Consistency. It's the most important, vital factor of our journey to the promised land. And by promised land, I am not referring to the Champions League Group Stages. For that will hopefully be our quite frequent seasoned holiday from our domestic plights and challenges. The promised land I'm referring to is the level that the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United bask in. I'm talking elite here. I'm talking certified bona fide Sky Sports Top 4. I do not believe that the EPL is about to structurally alter itself into a far more open league. This, what we have at this present moment regarding Premier League hierarchy, is nothing more than a transitional period. Over the next two/three seasons a new elite will be birthed from the ashes of the old one.
Quite frankly this is the promised land, because once the doors shut, 5th spot and below will return to the dark days watching four clubs dominating and the rest of the chasing pack so far behind that they'll have to squint using binoculars to see them.
The Champions League adventure we wish to have this season is, make no mistake about it, important to our stature and will force others to take note and pay respect. But it has to be earnt, and we have but 90 minutes to do so. If we do, which I believe we will, then even more focus and consistency will be required to guide us through our domestic season to claim another place in amongst the elite next season.
And as for the domestic season, Chelsea and Utd will not fall out of their thrones in the heavens. Arsenal are a curious creature. Proud they don't spend extravagantly on players (apart from untold millions upon millions on player wages). Although many of their fans would point out that if the money was available for them to buy big, they'd be able to perhaps fix one or two positional headaches. But alas, their debt is a far more important objective. It's something to behold, their philosophy, to be one or two steps ahead of everyone else in the league, apart from the top two sides without the necessity of splashing the cash. But it's not going to be enough unless they do something drastic and do it soon. The fallacy? Their youth policy. And empty trophy cabinet. Wenger's commitment to his beliefs should be admired, but in these modern times, it's not enough. Which suits me just fine.
Liverpool, Manchester City. The other two contenders. I will discount both Everton and Villa, and let you work out the reasons, such is their obviousity. I wouldn't say anyone else has the foundations to throw down the gauntlet.
We do. But it's not quite the full package. The right parts are there and the desire and belief components still require a touch of fine tuning. The question is, we discovered a new level last season, can we find a new one this season? Can we take that extra step because the risk of achieving the same performance overall this season, as last, might not be enough if the likes of City or Liverpool perform better than they did. Which they might well do. But they, in my opinion, should not be the ones to concern ourselves with. We need to aim for something, someone of genuine consistency.
I am a keen admirer of Levy and completely back him for not wanting to go down the road of offering players ridiculous wages. Speculate to accumulate you might say. We'd done plenty of that investing in players like Modric and now Sandro. Redknapp made a mockery of previous Spurs landlords, quickly resolving the issues and moulding the team into one that could damage the aspirations of others. We have the players, the balance and the teams above us historically are very much now in our sights, without the need of binoculars.
Consistency. This team has to grow, learn from mistakes and continue to blossom. But has to do so quickly and therefore take risks. So perhaps on this occasion, Levy should look to sign whomever Harry requires as long as the investment is one of quantifiable merits. Gallas? You might think its wrong for a number of rather obvious reasons. But this will be master-stroke. Not of the same quality he was say 4 or so years ago but still enough about him to provide ample experience when required. As for his tears and tantrums, playing in red and white is enough to break anyone.
A tweak here, a tweak there. No need to unbalance the Facere.
City will buy their way into the Top 4. Which means Arsenal are the favourites for the other position. They are the ones of genuine consistency. They are the team we aim for. They might not win silverware, but they finish top 4 each and every season and never truly look like losing out, even when they supposedly struggle. Meaning this:
Finish above Arsenal, and our job will be done. Finish above Arsenal twice and so forth, you do the math. One cycle ends, another begins. There is no guarantee finishing above Liverpool would result in the same thing.
The attitude can only be do or die. It's us or them.
by guest-blogger schrodinger's cat