ArsenalAmerica Premium Memberships 2007-08 Season

Coming soon….

As you know we had to redo a lot of the website over the last few weeks, made all the more horrendous by a computer hack into our system. We’re now pretty settled and back in business on a new machine, with new levels of security and the such so that we are now turning our attention to the registration system and other features we’ve wanted to impliment. We hope to integrate the registration system seemlessly with Paypal this year, so we won’t have to go through massive lists of emails and match them up to (non-matching) paypals and then print registration cards and lick the stamps and etc. We were simply overwhelmed last year and want to do better this year.

We hope to get something up very soon, so be sure to check back in the next week or so about our registration process for 07-08.

Titi’s Replacement

Towards the end of last season, when I watched our team play, without Henry and van Persie, I had a strong belief that the coming season we will be ready to launch a SERIOUS charge towards the Premeriship title. The team passed the ball well, and their ability to create scoring chances despite without Henry really caught me by suprise. All we needed was a better FINISHING. I thought van Persie and Henry would be able to address that.

Now Titi has gone, I have read many names being mentioned, Torres, Eto’o, Anelka, Owen, Babel…. I know everyone has his own favourite, those are all good players. Nevertheless, before we think about the replacement, let’s first ask ourselves – what do we really want next season? To finish above mid table? To finish within top 4? Or to WIN the whole thing?

Personally, if I have to wait another decade to see us lifting the title again, I won’t have a problem with it. But there are two factors here I think our team need to gear up and launch a serious title charge next season:

(1) After the departure of Henry, there are many people (fans, press, ex-players) who made it sound like “The Gunners are finished”. Now you heard all those talks that Wenger will leave, Cesc will leave. Reading all these, it made my blood boiled. I want our team to PROVE THE WHOLE WORLD WRONG.

(2) Without a doubt, Wenger holds the key of Arsenal’s future success. Doesn’t matter if he’s bigger or smaller than the club, keeping Wenger is a MUST. We need that stability in the club which has been absent since the departure of David Dein. And IF we can win something next season, the boss would be foolish to leave behind an up-and-coming team he had endured so much pressure and criticism to build up, and let someone else to enjoy the fruit of all his hard work.

In short, we need to bring in someone who’s going to make an INSTANT IMPACT.

Torres, Eto’o the likes, we saw what the could do in La Liga. Yet no matter who’s going to join Arsenal from an oversea club, you always ask yourselves TWO questions: (1) Is he up to the physical nature of the Premiership? (2) Even if he is, HOW LONG will it take for him to settle in?

The simple FACT is – apart from Patrick Vieira, I can’t recall any one of our key additions at the past to make an INSTANT impact as soon as they stepped on the pitch of Highbury (now Emirates). It took Pires, Henry one season to take off. Bergkamp hit his peak in his second season as well. Petit and Overmars spent at least half a season to adjust to the Premiership.

Talking about Petit and Overmars, if anyone remember – we started the season poorly on 1998 season, when the pair first arrived. Until it took an amazing winning run in the second half of the season for us to beat United to the title. Problem is – will our current bunch of youngsters have that ability to recover a 10-point-deficit in the league after a poor start?

Many people on site already pointed out the significance of a good start the coming season. As the past 2 seasons, our title chance basically gone by X’mas. And if you look back last season, Man U took the lead from the beginning to the end. Even a mega-million side like Chelsea couldn’t catch them up with all their experience.

So when we think about a potential replacement upfront to replace Henry, I believe the priority consideration is how quickly the guy will fit in. Personally, I won’t mind an Anelka return. Yes, he may be someone who likes to sulk. Yet after all the Vieira, Cole, Henry departure of the past few seasons, I no longer care much of a player’s image. At the end of the day, no matter what they say, what their public image in front of the camera, it doesn’t really make much a difference of what they had actually DONE. Action speaks louder than words.

One thing about Anelka is – his game is destined for the Premiership, just like Vieira and Henry. The power, pace and strength. And as I remember, like Vieira, he’s probably another rare player who did actually make an instant impact when he first played for Arsenal.

I can’t help but thinking, that deep inside, following his departure from Arsenal, then watching the rise of Thierry Henry, deep inside, the thought that “it could have been me” must have crossed his mind. Not too many players could have a “second chance” in their career, if Wenger is going to buy him, he’s going to get a “second chance”. Unless he’s really a stupid fool, he would have to make sure he’s gonna grab the chance with both hands. This is a guy, afterall, everybody used to believe he’s destined for stardom after watching him play. He’s a “natural” striker, with an uncanny ability of striking the ball with no backlift. Those snap-shots. Technically he’s as good as anyone as a striker. And he’s a selfish player, you can be assured that he will not try to “pass the ball into the net”.

How will the team respond?

Now that Henry is gone, how would it affect the team?

I think it really depends on the players’ flame of mind. They can either think:

(1) Oh man, now we have lost our Messiah, the coming season is as good as finished. I better ring my agent to see if there is any way out of this sinking ship.

OR

(2) Now the captain has gone. Why he left? Well, maybe he thought we were not good enough. Otherwise why go Barcelona to play the “Arsenal way”? Let’s go out and show him nothing is better than the “original”.

I hope the players will take this as a “chance” rather than a “crisis”. Henry and Gallas had come out and claimed the younger players in the team should “shoulder more responsibility” last season. Now, whether they like it or not, the kids will have no choice but stepping up.

It may not necessary to be a bad thing. As with the real life, the kids learn and grow faster when they got no one to depend on.

Meanwhile, I can’t help but think that the players will now be able to play with a sense of freedom, to freely express themselves on the pitch without the necessary to worry about whether a poor pass they made would earn themselves an annoying glance from their captain in return.

Of course, I understand this is only my wishful thinking. In the end, it’s still up to the players’ own mentality. If they are the winners inside, they will have no problem. Nothing is gonna stop a winner from winning. Of course, on the other hand, if they born with a loser mentality, then they might come out and blame the tea lady for not fixing them up with a good cup of tea during the break after a defeat.

So far we haven’t heard from any Arsenal player to come out and say anything yet in the wake of Titi’s departure. Let’s wait and see what they are really made of.