Wenger targets Chilwell to replace Gibbs

It has been widely reported that Arsene Wenger is in the market for a new left-back. The French Manager does not think that Kieran Gibbs is of high enough quality, so they are looking for buyers for him.

Gibbs had a bright start to his Gunners career but has since dropped down the pecking order. For the last 18 months, he has had to play back up to Nacho Monreal.

A few seasons back you would have thought he would have been a certainty to be part of the England national team. With the Euros coming up this summer, he has fallen considerably down the pecking order. It is highly unlikely that he will be included in the England squad for the tournament. With only a handful of games remaining in the Premier League, unless Monreal gets injured his playing time is going to be very limited. So far this season he has only featured in 13 out of 28 league games. Out of those match, only two were ones that he started.

Gibbs has been a boyhood Gunners fan all his life. He joined the club at the age of 15. He was one of the best young products from the Arsenal academy to come through the ranks. The left-back has failed to improve as a player though and this season his duels records are the weakest in the arsenal defence. The player has only won 40% of his duels, which is one of the lowest in the Premier League.

It is believed he will leave in the summer with some clubs interested in his signature.

The player identified by Wenger to replace Gibbs is 19-year-old Chilwell. The left back has been outstanding and attracted a lot of interest from the top teams. He is now signed with Leicester City, who sit at the top of the Premier League.

Chilwell went on loan during November until January for Championship side Huddersfield Town. The left back made many starts and during his time, the defence only conceded eight goals.

Chilwell is still young and has a lot to learn before making the very top. He is prone to making defensive errors which he needs to cut out of his game if he wants to take the first team spot in the Arsenal side if he joins. The player though is very disciplined, and it is very rare he gets booked.

At the start of the season, many Gunners fans were making Champions League final predictions. They thought that this was the season that they could push on and finally win the trophy they do desperately want. After losing 2 – 0 in the first leg against Barcelona, it looks highly unlikely to happen.

Barcelona is the Champions League final predictions favorite and on current form they look unbeatable.It would be an enormous surprise for them not to at least finish in the top two teams.


John Hawthorne loves soccer and tries to take in as many games as possible. He writes about his Champions League predictions which get published on top footballing sites around the world. He has built up a base of followers who enjoy reading his pieces. If you are a keen follower of Champions League you may want to read more about his Champions League tip predictions.


Arsenal back on track at Bournemouth

After a poor spell in the league, Arsenal made moves to silence doubters in a convincing victory over Bournemouth.

Aaron Ramsey pulled the strings and set up both goals in the 2-0 win over the relegation-threatened south coast club. The first was a nice lob into the box to pick out Olivier Giroud, who headed it into Mesut Ozil’s path for the German to smash home past a helpless Artur Boruc. This was the Gunners’ first league goal in over five hours and everyone surely breathed a sigh of relief after thinking they had taken their foot off the pedal.

The first goal clearly gave the players some much needed confidence as they went on the attack again just over a minute later. Ramsey once again played the pivotal pass into the path of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who provided a neat finish by squaring the ball across goal to hit the post and go in.

Bournemouth had plenty of chances, more so than the away team, but they failed to put them away. Petr Cech once again proved why Arsene Wenger signed him by pulling off some outstanding saves to keep Arsenal in the game. Performances like these are absolutely vital for the Gunners to remain in contention for the title.

Arsenal's German midfielder Mesut Ozil celebrates after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Bournemouth at the Emirates Stadium in London on December 28, 2015. AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images

This win should giver Arsenal the impetus to continue their push for the Premier League title as they chase the leaders by five points coming into their crucial clash next week. They are at the time of writing level with Leicester City in the Premier League betting at 2/1 to win the title.

Bournemouth, meanwhile, are still five points clear of the relegation zone but they will need to pick up some points against Stoke and Everton in the next couple of weeks to avoid sinking further down. They face fellow newly-promoted side Watford at the end of February in what could prove to be an important game.

Arsenal were clear favourites going into the clash against Bournemouth, but that does not take away the fact that this was a well fought and important three points for the title challengers. After going four games without a win and not scoring in the last three, it was so important for Arsenal to really send a message to their rivals and remind them that they are still very much in the race as well.

Next week spells a thoroughly exciting weekend of football as all four top teams face off at the summit. Arsenal come up against the leaders Leicester while Tottenham Hotspur travel to Manchester City. It will be interesting to see if City manage to bounce back from their defeat to Leicester, and if they fail to do so it will only boost Spurs’ title credentials even further.

Wenger has already described the clash against the Foxes as a must-win game for them. If they lose, the gap will widen to eight points between themselves and the leaders.

Arsenal will be desperately hoping their big hitters can continue this momentum.


Season Preview: Odds on Arsenal to Win The Premier League

So the 2015/16 season is upon us and there is a genuine belief this time that Arsenal can mount a serious title challenge and perhaps win the Premier League.

The Guardian have put together a quick preview video as we look forward to the new season…

The Odds on Arsenal

Arsenal’s official betting partners are Paddy Power, and they make the Gunners 4/1 third favourites to win the title. If you want to place this bet with Paddy Power you can join them and get a free bet. In our (perhaps biased) opinion these are good odds and well worth a bet. I’ll explain why…

Nobody else has a better squad than we do this season. There’s strength in depth in most positions. Yes we’d maybe have liked another defensive midfielder, but I think it’s right to give Coquelin his chance there and Arteta can play the role as well. At centre back I think we’re stronger than our rivals already, and of course signing Cech is a huge boost.

It’s the attacking positions where we really excel. The strength in depth is huge in the wide positions especially. There are goal threats all over the pitch, so we should be able to cover even the most severe injury crisis. Our style of play was a joy to behold in the second half of last season, and if we can carry on that form between now and Christmas it should set us up superbly for a strong challenge.

Paddy Power might be offering better odds due to our partnership with them. I guarantee that there will be points in the season when we’ll be a lot shorter than 4/1 so I personally will be having a few quid on that before the seson kicks off this weekend.


The “Who will we buy?” Mentality

Arsene-WengerSanogo out, Walcott Impressed, Wenger complained about having had to fight a losing battle and, unsurprisingly, the hunt for a world-class striker continues to drag on. Did I mention that the early signs were pretty impressive, as Arsenal earned their first trophy, albeit friendly one, as they beat Everton 3-1 to grab the Asia Trophy – with some impressive performances too!

To begin with, although it is barely a surprise, Sanogo has not been deemed stable enough to stake a claim for a first-time spot this season either. Considering his talent, the best move was for him to move on loan, as Arsenal get to have him back next year, if he reaches his potential. The loan move to Ajax will do wonders for him, as we know what Ajax can do to young, talented players.

Considering the above, the number of strikers in this team is slowly but surely decreasing, which made Wenger experiment with Walcott as an out-and-out striker – he impressed. Whilst the super-fast striker impressed as a striker, the same cannot be said for when he was switched back to the wing. He faded away, and that goes to show why he never quite realized his potential. Looks like he need to be a striker, and it is down to Wenger to either risk with him there or let him go to realize his potential elsewhere where such strikers are needed.

Now that we’ve reached the striker topic, Wenger seems to be searching for more of a complete goal-scorer. One in the form of Benzema or Cavani. A target man who can get others into play as well as score – and he cannot be blamed, as Wenger already has several quick and agile offensive players at his disposal, whereas the only one fitting the bill, Giroud, is far from stable. Although theoretically, Giroud is just what Wenger needs, in practice he has been very far from efficient especially during the big games.

A striker such as Bergkamp, Henry, Adebayor or Van Persie is what Wenger is looking for, he wants to continue the trend. However, that hunt is going far from smooth. Higuain has been over-priced by Napoli president, Benzema doesn’t look like he will be leaving Real Madrid especially considering the uncertainty regarding Cristiano Ronaldo, and Cavani just doesn’t look interested in coming to the Emirates. Aubameyang has recently been linked, but you get the feeling h would be more of a desperate “Plan B” than actually a catch.

Whatever the outcome, the most important thing that we’ve realized lately is that we, as a club, are no longer in the “Who are we going to sell?” mentality. During the last 2 years, we’ve switched to the “Who are we going to buy?” mentality and that is a very important sign.  “”Will we win the title this season? You cannot guarantee that in the Premier League. I just say we want to. I promise we will fight to win. A manager has to take the best potential out of the team he has.” Were the words of Wenger, and there definitely is reason to take his words seriously as Arsenal are building towards a title-challenging team, especially if they sign the players they are reported to be looking for.


The saga called Arsenal’s transfer strategy

Arsène WengerTo begin with, let me calm the horses down first. We are living in 2015, an era of money-spinning headlines and people who become millionaires by simply creating stories that don’t even exist but grab attention among the football fanatics.

Sure, Arsenal are looking for a world class midfielder. Abou Diaby was released and Francis Coquelin is far from what the team needs to challenge for the title. That brings to attention the million and one players that were recently linked to Arsenal – some grandmas included, most probably! Any player out there that can potentially bring any views to the website or paper was linked.

Yes, Moussa Sissoko, Ilkay Gundogan, Morgan Schneiderlin and Ki Sung-Heung have all been credible players linked with the club as it still searches for a world-class holding midfielder, especially after losing out to Italians on Sami Khedira and Geoffrey Kondogbia.

However, every time I read that players such as Mario Gotze, Arturo Vidal, and William Carvalho are linked with Arsenal, I suffer an imaginary heavy blow on my face. We have so many technically gifted, small, tricky players in our team that we could open a shop simply for that area of the team. With reportedly only a £50 million transfer budget for this summer, before Cech’s arrival, Wenger needs to man up and make some bold moves already on what he actually needs. Weeks ago, we wrote the need for a world-class holding midfielder and, except losing out on a few of them, there has been no movement in that front. Oh and, did I forget to mention renewing Mikel Arteta’s contract? Kind of bad news for those expecting the costly world-class holding midfielder. Now if we spend between £30-£50 million on yet another costly attacking midfielder such as the ones mentioned above, where will we be going with regards to our woes, including defensive but especially the striker department?

Walcott is a hair away from another injury and is far from a reliable striker, Giroud has one good match in three (if lucky), and Welbeck, well let’s just say I have strong suspicions that it was a perfectly planned secret plot by Alex Ferguson.

The team needs a top striker if we are to challenge for the title. Think Diego Costa or Sergio Aguero, or Luis Suarez… familiar? Yes, those are names of strikers that spearheaded the offense for title-challenging teams in recent years. And that is exactly what we need if we want silverware or if we want to get rid of the Quarter-Finalist Forever tag in Champions League.

We need a player such as Radamel Falcao, who Chelsea just snapped despite already having a certain deadly finisher in Diego Costa. Karim Benzema is not far off the mark, if strong attempts are made. Rumour have it that Ronaldo will be used as the main striker next year, so Benitez might well be interested to offload Benzema for a healthy sum rather than have someone of his worth sit on the bench. Alternatively, Napoli might well be convinced to part with star striker Gonzalo Higuain for similarly healthy sum. They’ve been holding tight onto him, but money talks, right? Besides, Higuain is well considered to be looking at his options, so the club might well be powerless in stopping him if a club of higher statute such as Arsenal come looking.

Either way, Wenger must listen to Thierry Henry and millions others, and finally get us that star finisher we have been itching for since the days of Robin Van Persie, as the latest.


All Hail Cheeky South American Alexis!

alexis-sanchez-copaIf you haven’t been watching Copa America, you might as well reconsider your whole life schedule… and priorities!

With 47 (most often sensational) goals scored in 22 matches played throughout Chile, the hosts deservedly ended up as champions of the fascinating tournament – and to top it up, our gem of a player Alexis Sanchez ended up in an even more sensation manner, through no less than a cheeky chip as the ultimate penalty ensured Chile’s first ever Copa America.

Boasting the likes of Barcelona goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, Mauricio Isla and Artur Vidal of Juventus, Inter’s Gary Medel and especially our own Alexis Sanchez among other quality talents, Chile was never off the mark for the trophy come the end of the tournament. However, considering the quality among Argentina, Brazil, and even Colombia’s ranks, it still constitutes for some top performances in order to win it – especially the final against Argentina!

Now, although Sanchez did not quite impress throughout the tournament despite playing all 6 matches for Chile, he was nonetheless a very valuable part of the team that went all the way to the final. He only scored 1 goal, out of a staggering 21 attempts – only 4 of which were actually on target! His contribution was however during the overall play, as he was his usual overly dedicated self and can boast the fact that he is among the top 5 players in kilometers run as well as fouls, both suffered and committed. Being a striker though, the 12 fouls he committed should give him food for some concern.

His teammate, Eduardo Vargas, ended up joint top goal-scorer, along with Peruo’s Paolo Guerrero – which also secured them a spot on the three way attack of the tournament, alongside the genius Messi. However, as opposed to Guerrero having to play on his own, and with all due respect to Vargas’ quality performances, they were made easier by the work-rate that Sanchez put in distracting and pulling defenders, thus opening spaces for Vargas to do his finishing. That is teamwork.

Now, although you can’t argue that Sanchez can compete with Messi, he can at least boast that he helped his nation lift a trophy, something the Barcelona genius cannot say. And this whole experience was topped in the best, and most unimaginable way ever. After Higuain’s surprising miss on penalty shootouts, Sanchez had the chance to win the first ever Copa America trophy for his nation, in front of tens of thousands people. Now, let’s not forget the likes of penalty experts such as Roberto Baggio and David Beckham (did I forget John Terry?) in such pressuring moments. Sanchez however, showed a composure of steel and not only scored, but did it magnificently through a cheeky chip. Admiring.

On the other hand, while Sanchez celebrates the trophy, Messi is left wondering what could it have been. Or, he might also be regretting the fact that Andres Iniesta and Xavi were not born in Buenos Aires, or anywhere else in Argentina.

Lavezzi even discussed his team mate, though it became some kind of a joke and a teasing target around the football population. “At some point Leo [Messi] is going to win something with Argentina,” he told reporters.”We thought this was an opportunity to make our mark, but unfortunately we could not. It hurts a lot.”

Alexis shall now have a much-deserved break, and come back stronger to Emirates Stadium, with even further belief in himself – though he never lacked that. After the final, he even told reporters that “We talked about it in Brazil that we were going to win the Copa America. This is really a great generation, we deserve this” and one can hardly argue with that!


Checking the Czech Cech

1473376Congratulations! Arsenal just finalized the first buy of the summer.

As much as we would love the first line to be directly related to the topic and for the purchased player to be a certain Czech legend by the name of Peter, it is not. It is rather a 16 year old Romanian super talent – or at least that’s what they say of him.

On the other hand, the Peter Cech saga has been dragging on and it wouldn’t be completely out of question for this saga to become one of those boring, summer-long dramas that never seem to end. One day, he is completing his medical with Arsenal, the next day he is staying at Chelsea.

Yesterday, Goal.com reported that Cech is about to complete his medical soon.

Petr Cech will undergo a medical on Friday before completing a move to Arsenal next week after the Gunners agreed a fee with Chelsea for the veteran goalkeeper.” Goal.com reported.

“The Czech Republic international has already agreed personal terms with the north Londoners and is on the verge of ending his 11-year association with the Blues.”

However, considering that Cech was already an Arsenal player last week, according to media as well as team-mates such as John Terry, these reports are not to be trusted too much.

Back to the man himself, Cech is undoubtedly one of the top goalkeepers in the world – or at least he was. We’ve barely seen him play this season, so that would be a bold statement. Some might ask, “but why is he a reserve then?”, which is a perfectly valid question in most cases. However, he has a certain Thibaut Courtois, who himself is one of the best goalkeepers worldwide, if not in Top 3 already. In fact, Arsenal goalkeeping legend Bob Wilson already included Cech on his top 3, along with Thibaut Courtois and Manuel Neuer. That might sound biased, but he is not way too far off the mark.

“He brings authority, complete calm in the way he keeps goal, and presence. If Arsenal manage to get hold of Petr Cech and get another one or two players I think they will challenge for the title.” Wilson continued, and we can’t argue with him. Despite Wenger’s insistence on already having excellent choices for a starting spot in goal, the likes of Szczęsny and Ospina are sunlights behind the likes of world-class keepers like Cech, and this would bring Arsneal to a new level, probably securing at least 10 points for the next season alone.

Now this is a position where Arsenal have been lacking ever since David Seaman’s golden days. We’ve seen the likes of Alex Manninger, Stuart Taylor, Richard Wright, Manuel Almunia, Vito Mannone, Lukasz Fabianski and lately Wojciech Szczesny all try to make a name between Arsenal’s posts, even Jens Lehmann could be considered to have failed to live up to the absolute expectations. It is about time we get someone that can potentially bring us the same stability Seaman did, at least for the next two or three years. We must not forget Cech is already 33 years old.


There it is, the new season!




Today felt like that long, loading wait that we get when we click on “Continue”, as the player and team stats go into archive and everyone starts from scratch, including the upcoming season’s fixtures. That proceeding that makes you wait a full 4-5 minutes until it completely transforms from one season to another.

And yes, it is the Football Manager computer game I am talking about, but I felt in a quite similar way today. The messages, scratch that, news were full of news about the upcoming fixtures, there were reviews on some of the most important dates, as well as analysis on how the season would begin, proceed, and end. Analysts and commentators are all having their say, and I keep reading every last bit of it, just like the dozen messages we get on this day in Football Manager.

The only difference I’ve found so far, is the sour feeling I still have after watching our beloved Alexis Sanchez run his heart out for 90 minutes during Chile’s Copa America match against Mexico, playing impressively only to fail to grab 3 deserved points – life is not fair at all, I tell you that. Sanchez, in his typical style, ran tirelessly throughout the field, defense and offense. And not only that, he was also the 2nd most participating player in the match after playmaker Jorge Valdivia, with 79 touches in total. His technical skills were on show as well, making no less than 4 typically dazzling runs. His shooting however, did let him down – he recorded only 1 shot on target, out of 4 in total. Vidal stole the show with two goals and an assist, but Sanchez was the understated star.

Now, you might be asking what that has to do with Arsenal’s new season, and I won’t blame you. But the (sour) feeling I got during that match, watching Sanchez play magnificently only to fail to grab the final result, is exactly the feeling I’ve been getting throughout the season for Arsenal – and not only that, but probably the last few seasons as well. The team plays impressive, determined football, yet they lack the final results. It just seems to go with our fortune. Is it our fate?

I certainly hope that change for next season, it is about time we fight for that damned title, where we belong.

The opening match fixture has been kind to us. We usually do fairly well on opening days, having won nine, drawn four, and lost only one match during the latest years – which, I know, could have been better, but so could our final league positions. On the other hand, our opening day opponents, West Ham, hold the record for most losses during the opening weekend, with 9 losses already. The stats are good, but not worth a lot. At least we hope so, as we also hold the record for most red cards in the opening weekend, with 6 in total.

The third match of the season pits us against Arsenal, as the first Top 5 derby of the season. This, I believe, is going to be one of the most important matches of the season. It could make or break our season, as recording a third victory in as many games would set the base for a good run of results – and I know I am underestimating the first two opponents in West Ham and Crystal Palace but, truth be told, we really ought to beat them.

Arsenal won’t be resting on their laurels even if and after emerging victorious against Liverpool though, as we will be traveling to Premier League champions Chelsea on week 6 and hosting Manchester on week 8. Everton and Tottenham come in weeks 10 and 12, respectively, before the showdown with Manchester City a few weeks after. Basically, the fixtures seem to be fair, as it seems like we are going to have a balance between playing teams of different strengths. It almost looks like one week we will be playing a bottom 10 team, the next a top 10 team. The all-important Boxing Day match must also not be forgotten, as we have been pitted to play recently promoted and less than illustrious Bournemouth at home, which is also very good news.

About time we finally ended up satisfied with the fixtures, or at least we should be.


The Holding Midfielder Dilemma

Arsenal Transfer GalleryThere is absolutely no secret that the holding position is Arsenal’s priority for this summer. After losing out to Juventus for Sami Khedira, players such as Morgan Schneiderlin, Geoffrey Kondogbia, and even Swansea’s impressive Ki Sung-Yeung have been touted as possible arrivals for this summer.

One of Arsenal’s main weaknesses this summer has been link between defense and midfield, especially a Vieira-type of player who can both guard the defensive line as well as have the technical skills to not only initiate counter-attacks but also support the offensive line when needed. Experiments with Wilshere and Arteta didn’t work quite so well due to their defensive incapability, Flamini’s years have taken its toll, and Diaby has been very far from stable due to his injury proneness and non-consistency. Coquelin is a very talented player but not quite at the level Arsenal need.

To begin with, Sami Khedira was touted as a superb choice despite his advancing years. A World Cup winner with Germany as well as several years of world-class quality experience with Real Madrid would ensure consistently high performances for the gunners – not to mention the fact that he would come for free due to being out of contract. However, it was not to be as Champions League runner-ups Juventus were a more attractive option for him.

Losing out on Khedira brought two names in front pages Schneiderlin and Kondogbia. Whilst the former was one of Southampton’s impressive strengths on their way to the top 3 positions in the league for half of the season and ultimately Europa League qualification, the latter helped Monaco to a 3rd place in Ligue 1 and Champions League quarter-finals. Both options are expensive ones, thought to be valued at about £25-£30 million by their clubs, but are still quite different from each other.

Schneiderlin has already been playing in England for many years, the last few of them in Premier League. He has brought Southampton up from Ligue 1, has adapted to the English football, and is basically a very smart player capable of playing as a defensive, deep-playmaker. On the other hand, standing at 1.9m, Kondogbia is less of a creative midfielder but rather a very physical and technical one. He can guard the defense superbly whilst helping the team move out from pressure and hitting back. Although Schneiderlin, mainly thanks to his English experience, is the more secure investment, Kondogbia fits the bill according to Arsenal’s needs – basically, he is the unguaranteed version of our legend Vieira.

As a cheaper alternative to the above, Ki Sung-Yeung has also been mentioned as a possible arrival. The 26 year old South Korean not only is already an experienced international and captain of his national team, but he also showed his skills and mindset in leading Swansea’s impressive season. Finishing at 8th in Premier League for Swansea’s stature is one great achievement, and they have Sung-Yeung to thank. As is typical of Asians however, they are more known for their technique and vision than the physical part of the game, which Arsenal seem to lack. Sung-Yeung is very creative especially with long-range passing and set-pieces, but is far from the anchor-man Arsenal are looking for. Whilst he would be a superb addition to the team, it would require one of the creative players to be dropped or sold if he is to come, as well as a world-class holding midfielder.

Another name that hasn’t quite been mentioned lately is Liverpool’s Lucas Leiva. The Brazilian has been less than happy at Liverpool and there have been strong rumors linking him with a move to Inter Milan. Arsenal would be smart to look into that possibility.

Ultimately, you get the feeling Arsenal will either invest in a world-class holding midfielder or hold on to their better-than average options already at their disposal. It simply isn’t worth splashing cash on any player that doesn’t guarantee at least the potential of Vieira.


Season Review

hqdefaultThinking back to August 2014, 3rd place would constitute great success. Bare some of the ultras and other over-ambitious people, this Arsenal team was never expected to really fight for the title just yet. The team had just switched strategies and began signing one superstar per summer, and the project is meant to be a long-term one which expected Arsenal to actually fight for the title during the next 2-3 years.

Now back to January, people would bet their money that Arsenal were far from even qualifying for Champions League, let alone end up on one of the top three places which guarantees a direct qualification to the group stage. Up until November, the team had only managed 2 victories in the first 8 matches. By January, things were still looking far from expectancy. There were several injuries to the likes of Ozil, Wilshere, and Debuchy among others, thus the team was far from compact. Performances were very unstable.

Although Arsenal’s real run began with the 4-1 victory over Newcastle on 13th of December, the team got their full gas on starting on 11th of January, with a 3-0 victory over Stoke. The next couple of weeks saw Arsenal record an impressive 17 victories out of 19 games in all competitions – leading to hopes for a title challenge comeback. Although the last few games experienced a drop in performance and results, that is reasoned by the fact that Chelsea had already gotten too far and were more or less sure of the title. The 2nd and 3rd places barely have any difference, thus the morale and motivation were lacking throughout the Arsenal camp. When it mattered, the team responded magnificently with a 4-0 victory over Aston Villa in the FA Cup Final.

If the season showed us something, it is that the team is still very inexperienced and, thus, unstable. They have the talent to do wonders but lack the consistency. This leads us to the problem of not having invested in superstars before. We barely have any internationally experienced superstars in the team right now, and that is costing us. This summer, the club are expected to invest in yet another superstar of the likes of Ozil and Sanchez.

To begin with, although Wenger likes to insist Szczęsny and Ospina are good enough, I really believe we should be looking to grab a world-class goalkeeper sooner rather than later – that, however, shall not be a priority.

Moving on to defence, the central part is well covered with the likes of Mertesacker, Koscielny and the talented Chambers. However, if the team wants to challenge for the title, a world-class central defender has to come in. Players of Terry’s and Kompany’s calibre are what make a title-challenging team, and with all due respect, neither Mertesacker nor Koscielny live up to that standard at this time. The left back is in good standing, with Gibbs and Monreal as a backup. However, although Debuchy should be considered to be good enough, his season was hindered with too many injuries. If he is not a guarantee for next season, Arsenal must consider replacing him with a top right-back.

Midfield is the most sensitive area, as the likes of Arteta, Rosicky, Flamini, and even Cazorla are not getting any younger. Additionally, Cazorla is not even a natural central midfielder, although he has been impressing there this season. Talented Ramse, Ozil and even Wilshere are being used in wings, as are natural wingers Chamberlain and Walcott. Wilshere shall hopefully have a full season this team, away from injuries. However, it is a must for the team
to sign a world-class central defender. One with the physique and technique of Vieira.

Offensively, although the team is well covered in quantity, some will argue the same regarding quality. While Sanchez is one world-class player, he is not the target man or finisher he needs as a partner. Giroud can have his magic moments, but he can also make himself look like a clown. Henry claimed that Arsenal need to get rid of him if they want to challenge for the title, and I think many agree with that. Giroud is a good striker, but not good enough for a Premier League winner. Wenger hasn’t shown anything impressive since his transfer from Manchester United, whereas Campbell and Sanogo are still too young to lead the frontline. The team definitely needs a Van Persie in there, but one who actually fits with Sanchez.

The base for a powerful title push is there, it is now up to the Arsenal management to ensure that the right weak points are strengthened, and if we don’t see a title contender this season, we definitely will next season.