Thoughts on the new season

After precisely 4 months without a single post, and with the new season starting tomorrow, I think its time I was passing my latest wisdom regarding Arsenal onto the general public.

My previous post was done after losing at home to West Ham. I didn’t post anything between that game and the end of the season – little changed in that time, and not a lot happened at all, apart from getting a draw at home to Chelsea on the last day to earn United the title, which was amusing.

The summer started badly, and not just because of the weather!

The announcement that Thierry Henry had joined Barcelona came as a shock to me – especially as he’d previously said that he would see out his career at Arsenal. My first thought was that his departure was going to hit us hard – and if I’d not been so lazy, I was going to blog about it. But now the dust has settled, I’ve had time to think about it and we’ve bought some other players, I don’t feel so bad. True, he was (and probably always will be) the greatest player I have ever seen at Arsenal and I am disappointed I will never get to see him play for us again. But players have a fairly short time at the top of their game, strikers doubly so. The fact is that we played a lot better without him last season and he is 30 years old now, so maybe the time was right?

After that West Ham game, I wrote some thoughts on our current weaknesses, so lets have a look at what’s changed since then.

“It is not just a case of needing another world class striker or two (Baptista is not up to the job, nor is Aliadiere).”

Thank the lord, but we have not gone ahead and purchased Baptista – I don’t care how good he is for Brazil, he could not play in the Premiership and that’s the league we play in, so I’m glad he’s gone home. We’ve also offloaded Aliadiere which is a good move, I think. Da Silva is an unknown prospect so we’ll see if he can finish off some of the nice moves that we know we can produce. I firmly believe that RVP will score a lot of goals this season and we still have the much-loved Adebayor in support. We still need another striker, I believe, but maybe Theo or Bendtner can fill that role at some point?

“It is not just a case of needing another 2 or 3 midfielders who can score goals regularly.”

Midfielders who score goals regularly do not have a place at Arsenal. Freddie has gone now, so we’ve actually got LESS people who can do this, not more.

“It is not just a case of needing one or two defenders who can not only defend set pieces with their head but score goals with it at the other end.”

No new defenders have arrived apart from Sagna and Nordtveit – I think the current defence just needs to learn how to defend in the air. The loan of Djourou to Birmingham is an odd one, as I thought he was one of the better headers of a ball.

“It is not just a case of needing a proper captain who can inspire the team even when he does not play well himself.”

Would it be Gilberto or would it be Toure? As it turns out it will be Gallas – the man who has spent most of the summer slagging off the club in the press. Is this appointment one of genius or madness? We shall see, but I have a feeling it might be insanity. Toure is my choice, as he is the one man who inspires the team in the style of Tony Adams. Lets hope Arsene hasn’t got this one wrong.

All in all, I don’t think its likely that this next season will be any different from last. I think United will win it, Chelsea will be 2nd, Liverpool 3rd and we’ll finish 4th.

Despite losing the best player in the world, I am quite optimistic about things in general. No-one expects us to be any good this season and people are even talking about some other team from North London getting into the top 4 above us. Its back to the good old days, when we were crap.

Ahhhhh (relaxes back into chair, dreamily imagining David Hillier and Colin Pates) …

Categories Arsenal/Football

Post Author: Simon Barnett

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