Tomorrow Arsenal face Manchester City in our last pre-season friendly of the summer and it will be this game that will more clearly indicate how we will face up against the highest opposition going into the upcoming season.
With the 2013/14 Premier League season fast approaching, these last 2 months have given Arsenal fans a whole host of emotions to deal with. Following our supposed ‘success story’ in May, we all had high hopes for the summer and although pre-season in Asia was highly effective, our transfer business proved not to be. A terrible Emirates Cup didn’t help the matter and this Saturday’s game against Manchester City will be the icing on the disillusion cake if it all goes wrong.
But anyway, here’s hoping we actually pull up our socks, fire each other up and be ready to not only face our toughest Pre-Season opponent but also a team we will be possible facing as a challenger for the top league spaces.
Manchester City have the opportunity to show off their new star players in Negredo, Navas, Fernandinho and Jovetic against Premier League opposition, to see how they all do, while Arsenal of course have nobody but Yaya Sanogo.
We will no doubt line up with what is likely to be our main starting XI when all fit, and I expect that to be not much different from last season. Of course it wouldn’t be any different considering we haven’t made any real additions and with Sanogo heavily unlikely to feature as a regular (well I hope he isn’t!) I think the line-up will be something like this:
Sagna Mertesacker Koscielny(if fit) Gibbs
Walcott Giroud Cazorla
Personally I would like to see Wilshere drop back and Cazorla take the CAM spot, with Podolski out wide but I’ve seen several people point out, both at games and on the web, the fact that Wilshere and Cazorla don’t seem to be able to work well with each other in this position. Don’t get me wrong it’s a strong team, but nothing that can do any real damage in the Premier League and so that’s why additions are vital.
This game will really determine how good we can be and the heights we can reach for next season, however of course it doesn’t mean everything. If we win, that’s not an excuse not to buy but if we lose its not the end of the world and all it shows is our desperate need for signings. Whatever the outcome of the game, I think the main aspect of the whole thing is that we really do need to start signing some players.