Posted on August 08, 2017 by ADMIN

Arsenal season Preview – Our squad, our rivals and our expectations

Season preview – there still is some work to do. by Konstantin Mitov

Alright people, the season is knocking on the door with just a few days separating us from a game against Leicester and this is my preview of how I see us doing throughout the season in the different tournaments, but lets start first with a squad review.

We made two big signings in Lacazette and Kolasinac and both look like they will improve the squad. We look strong at the CF and WB positions as well as attacking midfield with lots of options to chose from, but central midfield needs a Cazorla replacement and at CB is the other area where most of our problems will come.

Onto the tournaments, the EFL cup will most likely be sacked again and I expect not more than a 1/4 final there. The FA cup is a trophy that we’ve won a lot recently and it practically saved Arsene’s career here, so I think with the amount of players we’ve got, we’re likely to do well in the competition again as it is not the main priority of the other big teams.

The Europa League… I’m not happy we’re playing there, but I want us to win this competition and I feel that with a bit of luck from the teams that will come from the CL we an do it. As I said, we have a huge squad, so we should be able to put a few youngsters and enough squad players to go past the group stages and from the 1/4 finals up if we play our best squad, we can win it and why not? It’s a European trophy which I hope we can take home.

And now the big one, the Premier league. Wenger hinted we will focus on this tournament and with the current state of teams I expect us to fight for 4th with Spurs and Liverpool and possibly Man United. Some teams strengthened and some not so much, but we left ourselves with a few pockets to fill. If we get Lemar and Seri and possibly a CB, we can be contenders but so far I feel 3rd at best and it will be a scrappy battle for the Champions League places.

In the end I think we should take a peak at the opposition. City look prime candidates to win it. They addressed their problems at the back and added a new keeper. If they don’t win it I think all the blame will be at Guardiola – and rightfully so with the amount of talent and money he has at his disposal.

Chelsea will have the Champions League this year and they don’t have a lot of players. Their handling of Costa, one of the league’s best strikers is terrible and you can see tension between Conte and their board with the lack of investments in players they want, but still they should have enough quality for a top 4 spot.

United are also a team to look out for. Lukaku is a good signing, Matic too. I still feel like up front it’s questionable how they will do, but they could do more business and are one to look out for.

Spurs haven’t really signed anyone, they are playing at Wembley next season and they lost Walker. Still, they had a very exciting squad last year, but I feel they went a step back and they will be fighting for a top 4 spot with us, United and Liverpool.

Speaking of Merseyside, Liverpool will play Europe too and they will suffer from this with their squad not being too big and if they sell Coutinho, I wouldn’t back their top 4 chances. They beat Bayern 3:0, but they beat Barca 4:0 last season in a friendly so don’t take too much from those results. I expect them to also take a step back this year.

And finally we should mention Everton and their spending. They have a good coach and bought some decent players so it’d be interesting. All I care about now though is beating Leicester. They signed Iheanacho, but if we play well enough, we should be too strong for them.


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32 thoughts on “Arsenal season Preview – Our squad, our rivals and our expectations

  1. waal2waal

    OT. my expectation for season is to see (again) two chelski players leaping to head the ball and result in knocking each other out. (oops that was the CS).

  2. Valentine

    Nice season preview there. As I see it, anyone can take the PL title, it depends on who can sustain a good fighting spirit and put together some high level of consistency.

    If Arsenal can fight all the way and not give away points, and if they lose not more than 3 games through out the season, then with a few draws here and there, they can be in touch with the title come May 2018.

    I think 90 points can win the league this season. We have enough quality up front (if we can keep Sanchez). Some stubborn resilience in midfield and solidity in defence can bring back the trophy come May. Winning titles is not always by having all the positions occupied by world class players, but by having everyone fighting for the team.

    It’s not always about quality, but mentality. Big teams always win titles because they want it badly and always put in everything they’ve got. Have u read the book “Talent (that is quality, skill) is not enough”? The book emphasized on developing an attitude of hardwork.

    Remember: “Extraordinary feats are achieved when ordinary people put in extra efforts”.

  3. John0711

    With no more additions I expect 5th but with Goretzka and a wide player I would say top 3

    I would like to a lot more of Nelson imo he should start before Theo

    1. Mark Pilkie

      Goretzka would be an amazinb signing although i can see us waiting and trying to get him for a free next season.

  4. RSH

    4th at best, 5th as it stands. No Cazorla replacement, and still not confident in our attacking options. Also, Wenger at the helm guarantees we don’t win title, so really this season was lost once he signed. Aim for Europa League trophy. Win that and don’t do horrible in EPL and that’s a successful season.

  5. mark

    Regarding the Premier league, Chelsea aren’t all that, City are always on and off, Spurs have Wembley as their home ground, so will be exhausted by November with their fast paced counter attack game, United have the bitter Mourinho in charge so will sour at some point. I’m not saying we will win the league, but I think we will surprise this year. We have a solid squad and good additions, plus no Champions league. We could do well this year. Liverpool and Everton will be interesting to watch, but I don’t think any team is going to walk it this year.

    1. RSH

      yeah, but have Arsenal fixed any of their problems? Mainly, their losing mentality? Same personnel around the club that has kept us from the title for over a decade. What’s changed?

    2. Raj

      How do you think arsenal will take advantage of this? Have we resolved our issues from last season(conceding goals)? , did we upgrade the squad in crucial positions?, did we change our manager? If your answer is no to even one of this question , we will depend on others failing rather than us succeeding

  6. waal2waal

    editor comments “central midfield needs a Cazorla replacement and at CB is the other area where most of our problems will come”. Why so much doom and gloom we’ve two german internationals, kos and a brazilian international to cover at cb, there’s no guarantee its our rivals and not us that will experience the “problems” that you mention (see para 2).

    contrary to your doom mongering opinion we have young guns ready to seize their opportunities (*maitland-niles) when given a chance they are fearless, with little to no respect for reputation you have elneny able to play cm until such point as cazorla fully recovers or else we buy someone new.

    *None can predict for certain the way the epl will end but more often than not we’re placed top 4

  7. ThirdManJW

    Depends on what happens between now, and the end of the transfer window, but as things stand:

    League – 5/6th
    With Thursday night football, the extra games, and travelling, I think that will have a negative impact on our league performances. Not to mention the fact we’re really short of quality, and quantity in central midfield. The Sanchez issue could also rumble on all season, causing problems, just like the Wenger saga from last season. All the other teams have done good business so far, but Spurs could suffer playing at Wembley, and Liverpool are in real trouble should Coutinho leave, and Lallana being out for a few months. That gives me a little hope we may be able to scrape into fourth.

    Europa League – Winners/Finalist
    Despite Wenger’s poor record in Europe, we’ll still be one of the favourites given how weak the competition will be. If none of the big boys drop out of the CL, then we’ll have a great shot at this. Extra motivation will also be CL qualification for winning the EL, as I think we’ll struggle to make it into the top four in the league.

    FA Cup – Semi final (at least)
    Wenger is the master of the FA Cup, and we’ll be favourites again no doubt. We’ve had a lot of luck lately with the cup draws, so if that continues, we’ll have a great chance.

    League Cup – QF (at best)
    Wenger has never won this, and never takes it seriously, so I cannot imagine we’ll do anything in it.

  8. Joe Llabtoot

    It is one thing to suggest needed improvements to the squad. No problem there. It is quite another to conclude which teams will and will not get into the top 4 or which teams will vie for the title and which will not.

    Did anyone predict a Leicester league title??? NO. So I am at least not willing to concede any top level team is currently better or worse than Arsenal.

    As they say……… THAT is why they play the game. (on the pitch and not in a computer simulation)

  9. Joe Llabtoof

    It is one thing to suggest needed improvements to the squad. No problem there. It is quite another to conclude which teams will and will not get into the top 4 or which teams will vie for the title and which will not.

    Did anyone predict a Leicester league title??? NO. So I am at least not willing to concede any top level team is currently better or worse than Arsenal.

    As they say……… THAT is why they play the game. (on the pitch and not in a computer simulation)

  10. Joe Llabtoof

    Which players are truly dead weight at this point?

    Perez and Gibbs are no longer in Wenger’s plans

    Wilshere can be great but only for the 2 – 3 games a season when he is healthy

    Debuchy vs. Jenkinson. Will Wenger keep one of these players or just use Gabriel as backup.

    Chambers – This one is a mystery to me. What are Wenger’s plans? He clearly sees Holding as the better option but…. he may also want to let Chambers mature a little more before giving up on him.

    Oh, and I almost forgot Campbell. Wenger sent him on loan only to get Perez to fill in for him. Go figure that one. He cannot possibly be in Wenger’s plans – right???

  11. kev

    JUST IN: News coming in is that Arsenal representatives were in Monaco yesterday to finalise the Lemar.They had a meeting but as to what happened whether positive or negative I can’t tell.However, sources say if it was bad news everyone would have known by now which can only meaning one thing.Though this might drag on for quite some time but Lemar will 100% be an Arsenal player.Add Jadon Sancho too to that.
    Still no news of a concrete bid for any CM and all the reports of we targeting some other wingers are false.

    1. kev

      I’ve also been told that Oxlade Chamberlain has rejected a move to Liverpool this season and likely he’ll sign a new contract.
      Last week I was told that Sanchez asked Wenger to play him and that he felt he could start despite him not playing in any preseason match which shows his commitment to the cause.

      1. waal2waal

        @kev – i think him kissing the arsenal badge days ago pretty much confirmed sanches’ commitment in the minds of most of us. but thanks all the same.

  12. Akaymoney

    if we look at it very well, at least we are doing well in the transfer market so far. by not letting any of the first team out after the wonderful performance towards the end of the season in the last campaign. we have gotten another weapon in lacazete which is an upgrade on Giroud. while kolasinac is another wonderful addition at the wb. Just one or two more signing then we are good to go for the season. let’s us all support arsenal to the last minutes in every single game. let’s show love to the players and the manager too.. and I hope we don’t get bad luck from injury this season… let’s go into leceister city game with confidence as we own the three points. I see Us beating leceister city (3.1 or 3.0)…

    1. Jim A

      Don’t believe Lacazete is an upgrade to Giroud. If you notice how we scored against Chelsea you could see how important set pieces are. Without OG there we really limit our chances to score from them.

  13. Midkemma

    I feel kinda alone in thinking our CB issues are not as bad as some of us talk about, I honestly do think that if we can get the CM sorted then that will help the defense out a lot, it is suppose to be a team game right?

    I do wonder if Chelsea will stay in the top 4 as well, I do not rate Morata and I do not think he is as good as Giroud but they splashed how much on him? Hazard is their most dangerous player and I think they can get found out more this time around while trying to juggle UCL football with the tough EPL.
    I think we will be hearing something from Conte along the lines of “Told you we needed more investment”

    We should be aiming for a minimum finish of 3rd but aim to win it, we can with a bit of luck.
    If we put more effort into EL than FA Cup and League Cup then we could do a nice double, for me, that is what we should be aiming for and I do not think it is impossible.

  14. Jan

    Ok mate but I disagree that europa league group stage can be done with youngsters..
    Its a strong competition and specially for Afc. We’ll struggle even against less known teams …you ll see.
    Second thing..well we have big squad that is true but whats the point having lot of players who aint s//t.
    I wouldnt count on them much.

  15. JW Holmes

    Cautiously optimistic about top 4 finish. Higher than that I think, will depend to a large extent on how our new striker adapts to EPL. IF he is firing on all cylinders, and we keep Sanchez, I think Arsenal can challenge for title.

  16. Viera Lyn

    I want to preface my statement by saying that I hope I’m wrong and I will gladly eat my words if Arsenal exceed my expectations, but I very much doubt that we will finish in the top 4 this season for the following reasons:

    (1) our inability, once again, to do the “necessary” business early in the transfer window—it amazes me how every year we dither about when it comes to making the necessary transfers, both incoming and outgoing…Wenger always has an excuse at the ready for his failure to act in an expedient manner…correct me if I’m wrong but I can’t remember transfer fees getting cheaper for world class players in the 11th hour of the window, as the purchaser is almost always more desperate than the seller

    let’s face it, everyone and his brother has known what our deficiencies have been for several years, so why can’t our management team seem to identify our weaknesses and aggressively target the necessary additions…the only plausible answer is we aren’t willing to pay even close to market value for the players we clearly need and if we do actually get to the table we seem to make insulting bids that simple infuriate the team in question…for years Wenger has said he couldn’t find any world class players to fill our voids, which seems to suggest that he thinks we currently have upwards of 40 world class players on our existing roster…if that is the case he should never be in charge of making personnel decisions…buying late in the window is so problematic, for obvious reasons, and especially since this year was supposed to be different(sarcasm)

    (2) somewhat linked to the previous comment in that we never seem to be prepared to hit the ground running with our best potential lineup come opening day…it’s become so common, in recent years, that many fans actually hope we stumble a little in the first couple games just so it forces Wenger to bring in reinforcements…unfortunately this can be problematic, thus one of the most common phrases associated with Wenger, “panic buy”…this situation is also negatively impacted by the ridiculous policy regarding players who played in the summer months…right now I’m watching the Super Cup and not a single player is unavailable to either manager, including Ronaldo, yet somehow we have a list of players half a mile long that haven’t seen game-time so far this preseason…I can only assume this is a reactionary policy created due to the multitude of injuries this club has faced over the years…just another sign of the fragility that permeates this club

    (3) formation flexibility—it took 20 years for Wenger to return to a back 3 and now he can’t seem to choose anything but that formation…the teams in the premiership and those we could face in the Europa will present vastly different tactics and we need to have a manager who can prepare this squad for this eventuality and have the fortitude to make the necessary adjustments throughout the season…I have seen nothing in the past 6-7 years to suggest that he is the man to take on this challenge…I can’t even remember when he changed formations when he would replace a small, pacy striker, like during the Walcott experiment, with the lumbering Giroud…of course this is exactly why there is no other manager in the world that plays more players out of their natural positions(square peg in a round hole)

    (4) the Groundhog Day effect—the inability to prepare for the inevitable slump that usually comes during or following the heavy holiday schedule in December/January…whether it’s injuries or Wenger’s disdain for the January transfer window, which makes sense in light of his disdain for spending, his philosophy for handling this situation has failed miserably…my question, once again, is how many times can one person try the same failed strategy before making some sort of fundamental changes…just think to yourself about our recent January dealings, especially in those years where we were still in the race but in desperate need of reinforcements, then try not to throw up a little in your mouth

    Like I said before, I desperately hope that I’m proved wrong, but based on the overabundance of historical evidence I’m certainly not holding my breath

  17. Milton John

    Add Lemar and Seri, sell Debuchy, Jenkinson, Campell, Gibbs, Theo. Send Gabriel, Iwobi and Elneny on season long loan where first team appearance is guaranteed. A full season on loan will make these three a different level so without spending a lot we are worth of champions. Maitland, Nelson will get some valuable playtime in the senior squad this season itself.

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