dcky...just found this in the telegraph. It's not all criticism....but you can pick and choose.
APOLOGIES TO EVERYONE ELSE - THERE ARE A SOME POSITIVE THINGS IN HERE ABOUT ARSENAL, I DID NOT WANT TO EDIT THE ARTICLE!
Arsenal must change their philosophy
By Henry Winter
Last Updated: 2:04am BST 10/04/2008
The morning after the nightmare before found Arsenal contemplating a brutal reality yesterday. They do not need a change of manager but they do need a change of managerial philosophy. Arsene Wenger must learn to buy big and win ugly.
It may seem an insult to sporting principles to encourage lavish spending and more ruthless football but if Wenger's band of fine young prospects are to challenge for significant silverware they must toughen up. This summer's recruitment of three high-class, experienced players, one in each department, is essential if Wenger is not to come under pressure for another trophy-less year. Arsenal's mental hard drive must also be re-booted, helping them to close out games like Tuesday's Champions League defeat to Liverpool
Money talks: Arsene Wenger must buy to strengthen Arsenal's squad
But will Wenger alter methods that for most of his managerial career have worked well? And is there much wrong with Arsenal? Cesc Fabregas, Emmanuel Adebayor, Gael Clichy and Mathieu Flamini led the Premier League for much of the season, producing some magnificent football, and were within five minutes of reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League.
The distribution of Fabregas and company has been hailed by Sir Trevor Brooking, the Football Association's director of football development as an example to all youngsters. For all the questions about elements of Wenger's management, this is no time to question his future at Arsenal. The board would be scared witless at the thought of losing Wenger. The players worship him. The fans adore him. "Always," stressed one season-ticket holder yesterday.
Arsenal are close to getting the balance right, they just need to mix some steel amid the silk, expanding a slim squad. Wenger takes immense pride in nurturing players, rather than importing fully formed talents, arguing that it is a greater managerial achievement and bonds fans and players more tightly together, but a dip into his war-chest is now essential.
Echoes arise of Manchester United in 1997-98 when Sir Alex Ferguson failed to strengthen during the season, and Arsenal lifted the title. Ferguson promptly went out, signed Jaap Stam and Dwight Yorke and secured the Treble. It is little surprise that the Premier League's top two, United and Chelsea, are the biggest spenders. For Â£20 million, Fernando Torres has proved an inspired purchase by Liverpool. Money matters.
Wenger could have bolstered his squad mid-season. Jonathan Woodgate was available from Middlesbrough, which would have saved Arsenal from the disastrous promotion of Philippe Senderos. Wenger could also have bought Jermain Defoe in January, and he has proved a prolific signing for Portsmouth. Spurs would have pushed the price up if their neighbours had come knocking but Arsenal could still have acquired the England striker.
Wenger has little history of signing established players, preferring to scour France, Africa and increasingly Croatia for rough diamonds to polish. Wenger loathes confrontation, so he prefers unknowns who are happy to sit on the bench, rather than big-name players who may stamp their feet.
However ****y Lassana Diarra may have been, Wenger must be regretting letting the energetic midfielder go. Gilberto Silva has won a World Cup with Brazil, and been a good servant for Arsenal, but he lacks the mobility to survive in high-speed games like Tuesday's. When Flamini was injured, and Gilberto stepped in, much of the zest went out of Arsenal's midfield.
Arsenal can reflect that Lady Luck has been outrageously unfaithful. Injustice and injury stalked them at crucial times, exposing the small size of their squad and their mental brittleness. Dirk Kuyt's first-leg tug on Alexander Hleb warranted a penalty. Wenger's attacking options were lessened by injuries to Robin van Persie and Eduardo. Nicklas Bendtner and Adebayor had a tiff.
For some reason, Theo Walcott is not perceived by Wenger as being as effective a starter as an impact sub. Yet Arsenal fans have been riddled with frustration over Emmanuel Eboue's performances in right midfield, screaming for Walcott to be given his chance.
While Liverpool fans compared Tuesday's atmosphere to St Etienne's visit in 1977, Walcott's dribble also raised memories of St Etienne and Michael Owen's breathtaking, defence-destroying slalom run at France 98. Wenger needs to trust Walcott. Only by starting a series of games will the youngster acquire the know-how. The potential is there.
Ditto Arsenal. It just needs a helping hand. The sooner Wenger locates the club chequebook the better.
No. Rafa Benitez said so before Tuesday's second leg, arguing that even Cesc Fabregas at 20 had four years' worth of experience. But they react immaturely to setbacks
Maybe. The lack of Englishness hardly hampered their unbeaten run to the title in 2004 but they do not possess a captain like John Terry or Steven Gerrard
Yes. Their squad is high quality but too thin, especially compared to Man United and Chelsea. Philippe Senderos isn't good enough at centre-half. They need support for Kolo Toure