We kick off with Arseblog, arguably the best club blog on the internet, to talk about Arsenal’s incredible ability to bottle it year on year, whether Arsene Wenger is the right man to turn things around and whether Fabregas should stay.
Scott the Red: Were you happy with your team’s performance last season?
Arseblogger: Until the Carling Cup final, yes. We were motoring along in four competitions, should have won a trophy, but conspired to fuck it up, and the rest, in spectacular fashion. Post Carling Cup was probably the worst run of form ever under Arsene Wenger, the team bottled it, big time.
STR: Why does it keep happening? Is it an issue with mental toughness or something else?
Arseblogger: Yes, mental weakness, lack of character, but most of all lack of quality and experience.
STR: Despite the bottling, who do you think were your most important players over the course of the season?
Arseblogger: Robin van Persie, for the goals he scored, and Jack Wilshere. His emergence was one of the bright spots of the season.
STR: How do you rate Arsenal’s activity in the transfer market?
Arseblogger: Poorly (at this stage). Only Gervinho and Jenkinson in, the Cesc/Nasri sagas ongoing, no centre-half, much of the deadwood still there, and the season kicks off in less than a week. Unsatisfactory, we’re weaker, not stronger.
STR: Bearing this is mind, what are your aspirations for this season?
Arseblogger: Top four finish, maybe a cup.
STR: Where do you think you’ll actually finish?
STR: Despite not winning anything for years, there’s been “Arsene knows” and “In Arsene we trust” stuff. Is that still going as strong? How do you rate your manager’s ability to take the club forward?
Arseblogger: I think doubts over his ability to do that are increasing. It’s no longer a vocal minority who are openly questioning him and his methods. His decision making, especially his reluctance to strengthen the squad when it so obviously needs it, is almost impossible to understand. Of course we have till the 31st to sign players – but with August such a crucial month (Liverpool, United and CL qualifiers), and fans as frustrated as they’ve ever been under Wenger, I just can’t find a good reason why we haven’t added more to the squad already
STR: If not the manager then, which player do you think will most important in helping you achieve a top four finish?
Robin van Persie.
STR: Not too long ago, Fabregas probably would have been the name given in answer to this question. Do you want him to stay at the club knowing that he is desperate to join Barcelona? Do you think he should retain the captaincy?
Arseblogger: I want him to stay because he’s our best player and one of the best midfielders in the world. I completely understand why he wants to go, however. Captaincy, pffff, not fussed.
STR: Which two current United players would you most want at your club?
Arseblogger: Vidic, because he’s a great centre-half. Rooney, a fantastic forward, areas we need more strength.
STR: Finally, who will finish in the top 4? Who will go down?
Arseblogger: United, Chelsea, Man City, Arsenal (I hope).
STR: And is there anything else you wish to tell us?
Arseblogger: John Terry is a fucking cunt.
STR: You know how to win us over! Cheers.