Posted on August 09, 2016 by ADMIN

This WILL be Arsenal’s toughest season yet

The Premier League season is set to kick-off this weekend with Arsenal taking on Liverpool in the opening fixtures.

The Gunners squad has taken a number of hits with Per Mertesacker and Danny Welbeck expected to be out for the rest of 2016 at least, and we now look set to start the PL campaign with two of Nacho Monreal and inexperienced pair Rob Holding and Calum Chambers at CB against our rivals, due to Gabriel’s latest setback yesterday.

We have just over three weeks to get our transfer dealings wrapped up, and we still expect two more additions to our squad, with a centre-back and striker wanted.

To get the best from Giroud, he needs competition for his role, and Theo Walcott alone is not enough to keep him on his toes this term, and his fitness is a constant worry also. News that Lacazette has now picked up an injury, also hampers our pursuit to bring in another striker.

Our rivals have all done extensive strengthening so far this window, with the likes of Ilkay Gundogan, Nolito, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, N’Golo Kante and Vincent Jansson having joined rival clubs, while Granit Xhaka is our only signing thus far.

The Swiss international looks a great buy, but he comes into replace Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta, and should do extremely well in our set-up, but much more is needed if we are to challenge for the Premier League title.

We finished second last season, and should have been looking to build on that as we look for a title push this year, in what could be Arsene Wenger’s final term as his current contract expires come the end of the season.

With Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola coming in to the Manchester clubs, we needed to counter that with some serious signings ourselves, and so far, we are lacking in various departments.

We are also preparing to start the season without Koscielny and Giroud due to their international campaign with France, and should we fail to pick up some crucial early points, we could struggle to get back on terms with the big teams this year, especially when we have to start juggling Champions League football also, where the likes of United, Chelsea and Liverpool do not.

Am I wrong to be so pessimistic? Should we be targeting a top-four place or a title tilt? It’s going to be a long 10 months…

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38 thoughts on “This WILL be Arsenal’s toughest season yet

  1. Robin Vanpayslip

    On the other hand, Sanchez and Ramsay had average seasons last year. Both are fairly prolific for players that play from midfield/wide. So that could help us a bit if the found form. And Xhaka is a solid signing alongside Elneny who will be starting his first season with us. Bellerin will probably get better and we may see some improvements from the likes of Campbell and Iwobi.

    So while things are not great – and Giroud and Per really do need to be replaced, I think that the 9 other players are all top quality. So I can’t really be too pessimistic because most clubs don’t have 9 top quality players. If the 2 that are not cannot be accomodated by the other 9 then that is Wenger’s fault.

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 1

    1. goonerboy

      That’s what we say every season,that the league will be tough and some ‘know it all’ fools are already predicting Arsenal won’t make top 4..smh.

      Some say Man U will win cos of Mourinho and Zlatan, they have a point, but Arsenal will definately challenge, for me the most stable sides are Arsenal and Spurs and we will both challenge well….

      Liverpool also will be in the mix, there is really nothing to worried about…we should not despise Arsenal simply because of transfer inactivities….

      Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 15

      1. muffdiver

        this top 4 thing your all so comvinced by is curious to me.

        what does it guarantee?
        that we buy big players…..oh dear
        that we play champs league football ….oh dear

        man u came 5th….pogba zlatan miki bailly

        face facts this top 4 trophy is not for us its for the business.
        stop spreading the top 4 myth
        stop spreading lies.

        we wont win title. were never even close.

        but enjoy the ride. an try an find joy where u can peeps!

        Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 4

        1. DennisTheMenace

          We have become so mediocre that not only us fans, even some players celebrate 4th place

          Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

          1. Admin

            We came second.
            And many players said they were disappointed we didn’t win it….

            Rate this comment: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

          2. jonm

            The celebration for fourth place was a few seasons ago. It had looked as though it was beyond us but the players fought really hard and managed to achive fourth place so they were rightly pleased with what they had done. Of course it would have been better not to get in the situation in the first place.

            My concern is that the team does not show this determination when first place is there for the taking.

            Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    2. goonerboy

      That’s what we say every season,that the league will be tough and some ‘know it all’ fools are already predicting Arsenal won’t make top 4..smh.

      Some say Man U will win cos of Mourinho and Zlatan, they have a point, but Arsenal will definately challenge, for me the most stable sides are Arsenal and Spurs and we will both challenge well….

      Liverpool also will be in the mix, there is really nothing to worried about…we should not despise Arsenal simply because of transfer inactivities….
      If it will be tough for Arsenal, it will be tough for everyone…

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

      1. Goonball

        The spuds have manged to gain Champions League football for once, this will affect their league form as they are simply not used to playing at this level.

        Rate this comment: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 9

        1. sanmi.marvellous

          Spurs play on Thursadys (Europa) which is tougher than UCL on Tuesdays & Wednesdays.

          Rate this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

          1. jonm

            Sanmi, quite correct, tottenham being affected by CL is grasping at straws. They had a relatively slow start last season then were very solid consistent performers, only collapsed at the end when first place was beyond them and third place guaranteed. Realistically there is no difference between second and third, who remembers the runners up and both second and third are guaranteed CL group stage.

            Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  2. Juhislihis McLovin

    Gabriel posted on his official FB account that his injury is not a serious one.. Does Wenger have an FB account? If he does then we can forget about the new defender!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  3. tissiam

    i disagree even if we lose few points in the first few games so will chelsea,man u,man city with new managers and players they will take time before hitting the ground,liverpool have also injured players so i wouldn,t be too worried!!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

    1. jonm

      Tissiam, based on leicesters performance last season and an expected improved liverpool this season, i expect that come the end of the season it could be very close between ourselves, leicester and liverpool. That being the case, these first two games could be so called “six pointers”.

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

      1. Jansen

        These first two games, especially with the history of last season’s disappointment, are very important “tone setters”. Losing to Villa or Wets Ham is one thing, losing to Liverpool and Leicester is quite an other. Winning against Liverpool, puts their optimism in doubt, raises our confidence and gives us something to build from.

        We don’t want to start the season with a wave of negativity after the first game. And you can be pretty sure if we fail to score and lose there will be hell to pay.

        Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

        1. jonm

          Against liverpool a draw is a good result for liverpool, bad for us. Only a win for us is a good result.

          Against leicester a draw is sort of OK for us.

          Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  4. Budd

    Take one game at the time. Don’t dream, just focus on the job you must do. If they do that they will have a good season. If not, well, what did I lost? Nothing, because I had no real expectation but only hope.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

    1. muffdiver

      i had no real expectation only hope.
      i believe many will share that sentiment.

      just irritating that all this infighting will go on for another season.

      *picks up bayonet

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

    2. jonm

      Budd, that is so correct, take one game at a time, concentrate on getting to 40 points and then keep taking one game at a time, do not look at where you might end up. Worked for leicester last season.

      Or as Lao Tzu said “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  5. Ramterta

    Saying it is tough would be an understatement.
    Its gonna be like climbing to the peak of mt kilimanjaro with bare feet.
    Tell wenger he is gonna be in for a rough ride and he is in to see his nighmares shadow sir alex in the form of
    klopp guardiola conte and mou.

    I think thats 5 embarassments he will face already.
    Then dont forget tottenham everton southampton and leicester

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  6. Ramterta

    Our strongest lineup v liverpool
    cech
    bellerin chambers holding monreal
    coquelin elneny
    sanchez cazorla iwobi
    walcott.

    I dont think we will sign anyone else.
    Unless someone goes because we already have 31 players in our squad.
    We really have no hope on sunday have we?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

    1. Jansen

      I think we can win on Sunday. First game of the season is unpredictable. I would not be surprised if we, lose or draw.

      Going forward we look OK, the question is, is Liverpool good enough to expose our ever poor defending which will be even more suspect now.

      I would play a different back line than you suggest:

      Bellerin – Chambers – Monreal – Gibbs

      I think Chambers and Holding as a pairing are way too inexperienced.

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

      1. Jansen

        That should have been “I will not be surprised if win, lose or draw” With this Arsenal anything can happen.

        However, I don’t think we can afford to lose. This team is too fragile mentally and the atmosphere around the club to negative to be able to deal with a 0-5 drubbing by Pool.

        Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

    2. rkw

      xhaka will play … but even so we are looking at a mid table outfit and even with ozil and kos back there is lttle doubt that 4th will be a big challenge this year and possibly one to far …. wenger is a sad tired has been of a manager and the sooner he goes the better .. though apparently he cant face the thought of retirement so will have to be pushed

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  7. Jansen

    I think every year it will our toughest season and in one way or another it usually feels like it when we go through our predictable cycles and implode at, what always seems like, the wrong time.

    I think it is hard for me to see how Chelsea and Man U will not improve on last season. Pep is the big unknown in terms of being able to improve on City’s last season, but he is an impressive manager. Spurs had a late collapse but looked consistent before that. Liverpool also have room to improve and Klopp has had a chance to put more of his stamp on the squad and its playing style. For me our second place finish was misleading.

    I think this can be a very dangerous season for Arsenal. And it wold be unwise not to bring in an experienced quality striker and CD. If we bring in a Johny Evans and Sanogo style striker we could well pay a big price once the annual injuries come knocking on the door.

    One thing is for sure in my mind, this will not be Wenger’s last season unless he walks away.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    1. Fatboy Gooney

      If the stories about Arsenal giving wenger an open cheque book, to spend big on a Striker etc are true! and if he fails to reinforce the squad with whats truly needed, then I wouldn’t be surprised if Wenger gets the Sack before the January transfer window opens!

      Unless he pulls his finger out and signs appropriately before the window shuts,( which is looking highly unlikely) we will suffer the same fate as Chelsea did last year! And Losing to the Scouser’s and Leicester will be big indication for that scenario.

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      1. Jansen

        @fatboy What in the behavior of the owner over the last many years makes you believe there is any chance of Wenger getting the sack (by Christmas)?

        Do you really believe Arsenal gave Wenger an open cheque book? To me, that would be inconsistent with Gazidas coming out saying we don’t have the money to compete with the big clubs.

        I wish you were right though because it would indicate the owner cares, has a heart beat and a plan, all things I doubt.

        Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  8. goonerboy

    Wait till we face the embarrassment before you come here and make these negative comments….

    No one is happy about the state of things but what can we do???
    Come here and moan everytime?? Is that the trend now???

    Regardless of the article, the comments are always so predictable…
    Is Arsenal’s problem your personal problem???
    Is anyone forced to support Arsenal??
    This is shameful!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 12

  9. davidnz

    My top 10.
    1. Chelsea
    2. City.
    3. Leicester
    4. Arsenal
    5. Liverpool
    6 Everton
    7 Spurs.
    8 Westham
    9 Man Utd
    10 Stoke.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 16

  10. Juhislihis McLovin

    City sign Stones.. loan deal for Mangala anyone..?

    He was quite good when he played for Porto

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  11. El Blaze

    Is anyone still in doubt that we can’t lift the EPL again if Wenger continues to be our manager?

    So just because Walcot shows some flashes of brilliance in back to back preseason friendlies Wenger all of a sudden believes he is ready to be our top striker competing with Giroud? Well, judging from his latest statements. And to add to this he is about to hand the responsibility of manning our CB position to a rooky like Holding. Well, folks don’t get hopes up, just relax, sit back and enjoy another mediocre season of fight for a champions league spot.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  12. jonm

    Walcott has the potential to be a very good player. We consistently get comments that defenders are terrified of his pace. His problem is injuries and more recently the fear of getting injured again.

    He is capable of filling a striker role and his confidence seems to be back. Lets hope this confidence extends to the competetive games and he can stay free of any serious injuries. Lets also hope that wenger does not again send him on as a substitute without warming up!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    1. Jansen

      “on paper” or looking at individual strengths, Walcott is better than Giroud. As Wenger said, he is a good finisher, makes good runs etc. I think he is our best winger (I don’t rate Ramsey on the right wing), but if Wenger prefers him as a central striker he should give Theo a run of games a not one or two games. It is not like Theo doesn’t need to learn the position.

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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