I think there is a serious danger… the question is, would you be happy about it? Let me explain…
Our preparation for last season was extremely disrupted, we lost top performers Hleb and Flamini… we released experienced heads, Lehmann and Gilberto… then we replaced them with untested kids. Our transfer policy last year was a PR disaster, we missed out on a trio of defensive midfielders (Alonso, Toure, Inler) and a striker (Kalou). We also had the on/off Adebayor saga…
The season started off relatively well… the AKB’s were crowing before the fat lady had even got out of her changing room and everything was tickety boo… then the collapse began. Our lack of experience shone through, we lost Cesc Fabregas to injury, Gallas lost the plot and Adebayor couldn’t recreate last seasons form… we started to drop points, we kick started Spurs’ season and by Christmas people were calling for the coaches head and recruits were demanded.
Through January we found solidity at the back… but lacked a creative edge… Crab football was our speciality along with the bore draw. Then £17million Arshavin arrived for a club record … since then, we haven’t looked back. Arsenal progressed in the FA Cup where we await a semi final trip to Wemberlee, we’re through to the quarter finals of the champions league where we take on the Yellow Submarines (Minus Senna woo hoo!)… and we’re even back in with the remotest chance of winning the league!
So, in the past month we’ve found solidity and creative flair… now our injured players are starting to make their way back into the team… and we look set for an exciting end to the year.
Arsene Wenger has even started to roll out the, ‘I told you so’ lines.
So what does this mean for the summer?
Well, if we do the impossible and keep all of our players… we have a pretty beastly squad.
I think we’re all happy with these two. Despite the criticism levelled at Almunia, he is the best distributor in the Prem and he rarely makes a mistake. In fact, he is ranked as the second best Premiership goalkeeper according to Actim, the official statisticians of the Premiership. Fabianski has the potential to be a great… given time of course.
Gibbs, JD, Silvestre, Gallas, Toure, Sagna, Eboue, Traore, Nordveit, Senderos
Well, there’s plenty of cover there…. I think ten defenders is more than enough! Gallas is proving his class, Kolo has settled next to him and JD is able cover. Gibbs and Eboue are more than adequate back up for our two full backs and if push comes to shove, the others could do a job.
Theo, Vela, Nasri, Cesc, Ramsey, Diaby, Denilson, Song, Wilshere, Arshavin, Coquelin
If anything… it looks like we’re oversubscribed in midfield… The DM role is up for debate, but I’ve been very impressed with Denilson in the second half of the season, he is a ball winner and he’s a tidy passer of the ball (Ranked as the 12th best player in the Prem by Actim this year… the boy is clearly doing something right). As for the creative players… well… we have them in abundance now… so we shouldn’t have too many crab days going forward.
Nik B, Adebayor, RvP, Simpson, Eduardo
Plenty of varied striking options as well… I’m not going to read too much into the lack of clinical finishing this year. Looking at the top ten scorers in the Prem this year, you’d have to say it’s been a bad year for strikers in general. ManU, Liverpool, Arsenal, Villa and Everton all have something in common… none of them have a striker with more than 10 goals in the Prem.
So if we’re going to strengthen, where do we do it? You might not agree that all of the above are good enough… but ask yourself this… who would Arsene sell?
So… just to recap…
A full squad
17 games unbeaten (and counting)
Arsene Smugometer heading into overdrive
A summer of transfer inactivity
I’d still like to see a couple of quality players bought in… but if I put my Arsene Wenger spectacles on, I can’t see where he is realistically going to purchase. Having a big squad has never been his thing… and you know the saying… you can’t teach an old coach new tricks…
In other, more relevant news Theo, Cesc and Adebayor are back in the squad… but Van Persie, Eduardo and Diaby are out…
So how will we line up? Well I reckon..
Sagna Toure Gallas Clichy
Theo Cesc Denilson Nasri
I’ll be very disappointed if Ade gets straight back in the team… and I’m not quite sure how he’d play with Arshavin?
In other news, the coach reckons teams should be rewarded for goals scored. He’s dreamed up some sort of crazy assed new points system. I appreciate the sentiment, but it is kind of like Arnold Schwarzanegger suggesting lower taxes for people who can bench 400 pounds… I can’t see the league implementing a points system that would only benefit the rich clubs… after all, it costs little to purchase a Championship meat head to join a wall of 10 defenders… it does cost a few pence to buy a player who can give you 30 goals a season. So whilst an entertaining idea… ultimately a flawed one.
So, what do you think? Will we purchase? Does the league need to review the points system? What team will he play tomorrow?
Join the debate and the jokes in the comments section!