A theme throughout this summer has been Arsenal being linked with world class players from around the world, failing to sign them and subsequently being criticised. This trend continued ad nauseum throughout the build up to the start of the season and reached fever pitch with the Gunners 3-1 loss to Aston Villa on the opening day.
The loss against Aston Villa was undoubtedly a terrible day for manager Arsene Wenger and his players, but they immediately bounced back with an accomplished performance away to Fenerbahce. The North London club won 3-0 that evening and have since swept aside Fulham at Craven Cottage and earned Champions League qualification after professionally seeing out the tie against Fenerbahce with a comfortable 2-0 home win.
The past three games have reminded many that Arsenal do have some quality in their side, which provides a good foundation to create a team capable of genuinely challenging for major honours. Arsenal are able to boast some of the brightest young British talent in the form of Aaron Ramsey (who looks set to have a hugely influential season), Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kieran Gibbs and Carl Jenkinson who all signed long term contract last year. The squad also features an assortment of established internationals from some of the world’s competitive nations such as Spain, France and Germany. To keep all these players together and not lose a key player has been an achievement in itself after the Gunners difficulties to keep hold of previous stars.
Arsenal clearly have a solid squad capable of challenging for the top four, but to solidify this position and be able to move further up the table signings are required. Aaron Ramsey recently stressed that Arsenal have a quality squad, but are lacking numbers (Source: Skysports). This is a fair assessment as it is a long season, with injuries and suspensions an unavoidable part of the game. This is an area that the squad would currently struggle to deal with which Arsene Wenger has admitted (Source: The Guardian).
The club have begun to add to the squad with the imminent signing of Mathieu Flamini an astute addition to provide both defensive and midfield cover. If the club are able to add extra players to the squad to provide competition, as well as improving the overall level there is no reason Arsenal will not finish in the top four once again. The next week will decide if this is going to be the case and the upcoming season is dependent entirely on the club conducting good transfer business in the remaining few days. Whatever happens at Arsenal this week, faith should be retained in manager Arsene Wenger who has never finished outside the top four during his sixteen year tenure at Arsenal and will surely want to maintain this outstanding record.
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