A chat interview with an Arsenal fan concerning Arsenal, the Premier League and Football at large.
SSN: Good afternoon sir, can we know you?
Ramon: My name is Ramon Olamide.
SSN: It’s nice to meet you sir. You are an Arsenal fan right?
Ramon: Yes, I am
SSN: Arsenal, what comes to your mind immediately you see or hear that name?
Ramon: A great football club full of great history, potential and great players.
SSN: Don’t you think that has declined over years?
Ramon: It definitely has.
SSN: In what sense?
Ramon: In the sense of winning mentality and players’ quality.
SSN: What has gone wrong over the years?
Ramon: I think the transfer business.
SSN: How has transfer business affected Arsenal?
Ramon: It has affected it negatively.
SSN: The truth is Arsenal were struggling in transfer window for years because of wages they had to pay, was it totally the clubs fault not to get really involved in transfer markets over the years?
Ramon: Agreed that they had debt because of the new stadium but not withstanding, they have to consider the plight of the fans to deliver top transfer business so as to compete to win trophies.
SSN: In the last few years, Arsenal have signed significantly big players, the likes of Ozil, Sanchez and now Lacazette, don’t you think there has been improvement in that aspect?
Ramon: No improvement considering the way clubs are strengthening their team, one big player per season is not enough.
SSN: Compared to other teams, Arsenal have been lacking for years?
SSN: Considering the present Arsenal team, what exactly are the areas that are lacking?
Ramon: In my own point of view I think the whole team needs restructuring from the board to manager to players.
SSN: The Board? The Manager? The Players?
Ramon: Yes, restructuring.
SSN: A change of board?
A change of manager?
A change of players?
SSN: How should they go about this?
Ramon: Let’s go by Dangote’s point of view, let’s assume he take over arsenal today which means the board has to change and he promised the first thing he will do is to sack the manager and I know the manager coming in will change most of the players.
SSN: You mean number one Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote taking over at Arsenal?
Ramon: Yes, let’s take Manchester city for example when their new owner took over, what happened to the club?
SSN: That’s a talk for another day. If a new board comes in, a new manager, which manager will you recommend?
Ramon: Diego Simeone.
SSN: That’s a tough one, he once said he will go to Inter Milan one day, is coming to Arsenal feasible?
Ramon: I think so because age is still by his side.
SSN: Okay, a new manager will bring in new players which will promote Arsenal as a team?
Ramon: I think so.
SSN: Okay, the fact is the likelihood of changing Arsene Wenger as Arsenal manager is low, what kind of solution can solve this current problem at least for the time being?
Ramon: I think maybe the players’ commitment to play for the club and a change of tactics. But going by Carragher’s comment after Liverpool trashing I don’t see any improvement. He said “it’s the last decade. We’re going to see the same performance for the next two years. The reason being is from the top to the bottom of the football club, starting with the owner, the chief executive, your manager and your players, there’s lack of ruthlessness.”
SSN: Neglecting Carragher’s comment, a commitment from players and change of tactics will solve Arsenal’s problem?
SSN: Why should Arsenal always rely on hope?
Ramon: Because the structure is bad.
SSN: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain left for Liverpool, is that a loss for Arsenal?
Ramon: I can’t say he is a loss because he is not a regular starter.
SSN: But he was playing these days due to the new formation and Arsene Wenger believes he was an integral part of the team, what did Arsene see in him differently?
Ramon: Don’t forget Arsene Wenger always see different potentials in every player.
SSN: If Oxlade-Chamberlain won’t be missed, does that mean there are some players in the team that are not needed?
Ramon: Definitely, but no replacement for them, which means no choice than for them to stay.
SSN: What is your Arsenal’s first eleven?
Ramon: With the current squad?
SSN: Yes, with the current squad
Ramon: Cech, Monreal, Kolasinac, Koscielny, Mustafi, Bellerin, Xhaka, Coquelin, Sanchez, Ozil, Lacazette.
SSN: What’s the formation for this line up?
SSN: The other time, you talked about a change in tactics, this is pretty much the same tactics as before.
Ramon: Yes, you change tactics according to how the opposition team approach the game.
SSN: There has been news Alexis Sanchez doesn’t want to play for Arsenal anymore, what’s your take on that?
Ramon: No player is bigger than a Football club, so if he wish not to play, he is free.
SSN: Won’t that affect the quality of the team with Arsenal presently trying to find the right balance?
Ramon: Definitely it will cause of lack of proper planning.
SSN: Without Sanchez, what’s your take on the team?
Ramon: The team’s percentage win will definitely drop.
SSN: Which means Alexis Sanchez is very well important right?
SSN: Don’t you think it’s time to unleash Jack Wilshere?
SSN: What do you think he can offer?
Ramon: He can have a great season if he stays injury free.
SSN: Do you see Arsenal achieving anything great this season?
Ramon: Great? I can’t say
SSN: Any sign they can win a trophy?
Ramon: Hopefully the usual Emirates FA Cup
SSN Emirates FA Cup? Will that really be possible?
Ramon: I said hopefully.
SSN: Okay, thank you sir, it’s nice having you around.
Ramon: You are welcome.