Who is the best player on the current Arsenal squad? Santi Cazorla? Theo Walcott? Jack Wilshere? It doesn’t really matter. It doesn’t seem like Arsene Wenger is getting close to signing a big name as the season opener rapidly approaches, so all talk about being title challengers should be regarded as nonsense, no matter who speaks of it.
And Wenger, in his usual cryptic way of trying to make the world of Arsenal look like a better and more promising place than it really is, once again tries to spark optimism among fans and the media for no reason at all, without having anything to base it on.
With or without additions, we can be title challengers next season. It’s hard to say if Wenger is simply trying to keep fans and shareholders calm and happy, but it’s even harder to think he actually believes what he’s saying. This exact same squad was nowhere near challenging for a title last season (or any season for the last five years for that matter), and yet Wenger is trying to make it sound like wins over teams in Japan actually mean anything to their chances of success in the Premier League.
Arsenal began the summer by showing off their financial power, at least by speaking about. Doing something about it? It seems like they’re in pursuit of Luis Suarez, and were probably in the Gonzalo Higuain race for a short while. Anything else? It seems like Wenger is confident his team is good enough in every other aspect except for the attack, because when teams do make moves for players these days, someone gets a hold of it well before there’s a complete deal.
Jack Wilshere might finally turn out to be the midfielder of the future and present for Arsenal, but Santi Cazorla is still a better player. The problem with Wilshere is that he cancels out other players around him as he forces the ball to go through him on almost every possession. This makes Arsenal predictable, and not as good as it can be.
Not having a defensive midfielder – a real one, and not a converted Mikel Arteta, is going to hurt once again. Maybe the success of the Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker combo late last season is slightly blinding, but it’s not good enough to hold down the fort for an entire season, especially when the full backs and defensive midfielder issue are far from world class.
The same problem, each offseason, keeps coming back. Arsenal talk big in order to keep season ticket buyers happy, but the bottom line is that no big name is coming, and for now, no name is coming at all. The gunners have three weeks before the beginning of the season to bring in a new player, and they need more than one, but for now, it seems like it’ll once again look like more of a panic buy to make people satisfied about some transfer market activity (like in 2011) than actually signing players Arsenal really need and will benefit from.