Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Arsenal for third

Following the departures of Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas last Summer transfer window, the news that club captain Robin Van Persie wasn’t going to extend his current contract came as no real surprise to most Gunners. However this season Arsene Wenger has dived into the market impressively, and more importantly early, with the additions of Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud, before pulling off arguably the biggest transfer coup of the summer with the arrival of the classy Santi Cazorla from troubled Malaga.

Can Cazorla guide Arsenal to the top of the league?

Twice Arsenal turned their season around impressively (Losing four of their opening seven as well as a poor run in January) and only a minor hiccup towards the end of the season meant they needed victory on the final day of the season to secure the all important third spot, which they duly did away to West Brom. Wenger's current squad seems to have more mental strength about it, after previously bottling it in either a title race or in a cup final, and instead of being caught, found themselves successfully hunting down their target last season as they ended the season well to overhaul Spurs.

Their starting XI is as good as any in the Barclays Premier League, however following injuries to first choice full-backs Bacary Sagna and Kieran Gibbs last season, their full back alternatives are incredibly weak. The same goes for the centre half position as in reality neither Per Mertesacker nor Johan Djourou are good enough.

Should the worst / predictable happen and Van Persie leaves the Emirates then the burden shall fall heavily on their £13million addition in Giroud. He and his former club Montpellier stunned Ligue 1 last season; however the Premier League is of a much stronger standard, so Gunners fans will be hoping he has more of the Thierry Henry about him then the Park Chu-Young. 

Key player(s) – Arsenal have always been brilliant going forward, but for me keeping their centre half duo of Laurent Koscielny and Thomas Vermaelen fit is a real must. Together they form a brilliant partnership, with the latter’s goal threat a brilliant bonus.

Verdict – 3rd Whether they’ll have the strength in depth to challenge for the title is another thing; however I do expect them to finish ahead of their London rivals in claiming another Champions League spot.

View from a fan – Culann Davies   @CulannWDavies

What would be an ideal season?
Ending the long trophy drought whilst finishing third in the league again

What would be an awful season?
Finishing outside the top four as well as trophy less

Have you got the right manager?
Definitely. What Arsene's done on such a smaller budget in comparison to the rest of the league is unbelievable. Finally he’s allowed some money this summer and it's told with brilliant additions.

Which other Premier League player would you like to sign?
Probably Vincent Kompany. Koscielny is class whilst Vermaelen has struggled for form and fitness since his debut season.

Is Robin Van Persie replaceable?
He is, but we need more than one player to do so!

Who should we keep an eye out for this season?
Laurent Koscielny. He was our second best player last season but largely unnoticed outside Arsenal, worth keeping an eye on.

No comments:

Post a Comment