Are Arsenal Pulling a “Liverpool”?
Many worried fans out there thinking that Arsenal are the next team to fall out of the top clubs in England like Liverpool have done over the past few years. Some journalists and fans have even thought that Arsenal are in “Crisis” after losing Gael Clichy, the possibility of losing Samir Nasri and the Potential departure of Cesc Fabregas.
Have we really hit “crisis” yet? Well feelings around the players at training is all optimism and excitement for the new season. Looking back at last season we had a few problems conceding, but while we had trouble with set pieces we also had one of the top defenses in the league. Our defense from last year is still here with the addition of Thomas Vermaelen, as well as Kos, and Djourou getting a vast amount of experience under their belts.
While we are at our best we showed we can dominate the likes of Chelsea and without Fabregas and Nasri we can still beat Manchester United. Many will look back on last season with disgust and a “sigh” but how far did we really go? We beat Barcelona, we finished in the top four, we made it to a Cup Final and the FA Cup Quarterfinal. It wasn’t a complete failure as we were challenging for four different pieces of silverware for a big part of the season. So what went wrong?
Rotation/depth – While our first team was devastating for much of last year, our back ups were less than impressive. Chamakh hit poor form, Rosicky was nowhere to be seen in the second half, Denilson…need I say more, Bendtner out of position, Arshavin out of form, Diaby backing up Song, Squillaci error prone and with the fact that our depth wasn’t good enough, our players became tired. Along with that our second team would play many of our cup games and because they couldn’t win them forced us into a second leg. Fabregas and Van Persie only had half of a season and Vermaelen missed it all.
Solution – We must gain more depth and I believe the team is already on that path, but any player that leaves must be replaced. With the emergence of many reserve and loan players coming back we could see a few “Wilshere’s” this year. The arrival of Gervinho will also bring more stability so that Bendtner will not have to play out of position in the right wing spot. In fact, Bendtner may not play much at all if he stays.
So are we going to pull a Liverpool? Not a chance, Arsenal have far more stability in the team than Liverpool and while our “deadwood” is considered to be average, they are still superior to mid table teams and players. Arsenal have much to prove this year with many already writing them off…but then again they are written off every year and not given credit for the quality they surely possess. Van Persie could well be over his injury prone stage and ready to get in a full season and will show that he is the best striker in the EPL. Arsenal will once again this year challenge for four different trophies and will again finish in the top four.
Not only that, we have a better manager than Liverpool who has been better than Dalglish, Benitez, and Roy Hodgsen. With the arrival of Henderson, and Charlie Adam, and possibly Stewart Downing Liverpool will fall further than they did last year. While Liverpool add them, Arsenal has bought a player who has more quality than all three in Gervinho. So don’t worry about your Arsenal, it’s a big year and Arsenal will again prove why they are one of the best teams in all of Europe!