Once again we have suffered a long summer at the hands of our manager who refuses to spend and a board who struggle to make him and we start the new season with a weaker squad than what we finished with. There are only a few positives to take from this summer but they are still things to be grateful for.
1.We finally cleared out the deadwood from the club including Santos, Gervinho and Chamakh who join the list of players below that have left Ashburton Grove this summer. For years we’ve had to endure watching these substandard players and dreaded seeing certain names on the teamsheet but not this season-well apart from Bendnter who we still can’t get rid of despite accepting 5 offers for him so there is a risk he could pop up.
2. For once Arsenal haven’t sold their best player(s) to rival teams, not that we have much left to sell but it’s something we have to tolerate most summers so it has been a relief to not see the good ones go. We have managed to keep hold of all of our first team players and despite rumours I don’t think any will be sold before the window finishes.
3. Pre-season has seen definite improvement in some key players such as Giroud, Ramsey and Poldolski who all had great performances abroad. The youth players have been fantastic to watch with Zelalem stealing the limelight but Akpom also looks promising.
Even though there are positives the fact is we still haven’t strengthened the squad and we are low in numbers and relying on what’s left of the reserves and youth team to bolster the first team and this is a worrying fact for Arsenal. Wenger needs 4/5 squad players to compete for a title and without that we don’t stand much of a chance if any and with the transfer window closing on the 2nd of September there is a good chance we won’t see any signings at all.
Every club in the league asides from Man United have made additions to their team and we have signed a free player that has already taken his first visit to the injury room. With no injuries to an already small squad we could just about make it through the season but if the last few seasons have proved anything it is highly unlikely we can avoid injuries because we don’t have enough back-up players for anyone to rest, we already have Arteta, Sagna, Sanogo and Ramsey doubtful for Saturday’s game and that’s a terrible start when there is simply no excuse or reason for it. The fact that we have been so inactive during the transfer window is probably going to end up being Arsenal’s biggest mistake as it will mostly likely lead to a downfall.
The top 5 will be competitive this year and everyone that finished around us in May have strengthened their team and some have even changed manager too. We struggled to make top 4 last season only pipping our rivals down the road to 4th spot and I don’t see that we can pull off a miraculous final 3 months to achieve that same place next year, especially with Spurs making decent signings.
To be honest I can’t predict what this season holds, last season I said we would get 3rd and this year I think we will finish outside of the top 4 but hopefully high enough to get a Europa place. In fact over half of Arsenal fans believe that we will finish lower than 4th on a poll on Arsenal’s website* and that shows just how low our expectations have sunk and a sign of how bad fans are feeling about the situation our club is in.
Gooners are more prepared for this season than we have been any other, we already know that we have a rough ride ahead and no matter how much we dream of being top of the league that just isn’t going to happen this year but going in with this expectation always means there is room for surprise. At worse we have a bad season and slip out of 4th but what will come from it will be good as the club will have to make changes.
We are still great club despite certain philosophies and actions, we still have one of the biggest fan bases in the Premier League and that is what we need to hold to this season. Fans hold more power than ever so have your say if you are unhappy, sign a petition, boycott games and merchandise or attend protests, that is the only way the club will realise that there is a problem.
Our motto is ‘Victory through Harmony’ and despite how messy things might get this season it is so important for us to unite together and support the team, we might not agree with management and we definitely don’t like the current board but the team are the ones that fans need to inject the passion into.
COME ON YOU GUNNERS