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…