Aaron Ramsey’s return from lengthly injury has heralded a familiar end of season resurgence from the Arsenal as has happened in at least the last two premier league season, Arsenal had been faltering of late with high profile losses against Chelsea and Everton on the road and not forgetting dropped points in a very disappointing performance against Swansea on our own patch. The fight back against Championship side Wigan was an almost season defining result, the performance was on a par with abysmal displays at Anfield and the Etihad to boot but the desire was once again a major factor in the club’s progression to the FA Cup final on 17th may where they will meet fellow Premier League side Hull City.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing and had our squad depth been greater Ramsey would surely not had been risked in so many games in the busy Christmas period and may have well been fit for the whole campaign. It is clearly not down to just one man but Ramsey would have surely been in the PFA team of the year and nominated for player of the season had it not been for his cursed luck with injuries. His return along with Mesut Ozil could not have come at a better time, with the squad threadbare and down to the bare bones things were looking bleak. We now go into Sunday’s game with West Brom with our destiny once more in our own hands 3 points and that is once again 4th place achieved which looked far from in our grasp just a mere three weeks ago.
Every fan knows where we need to invest and with notable exits seemingly guaranteed this summer the club need to show they mean business as they did with Ozil’s capture but we need more. Mikel Arteta looks like he will be leaving which is a blessing in my eyes and also Sagna looks like he will be opting for a free transfer to Man City which i’m sure has very little to do with a bumper pay deal. We must act and act early I am bored beyond belief at how many times we are linked with impressive targets and nothing materialises. Diego Costa is one that is all but done for £35 million to Jose “Double Decker” Mourinho’s Chelsea he would have been ideal.
I would for once like to see the club show some initiative bite the bullet and stick their neck out, one big problem could be the “no automatic Champions League qualification” which could make attracting players difficult once again. Fans also need to be realistic though about who are possible arrivals we do have big resources that cannot even been an excuse anymore, annual turnover is still impressive and the stadium is literally all paid off but…. we are still light years away from Man City, Chelsea and even Man United in respect of financial firepower so we need to be astute and wise with signings.
The rumours of interest regarding German Defensive Midfielder Lars Bender don’t seem to go away, a bid of £13.5 million last January was rejected by his Bundesliga club Leverkusen but it is believed that an improved bid of £20 million would be enough to sway the German side to let go of their no.1 asset. Bender would be a brilliant addition to the Arsenal midfield and it is believed that Wenger (who is still yet to put pen to paper on a new deal) sees the German as a perfect replacement for Arteta who will more than likely be released this June.
Lukas Fabianski is another player who looks like he will not be signing a contract extension and will be leaving this Summer, Kasper Schmeichel is believed to have been offered a contract as second choice for next season, he is a free agent after failing to agree an improved deal with soon to be promoted Leicester City, he would be a more than able competitor for the Arsenal No.1 jersey. the acquisition of Bender and Schmeichel for me would be a step in the right direction but would only be a good start.
Opinion on Olivier Giroud has been very divided, I have my reservations but I do feel it has been very easy for the French striker to be a scapegoat for the clubs failings in the big games this season. Yes he has been very hit and miss this season but it is no coincidence that when he has been at his best he has had the likes of Walcott, Ramsey and Ozil around him. Our 4-2-3-1 system only works when there are mid-fielders willing to run from deep this has been the main problem and this needs to be rectified next season. Performances in the big games have been seriously below a suitable standard and it is the big games that have cost us this season. We have lacked a back up striker to take the heat off of Giroud in his lean spells in front of goal, many have said on numerous occasions you cannot win the Premier league with only one striker and finally it has been proved. Loic Remy appears to be top of the list along with Mario Mandzukic from Bayern Munich both would be ideal as every top club has at least 3 good strikers vying for a starting place.
The last position that is really up for grabs is the right back position that will more than likely be vacated by Bacary Sagna, rumours in Spain have been circulating that Dani Alves could be up for grabs and that we have made an inquiry over his availability, he would definitely be an upgrade to Sagna who has been quite sloppy of late and he already looks like he is looking towards the World Cup in Brazil this Summer.
To reiterate it is important that we build and build well, for too many seasons we have fallen behind with squad investment all our big rivals will definitely be spending big again and to keep even within touching distance we will need to follow suit.
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