Get this, from the mouth of Arsene Wenger, from yesterday, heading up to the match with Swansea – the Arsenal squad is now stronger than it was before the exit of key duo Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri. Coming after the 8-2 defeat and the international break, Wenger seems strangely optimistic.
Arsene Wenger went against everything he believed in after that defeat, rushing into the transfer market with the bags of cash he got to spend, on actual veteran, experienced players. The hell with potential can developing for the future – One crushing blow and its time to press the panic button. As if years of failing to win a title and showing a lack of composure in every decisivie or do-or-die matches weren’t enough.
Yossi Benayoun from Chelsea, Mikel Arteta from Everton, Andre Santos from Fenerbahce (the only impressive signing), Per Mertesacker and Park Chu-Young. Feeling some needs? Yep. Depth of the squad improved? Obviously. Andre Santos is even a borderline world class left back to really help the team in an area of need. Mertesacker, despitr obvious weaknesses, can really help the usually completely lost and confused defense.
The rest? Benayoun never consistently delivered, and that was before his injuries and nearly a year of absence from the pitches. Mikel Arteta? Good, but far from brilliant or possessing that aggressive nature that Arsenal lack in droves at the middle of the park. Park Chu-Young? I don’t see him starting for the side right now.
The squad is stronger, if you look at the squad we have now and you imagine Wilshere and Diaby coming back, and Vermaelen, I think we have a more mature squad. Wenger has a point about experience, but I don’t think the team is actually better. He has a huge problem at goal, which he didn’t address, and a bad goalkeeper always causes problems with the back four, no matter how good or experienced.
According to Wenger, Benayoun and Arteta fit in with the style of play he likes to see Arsenal play – I expect a big impact from Arteta, and as well from Benayoun because they are players I rate highly for their technical quality. For me they are mobile and technically gifted, and that’s the game we want to play.
Having Swansea as their first opponents since that day against Manchester United does help a bit – The first Welsh side in the Premiership, who have yet to score a goal after three league matches.