every game, the players mentioned above often look lackadaisical or uninterested.
But I’d take apathy over incapacity and irresponsibility. As such, the player I’d first like to see head for the exit at the Emirates this summer is Emmanuel Eboue – Arsenal’s second-choice right-back and part-time winger.
This isn’t a reactionary screed following what happened in the 12th minute of stoppage time against Liverpool on Sunday. We could argue we were blue in the face about whether it was or wasn’t a penalty, but the fact remains that Eboue’s imcompetence has been evident for all to see over the course of the entire season. There’s a reason why Wenger hasn’t ever placed too much faith in the Ivorian in his six years at the club – he’s mistake prone, he switches off at inopportune moments and is surprisingly lazy given his obvious athelticism.
There are a number of calls for Arsenal’s left-back Gael Clichy to leave the club this summer. Whilst I wouldn’t necessarily be sad to see him go, it’s clear and it’s been clear all along that Gael Clichy is a talented footballer. He has pace, works hard and can put in a tackle. Sure he can’t cross and he has an annoying tendency for switching off when Arsenal are under pressure but both issues seem like something that could be ironed out with the right amount of motivation.
Emmanuel Eboue, on the other hand is all about pace. He can’t pass the ball too well, his tackling isn’t great, he’s clumsy and he’s all too keen to indulge in a spot of playacting. Beyond his role as Arsenal’s court jester, I see little or no reason for Arsene Wenger to keep him on this summer.
It’s been fun Eboue – most of the time, but I believe that now is the time that Arsenal severed their link with the Ivorian.
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