Tony Adams has gone on the Arsenal offensive again, seems he’s desperate for attention of sorts… maybe it’s a new job, maybe it’s the precursor for his official Twitter launch. Who knows. What we can ascertain is that he’s not happy about TV5 leaving…
“I’m slightly saddened by the news Vermaelen’s leaving. I personally believe that you need three central defenders to win the championship.
“It seems kind of too easy to say, ‘I’m not playing – off I go’. It seems like it’s far too easy to let these people walk out the door.
Well, I can’t disagree with the sentiment there, we do need three centre backs. If you were Arsene you might argue Calum is number 3, hopefully that’ll be rectified and we have 4 centre backs. That’s where I think we need to be. We’ll be blessed if we pass this season without a serious injury to Per or Laurent.
Not quite sure I agree with ‘easy to walk’… If you’re in your prime and you’re expensive, you should have the right to go. This is the free market. Keeping people to their contracts if they’re not important isn’t really on for me. It’s a bit old school and it’s not really fair. It’s £6.5m in wages you can stick somewhere else.
As for the not making top 4 he alluded to, well, not quite sure even the most miserable fan could back that idea. I think we’ll comfortably make Champions League this season. Just a hunch. We have one of the fastest front lines in the league this year.
I read a headline somewhere earlier asking if we have the strongest squad since the invincibles. I think this sort of headline generally forgets that we’ve had some pretty amazing squads over the last few years. 2011 was really strong, 2008 was a fantastic set up. This year we’ve got brilliant players all over the park, I’m just not sure we’ve got the right sort of depth in certain places. I think we have problems at left back, Kieran Gibbs has to up his game this season… he seems to go missing with injury for a lot of the major games and Monreal is just a very standard December.
Right back we seem to be well stocked, we certainly need a 4th centre back. Goalkeeper is covered.
In midfield, we have a lot of bodies, but we’re still missing that killer piece of the jigsaw. We need someone with youth on their side bulked with pace and power to give us that edge. Having pace up front is a massive gain this summer, but not having any in the middle is a worry. We have lots of players with similar attributes. It’d be nice if we had a fit version of Diaby. Carvahlo looks good (The boys at @MessiMinutes have done some digging here for more info), but he doesn’t blow me away, Khedira feels like and expensive luxury… outside that, I can’t hear too many names bubbling to the top. I really think Wenger might not sign anyone there. He might see if Jack can do it… who knows. Problem with that option is he’s not fast over 5 metres. Jordan Henderson is so fast over that distance you get barely any time on the ball. Flamini has a bit of what we need. Arteta has totally lost it. We just lack a real engine in the middle who can take care of the dirty work.
Up top, we have options galore. When Theo is back in the mix, we’ll have at least 6 speed demons in Sanchez, Theo, Gnabry, Chamberlain, Sanogo and Joel Campbell. We have Liverpool like explosiveness. We might not have the craft we had for the Invincibles, but with pace loaded in the front line like that, well, you’re going to create chances, kill teams with exhaustion and you’re to win games.
You also win games before you play them… fear is a beautiful thing. We have that this season.
Ultimately, our title aspirations come down to preparation. If we keep our players fresher, stronger and more attuned, we’ll be in a far better position by December than we ever have before. If we introduce more pregame preparation, well, that’s where we can really make a difference in the big games. I’m just not sure where that side of things comes from. I don’t feel like Wenger has ever been a student of the game in that sense. He plays once game, his game… but surely his backroom team can help? The way we make headway this season is to toss aside artistic preciousness in the name of practicality.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens…