Arsenal Season Preview: 4th The Best We Can Hope For Without Major Additions
With the Premier League season kicking off next weekend, writer Gunner333 looks at the season and assesses how Arsenal could improve and what may lie ahead.
With the Premier League season kicking off next weekend, writer Gunner333 looks at the season ahead and assesses how Arsenal could improve.
Whilst winning the odd trophy every now and then can be a breath of fresh air for any football club, it seems Arsenal’s main objective is to secure Champions League qualification each year. This is something being stressed greatly from the Arsenal camp. Every year we manage to sneak third or fourth but still remain with a vacant trophy cabinet. Here, I assess our chances this season and look at the main talking points on what areas we must work on.
Attacking Options Are Limited, But Strong
For a club maintaining the philosophy not to spend big and work with our current group, we do still have a strong attacking threat and can score against even the most almighty of opposition – look at our heroic Champions League victory away to Bayern Munich last campaign. However, there is still a strong need for a World Class frontman not only for quality, but for depth also. With the addition of Yaya Sanogo from Auxerre and potential departures of Bendnter and Chamakh, we now only have four clear-cut attacking options aside from the new signing; Giroud, Podolski and Walcott.
To challenge the likes of Tottenham and even Liverpool for European places, we need a big name striker to match the likes of other new players in the Premier League such as Soldado, Jovetic and Negredo. Saying this is easy, we will struggle to sign players with this kind of talent if Wenger is unable to unleash his warchest on not only a large transfer fee but also big wages. It goes against our philosophy but it will bring huge success in the long term.
Steve Bould Input Vital
Defensive issues looked to have vanished into thin air at the start of last campaign with the arrival of Assistant Manager Steve Bould signalling three clean sheets in our opening trio of Premier League encounters. Throughout the course of the season though we showed signs of our old sloppy-selves from recent years. It was not until the possibility of no Champions League football in the next season arose, that our defensive party got their act together and began to show consistency at the back.
I don’t think we need to sign a first team centre-back due to the brilliant partnership of Koscileny and Mertesacker, and Thomas Vermaelen is a more than able third-choice. Bacary Sagna appears to be ready to play in the middle if needed as well. There is a cause for concern in depth here though as we need to bring in either a centre-back or right back, depending on where Wenger sees Sagna playing. A defender with Premiership experienced would be ideal and Arsene needs to give Mr. Bould time in training to maintain our solid defence.
A Trophy is Crucial
You do not have to be an expert to know it has been a fair few years since we last collected some silverware and the sooner this fact disappears the better. Another season without a trophy would only dent morale in the camp and frustrate Gooners further.
Wenger needs to focus on every competition we are involved in by playing a side capable of winning the match. He began to do this more frequently last season but the players need to take responsibility as well not take the opposition too lightly. You only need to look at our cup exits to Bradford and Blackburn last season. We had strong sides out in both games and we thought we could just turn up and win without playing. Let’s learn from these mistakes this season and make a real push for a cup.
Big Game Mentality
For success to arise in both the Premier League and Champions League we must be able to compete at the highest level against the best quality of opposition, consistently. This is something we struggled to do last season. Our record against the top 6 in the Premier League last year was pitiful so we need to have more hunger and desire in the big games.
As long as we can navigate past a tricky two-legged tie with Fenerbache, our aim in the Champions League should be to win our group and pray we can avoid one of the big-guns in the knockout stage. We’ve been unfortunate enough to draw Barcelona and Bayern Munich in the past two years and although we ran both clubs close, ultimately we failed to make any real impression in the Champions League. Let’s hope for a couple of favourable draws, and see where it takes us.
The squad is paper thin right now and without major additions before the window closes, the very best we can hope for is fourth spot. But if we can bring in three of four top quality players, we might just surprise a few people and even end that much talked about trophy drought.
Thanks for reading. How do you think we will do this season? Feel free to comment below.
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