Wednesday, 29 May 2013

What Do Arsenal Need To Do To Become Challengers

With the season over thoughts will inevitably turn to the summer transfer dealings of all the top Premier League clubs. With fourth place secured on the final day Arsenal can now concentrate on the important business of improving their team and squad. There's money in the bank to spend, but what sort of players should Arsenal be looking for.

In my opinion the most urgent need is for a player who can make things happen in the attacking third. Too often this season Arsenal simply ran out of ideas when they approached the opposing penalty area. There is no doubting Santi Cazorla's ability to pick a pass, but he needs willing targets making the right runs to find with those passes.

What Arsenal have being missing far too often has been a player to take defenders on and beat them. When a player csn go past opponents with the ball it opens up opportunities for other players around him. Players with that ability aren't easy to find, but with the money Arsenal have to spend surely they must have somebody in mind. Ideally I'd love to see such a player who also has the ability to score from distance join the team, but it's a task which won't be easy to accomplish. 

I think the club also need to find another striker to challenge Olivier Giroud for a first team place. Giroud has had a reasonable first season at the club, but surely he will improve if he has some genuine competition. Both Nicklas Bendtner and Mariuane Chamakh may currently be Arsenal players, but their futures lie elsewhere.

Lukas Podoldki played as the central striker for the last four games of the season, but I can't see him being a real alternative in that position either. Arsenal have had world class strikers at the club during Arsene Wenger's reign and maybe they might be able to do so again. Would it be such a bad thing if Giroud was to play second fiddle to a player who could lead the line and score 30 goals in a season too.

Of course the biggest obstacle to Arsenal signing players of genuine quality is the money being thrown around by some other clubs. When clubs with bottomless pockets come in for any player Arsenal are interested in it's very hard for Arsenal to compete. You can be sure that any agent worth his fees will be letting all of those clubs know about every single player Arsenal show an interest in.

Arsenal had shown genuine interest in players such as Juan Mata and Eden Hazard before they joined Chelsea but simply could not compete with the fees and wages offered. When Monaco can afford to spend the equivalent of Arsenal's entire transfer budget on two players from Porto it makes life very difficult for Arsenal. Despite having the richest man in the UK owning 30% of the club they will as always only spend within the limits of their budget.

Other purchases could depend on what players leave and might possibly have to be replaced. Bacary Sagna is certainly a strong favourite to leave the club with only one year left on his contract and if he goes another right back will have to be purchased. The demise of Thomas Vermaelen has led to many rumours of Arsenal losing their captain for the third summer in a row and it has to be a possibility too.

I hope Vermaelen will stay and fight for his place but I could understand if he decided to leave as he is obviously the third choice centre back now. Even if he stays the club will surely have to buy another central defender to bring the numbers up to enough to last the whole of the new season. I can't see Johan Djourou coming back from his loan spell to fight for a place so I think at least one central defender will be purchased.

Despite not winning a trophy since 2005 Arsenal have competed for trophies in most of the seasons since then. It's only in the last two seasons that they have not really looked like having a chance of winning anything. They need to return to a level where they will again be truly competitive with the best teams in the Premier League and in Europe too.

Despite all of their problems in those two seasons they have still shown that they're not too far from getting there. Don't forget that the two teams in this season's Champions League final have both suffered at the hands of Arsenal in the last two seasons. With a few players added to the current squad there's no reason why they can't take the next step and find the consistency needed to put in a real challenge.

It should certainly make for an interesting summer in the transfer market and hopefully by the time the players are back for pre season training the squad will have a much stronger look to it. 

That's it for today.

See you tomorrow.


  1. They shd get a master tactician. Compared to other epl teams.the gunners take a long time to shoot and score.
    Tactically they are a one system team.All the other teams needs to do is have a massed defence to frustrate the gunners and hit on the break.

    1. Maybe a player who can take players on and bear them would help to open up massed defences.