While consistency might be the most important thing for a team that doesn’t overspend and is trying to win a major title, alone, without quality, it’s close to meaningless. Per Mertesacker, who is probably proof to Arsenal’s under spending on players that can’t upgrade them from their current situation, couldn’t be any more wrong about their title chances.
Every team has players that want to win titles. Even on relegation bound clubs, in the back of their minds, winning a title, probably an FA or League Cup, sits in the back of their minds. But realism is also an important part of staying focused, which helps a certain consistency being achieved, even if that consistency leaves Arsenal as a Top 4 member, but not a title challenger.
I would say that consistency is the most important thing. If we can do that then we should be challenging for trophies and titles. We haven’t sold any players yet so we are coming from a good base at the moment, we’re at a good level and no-one is leaving at the moment. Maybe someone will come and strengthen our squad so it’s in a better position than last summer when we lost two important players.
Mertesacker speaks of two kinds of consistencies. Squad consistency, and result consistency. However Arsenal haven’t had a good enough to squad to make a serious title challenge, which has also meant losing in almost every one of their big, crucial and decisive games over the past few years, and maintaining that kind of consistency isn’t something that hints at Arsenal being too successful next season.
Mertesacker himself is an example of the skewed thinking of Arsene Wenger, who waits too long each summer, stuck in delusions that his squad, filled with cheap buys and “home grown” players he bought from foreign clubs is somehow enough to take head on teams that overspend them and do a better job in scouting when it comes to their meaningful signings.
We had such a strong finish at the end of the season, especially in the last 10 games. We put out a good team with great spirit and that is the target for the whole season. We must be well prepared both mentally and physically to do it straight from the off. It’s very hard to be consistent. That’s the main reason for Manchester City and Manchester United being successful in the last two years.
Strong finishes are important, especially when there isn’t a lot of turnover in a squad, but there’s a difference between types of finishes. That strong finish secured Arsenal’s place in the Champions League, but didn’t change the face of the earth, or determine new champions.
It was a singular point of success, which would have looked very different if Arsenal’s matches had involved bigger implications. It’s not just about the spending, but it’s about an eye for talent, which isn’t there anymore, and can’t be made up for with words like consistency and simply hoping for “better luck next time.”
They have shown for the whole season that they are consistent and that will be our main focus for the next season to show that as well. It’s a big year for us. We have got the World Cup at the end of it but the focus has to be on Arsenal because, of course, we want to win things and be successful this year.