English Premier League: Arsenal 2019 Preview

Owners of Arsenal FC

This is a big season for Arsenal football club both on and off the pitch as fans have become restless with the lack of trophies and movement in the transfer window.

Arsenal Head Coach Unai Emery
Arsenal Coach Unai Emery

Arsenal Supporters Speak Out

Above is the letter from Arsenal fans to the owners of the club under the hashtag, #WeCareDoYou. The Kroenke family, owners of the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams, the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche have a lot to answer for. As foreigners, they will always be looked at with a certain level of suspicion. The fact that the family seems to make heavy investments with their American based franchises while Arsenal don’t seem to get much financial backing hasn’t gone unnoticed. After all Arsenal is a global brand with far more fans than their American counterparts.

In response to the growing frustration of the club’s fans across the globe, Josh Kroenke, son of owner Stan Kroenke, issued a statement in response to the open letter posted by the various supporter’s groups.

The Transition from the Wenger Era Has Been Rough

It’s difficult to speak about Arsenal football club without discussing Arsene Wenger. From 1996 to 2018, the Frenchman completely reshaped the club in his image. From changing the training methods, to the diet which led to a new level of overall success on the pitch, everything about he club revolved around him for over 20 years. During his time in charge, he won 3 Premier League titles, 7 FA Cups and was unfortunate to lose in the Champions League final against Barcelona after going a man down early in the match.

His time is done and for now, Unai Emery is in charge. Unfortunately for him, Arsenal fans in general are simply out of patience and want results now. The problem Emery is having is more with the people in the board room than his actual players. Simply put, Arsenal are no longer a team that competes for the best players in the world. They’ve certainly brought in players with class but no superstars.

The issues with the club run deeper than the fans discontent with ownership but from their point of view, it’s the perfect place to start. The fact that they received a response means that their concerns are being heard. It doesn’t necessarily mean they will get everything they are looking for but it is an acknowledgement by the owners that things will need to improve.

At the moment, Arsenal are miles behind current Premier League champions Manchester City and second place Liverpool who are the current champions of Europe. Fans want better players brought in and one of the most obvious signs of the mismanagement at the club is the amount of players that have been signed over the years that are simply not at the level that fans are accustomed to.

What Will Happen Next Season?

If the club don’t make moves in the transfer window, there is little hope of them returning to Champions League football let alone competing for a Premier League title. In fact, if they aren’t careful, they could be in danger of missing out on the top 6 altogether (which would mean no European football, something that would be financially devastating).

The biggest name linked with Arsenal this summer is Wilfred Zaha of Crystal Palace. There are some that are concerned about the price tag but he is a level above most of the players at his position currently in their ranks. On top of that, he is a London kid, having moved there with his family at the age of 4 from the Ivory Coast. He grew up as an Arsenal supporter and it can’t be underestimated what bringing in a local lad with quality can do to lift the spirit of a club. Of course that won’t come close to solving all of their problems but it’s a start. At some point Arsenal will have to get much better in defense, by far the weakest part of the squad. They will also need to sell some players that make huge money with little in return in terms of production.

It’s going to be an interesting twelve months for the club, its supporter and the Kroenke family. They will not be able to keep this unrest quiet for much longer. For all of these reason, Arsenal come in at No.5 in our preseason English Premier League rankings.

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