Despite admittedly enjoying one hell of an entertaining pre-season campaign across the course of the summer, the Emirates faithful once again found themselves disappointed in their side after losing at home on the opening day of the season.
It seems Arsene Wenger’s team somewhat underestimated their opposition in West Ham last Sunday, which only serves to illustrate the same old problems that seem to afflict Arsenal with every passing season. The Gunners simply have to win these kind of matches and get over their complacency issues if they ever want to be considered true title threats once again.
However, whilst last weekend’s opening day defeat will still likely be the cause of great frustration for Arsenal fans far and wide, the vast majority of the new campaign still remains to be decided obviously. The Emirates faithful therefore have no reason to give up on their title hopes just yet.
So, even though the prospect of recording another ‘Invincibles’ season in north London is already well and truly off the cards, Arsenal can still do their fans proud throughout the upcoming season…
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Perhaps the most suitable starting point within this whole discussion arrives in the form of Petr Cech, the club’s only real marquee signing so far this summer. The former Chelsea shot-stopper came to the Emirates within an atmosphere of great excitement and sensation – for he was supposed to be the keeper Arsenal fans had been waiting for since the days of David Seaman.
In line with his previously untouchable reputation among the Stamford Bridge faithful, many Gunners supporters immediately took to the signing of Petr Cech as a vast improvement on what the club already had at its disposal in the goal-keeping department. The likes of David Ospina and Wojciech Szczesny simply couldn’t compare with the Czech Republic international before the season had got underway.
And although Cech nonetheless proved at fault for both goals conceded against West Ham last weekend, such a statement still certainly remains true for Arsenal Football Club. The 33-year-old will have a strong season at the Emirates this year, once he fully establishes a working relationship with Wenger’s first choice centre-backs, Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny. Any other response to Cech’s mistakes last time out ultimately can’t be viewed as anything more than knee-jerk reactions to say the very least.
When moving on to other areas of Arsene Wenger’s starting XI however, a few more significant problems nonetheless seem to have taken shape. As it stands, Arsenal currently have too many similar assets in the play-maker role among the club’s midfield options. Without another defensive midfielder in place for the Gunners this term, the whole season could potentially end in disaster.
Arsenal also need to strengthen their entire back-line ahead of the 2015/16 campaign, as well as looking to replace Oliver Giroud up-top next season – for if they don’t – the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, and even Manchester United, will likely begin to dominate over the north Londoners as the modern era plays out. Wenger’s current squad simply doesn’t have enough depth in the cold light of day, regardless of what some sections of the Emirates faithful often lead the rest of the Premier League to believe.
However, with a little bit more squad tinkering before the summer transfer window eventually comes to a close – a task that every manager in the Premier League seemingly has to do these days if they want their side to keep up with the competition – Arsenal will nevertheless be in good shape for the upcoming campaign.
The Gunners have somewhat distanced themselves from being known as a selling club in recent seasons, which has only benefitted the current batch of players on the books at the Emirates. If Wenger can successfully call upon the likes of Theo Walcott, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil to do the business for his side without the threat of long-term injury next term, then the Premier League top-spot certainly remains a viable goal for the club to aim for this season.
It may call for the need to sacrifice a strong run in the Champions League or any of the domestic cup competitions for their league campaign to really take off, and god knows Wenger can’t lose many more games at home to inferior opposition – but with perhaps one more marquee name on board at the Emirates this summer – 2015/16 definitely has the potential to end in massive success for Arsenal.
The Emirates faithful need only stay positive and hope that their side learn from their mistakes last time out against the plucky Hammers.