So far Arsenal have just the addition of young French under 20 international striker Yaya Sanogo to their name in terms of incoming players this summer. We are desperate for some more additions however as the club continues to struggle to answer our pleas because of being outbid, slow or inflated prices, or whatever other excuses Wenger can think of, we are quite simply starting to get very concerned that with the Premier League season being under 3 weeks away that we won’t be ready in time.
At this current moment we are no better than last year and it looks set to be a battle for 3rd and 4th place alongside the usual suspects of Spurs, Chelsea and even possibly Liverpool and Everton. It’s not going to be easy, especially as all of our rivals have been strengthening, but has it ever crossed your mind that technically we are worse than last year?
Arsenal have let a whole host of players go this summer, some of which will make little to absolutely no difference to the squad, but also some that had a chance of being a fringe player that could have stepped in when we needed them. We let a load of youth and reserve players go this summer, 14 if I am correct and this included the likes of Sanchez Watt and Craig Eastmond who were never going to make it, so these players haven’t really changed anything in the squad, except free up some small wages and some possibly squad places, depending on their age.
We have also released Arshavin, Denilson and Squillaci. All three never really had a chance of playing for Arsenal again, although I know a lot of people still liked Arshavin. I certainly did and felt he was an option if we needed him, however on £75k per week he wasn’t worth it. So these players too haven’t made a difference to our squad.
But now we come onto some players who have actually made our overall team weaker by leaving. Santos, Mannone, Djourou and Coquelin have all left this summer. The first two have left on a permanent deal and I felt Mannone especially was a disappointment to leave. I felt Don Vito could have provided cover for Szczesny, especially as I thought Fabianski was on his way out. But it is with Djourou and Coquelin that I am particularly disappointed about losing. At the moment we have just two fit centre backs and even then Koscielny is on alert with a possible injury problem. Although Djourou wasn’t the best defender he would have provided admirable cover in situations like this. Coquelin too could have actually got a lot of games this season, as Arteta becomes older and so probably will lose a lot of his stamina and fitness.
With all these exits and possibly still 4 players to go in Gervinho, Bendtner, Chamakh and Park, it technically makes our squad worse than last season. Not because of the players that have left because the majority never played, but we are worse in the sense that our backup players have been reduced and so if a mass injury list does occur we are basically screwed at the moment. Wenger has got a hell of a lot of spending to do in this last remaining month, not just to strengthen the first team but also the backup squad players, unless he plans on promoting half of the reserves squad, which in itself isn’t something I wouldn’t be overly surprised by.