Arsenal already have edge on Premier League rivals

Arsenal in pole position! by Sam P

It may turn out that Arsene Wenger and all concerned are left regretting the lack of Arsenal transfer action as the Premier League season wears on. Not only could we be hit with the usual raft of injury problems, but we might find that a few key players are not playing as well as might have expected.

But right now, as things stand, I really believe that the Gunners are sitting in the best position to win the Premier League next May. Our team is full of talent and all we really need to do is to carry on the sort of form that we showed all through the second half of last season and in that brilliant FA cup final demolition of Aston Villa.

And we have already looked like doing that with a very impressive and comprehensive win over Everton in Singapore. Yes I know it is only pre/season but if Arsenal are already looking this good then I think the players have simply picked up where we left off and so they should have no problem starting the season well.

Meanwhile we have seen all sorts of transfer action from BPL rivals Man United, Liverpool and Man City as they all try to fix the problems of last season. Who knows, they might have done it but it is more likely that all the changes will take a long time to settle into a proper team unit if they do at all.

There is always Chelsea, of course, who are as settled as we are but look at how they have started pre-season. Theor replacement for Cech, Asmir Begovic, is already under pressure after their shock 4-2 defeat by a New York Red Bulls second string side and I reckon the cracks between owner and manager are starting to show again. Signing Falcao is strange to say the least and they look a lot more susceptible than us to an injury or two.

Will Arsenal prove me right and take an early grip on the title race?

Tags Chelsea Man City United


  1. Sorry to say this but without a top striker we can’t win the damn bpl. We need a world class striker. We should have signed Jackson, Wenger will regret not signing him. He was the best target for us, good price and a proven goal scorer. Plus we are definitely going to need backup for lecoq. Without these additions I can’t see us challenging for the bpl. Maybe another 4th place and fa cup again

    1. We’ll at least get close this season. A top striker will either take us really close ie within 2-3 points, or perhaps get is over the line. With the players we have now, anything more than 5 points off the title at the end of the season is a failure from Arsene Wenger and his job should be on the line. But I’m pretty confident we’ll at least get close.

    2. i think getting that top hitman is tough. there is a real shortage. i think if theo can stay fit he is a real threat.

      dm is tricky. if u get a wc guy (good luck finding one), will you want to bench coquelin? also he at least has to be an improvement on flamini, if he can’t bench lecoq… tough.

      but we saw wenger is ruthless – went for cech. i have hope

        1. umm .. last time i heard being ruthless is also buying a wc goalie , although u have two young good ones. arsenal of old wld have been content

          1. I sort of get where your coming from but even Wenger has his limits with just how many chances you can give one guy. And when that guy is in goal well there’s only so much you can bare.

            People are forgetting that Ospina was bought as a number2.

    3. How can you look into Chelsea’s loss in their first game as a reason to say we have an edge on them… of course they will be rusty against a side that is midway through their season. Falcao was signed as a third choice striker, he is essentially a no risk high return piece of business that Chelsea can afford. I look at their team, and aside from Willian & Cahill their best XI are all world class. They also got beaten by Wolfsburg last pre season 2-0, does that mean if we beat them in the Emirates Cup we are serious title contenders? Certainly not. Pre-season is not something to look at concerning potential season aspirations, it’s mainly there to assess player fitness. Thankfully for us our players looked well and dandy on their Everton run out, I just hope that continues over into the premier league season.

        1. Falcao’s not third choice. There is no way he would sign if he didn’t get assurances over game time. He will be second choice and Mourinho will be hoping or even expecting to get him back to a similar level of what he is capable of. And if he does that well then he will be first choice and also the best striker in England.

    4. Sorry to say this but…… stats prove you WRONG.

      I agree Arsenal need a better striker. But you said they CAN’T win without a better striker. Just not true.

      The fact is Costa and Giroud had nearly identical goal production stats last season – goals+assists per minutes played. Costa had higher raw numbers because he did not have a long injury layoff like Giroud.

      So how did Chelsea do it if it CAN’T be done? They did it with good defense and scoring with quality attacking midfielders. That sounds like a good description of Arsenal to me.

      Facts are facts. But a top level striker would certainly make the job of winning the league much more probable.

  2. I just read that Pedro has a release clause of 22 mil.

    Who would you rather have……? Pedro for 22 mil or Benzema for 40 mil?

    Seems like an easy choice for me. Pedro for half the price.

    1. Pedro would be a great signing, we can then shift Theo to the cf role and use Pedro on the wing. Benzema is 100% staying at real! No chance we can get him so let’s just get over him and go for other options. Pedro is world class and will take us to the next level. Just imagine Pedro and Sanchez on the wings with Theo upfront. It would work fine for me

    2. Benzema’s agent: “Karim is very happy at Real Madrid and he will be a Real Madrid player by the end of this transfer window, 1,000 per cent,”.

      That coming from the man who would be engineering any potential move.

      1. So as I said time to get over benzema and try to find other options, one could be signing a winger like Pedro and giving Theo more chance as a striker

          1. Benzema is better than giroud but not world class.I still think we should get a winger and give Theo the chance to play as a striker. Theo wants it badly and that could be good enough reason for him to score goals. Right now there are no world class strikers in the market. There was just one before and that was Martinez. Sadly we never tried to sign him

            1. That comment completely contradicts what you keep calling out for, and ripping into Wenger at the same time.

        1. Sounds like these replies agree with my point. So why the thumbs up for that agrees with a comment that receives thumbs down?

          Human Passion: Powerful and Mysterious. (And sometimes a bit illogical).

  3. Our competitors are buying players,they are spending and getting stronger while we are just sitting back and thinking we have a good enough squad to win it all.this kind of thinking is just simply wrong. We are in need of two additions at least, some might argue that we need 3 or 4 players, to be honest yes we do but 2 is the least amount of new players we need. Cuz cf and DM are the two positions we are hurting from. Lecoq was great last season but he can’t do it all alone, he needs help.

    1. How come you think we need a striker and a winger? I think we need just one or either.

      1. We need a new striker. We need a new winger to cover for Theo or Sanchez if they have to move up top. There I said it Giroud is not good enough to win us the EPL.

        1. Why, is it that you think we should have two players of the same quality as Theo and Sanchez sitting on the bench to come on for Theo and Sanchez. Or an Ozil to come on for and Ozil, a Cech to come on for a Cech.

          Welbeck Ox Gnabry, or Cazorla Ozil Ramsey Jack to fill in.. take your pick.

  4. We should do the needful and we stand a good chance.
    Arsene and the Board should make all concerned proud.

  5. We are buying no one, I’m sorry guys but Wenger is a fool. We will not and cannot with the BPL with this squad, we have some amazing players but we do not have a striker who will score that amazing goal in a1-0 win against Chelsea or City , sorry I love my club but we are in a business that doesn’t care about the fans,

    1. get out m8. this is not fifa.we re showing ruthlessness (signing cech) and our squad is very good and deep. tramsfer window is lomg away from being closed. some of u need to stop throwing ur toys out the tram, amd show wenger some darn respect. clowns like man u buying dimaria and benching em

      1. Respect is earned mate, I pay £200 to go and see home games with travelling so I am entitled to my opinion, no matter what I will support Arsenal wether Wenger is there or not, but we need a top striker AT LEAST , BUT I FEEL AS THOUGH Liverpool spuds are so far behind us Wenger is happy to just carry one the way he is doing ,

        1. bro, we re just back to being competetive. chill. not many strikers atm. have faith. first time everyome s talking s
          abt winnimg the epl in a good minute.

          i mean the players and coach

        2. If Liverpool just bought 7 players including a striker at 30.5m (world class if I may think) and u still think they are behind us and yet u don’t rate us as been ok for title contention then you should check again and rethink. The truth u need to understand is that this team is good, the best in years. I agree a world class striker will add more icing on the cake. But can you plz name any world class striker that is readily available. If Sterling cost £44m benteke cost £33.5 I think any better striker will cost up to 60 to 70m and we all know arsenal is not in that class yet. Let us just belief in this team and hope and dream the Wenger can surprise us again like he has done in last two seasons. Transfer window is still wide open. And if not I believe this team is strong enough. COYG

  6. How naive can some fans be? I don’t understand. You expect the same squad that didn’t win the EPL last May and were 12 points behind to win it this year while we aren’t getting stronger and our competition is?
    Is this actual foolishness or pretend foolishness because you are trying to be interesting?

    1. We aren’t getting any stronger?
      You don’t think Cech is an upgrade?
      You don’t think Bellerin can get better?
      you don’t think Coquelin backed up by Arteta is better than Arteta backed up by Flamini?
      You think Walcott, Ramsey and Wilshire will have the same run of injuries?
      You don’t think having Chambers and Gabriel as back ups is stronger than last year?
      You don’t think Ozil and Sanchez have room to improve?
      Fair enough, your entitled to your opinion. But I think we’re stronger and with a month left in the transfer market, bound to get even stronger.

      1. The problem with this is that it paints the picture that our rivals are all standing still. Why is the assumption that we’re the only ones progressing from a team perspective?

        1. Chelsea have an aging back 4 and spent half the season playing beat the bus. They were not uncatchable in points and may not hit the lofty heights of last season at all.

          City have many of their best players aging or going off the boil. Toure and Kompany look like shadows of themselves these days, even Silva is quiet at times. Aguero is still injury prone and could wind up getting snapped up. They haven’t suddenly improved massively because they added Sterling.

          United are making wholesale changes AGAIN and were not all that last season. They’ve made some good signings and could be awesome…but we’ll have to wait and see. Certainly as a team they won’t be becoming more cohesive and playing better as a unit – the quality might just increase and paper over that.

          In short, of the top 4 our players have the right mix of age, quality and togetherness to actually develop as a whole. The sum of the parts does not equal the sum of the whole, but I believe we’ll be adding a whole lot to our whole through the players getting better and better with one another. Look at Santi and Ozil atm – they look scary!

          That said, we still do need to add a little extra gunpowder to the fire to really might it crackle. I just don’t think the other teams are progressing in the same sense as we are – they are adding quality through signings, we are adding quality through cohesion. They aren’t adding the latter because mostly, they’re mercenaries.

          1. What does Chelsea’s aging back 4 have to do with their quality? Chelsea had the best defense last season regardless of their age. Terry is 34 and was the best defender in the league. Chelsea play with their deficiencies in mind, they aren’t trying to play like anyone else. It’s why they have a RB playing LB, a CB playing RB and Willian playing in front of that RB.

            Secondly, you say they spent half of a season playing beat the bus but forget to mention they spent the other half blowing teams away playing the best football in England. Moreover it’s all good and well taking the high and mighty stance, saying they spent half a season playing “beat the bus” but over the last 18 games where we had our strongest XI Chelsea got 1 point less than we did. We amassed 42 points. Chelsea had 41. Chelsea would have finished with 44 points but they didn’t take the West Brom game seriously as they just won the title. So it means little if you can’t actually beat the bus

            As for your claim that Chelsea may not reach the lofty points of last season there is more evidence to the opposite. Chelsea are known for their defensive solidarity and ability to see out games. They uncharacteristically dropped 9 points from winning positions vs the top 5.

            The only team that realistically could have caught Chelsea were City early in 2015.

      2. @Trudeau
        stop gasping at straws mate.
        Ospina did and excellent job last season, Cech is hardly an upgrade given that he has played his entire life backed up by guys like john Terry and have played under Morinhos defensive setup.
        Bellerin will be better than last season but that position has never been the problem at AFC.
        There is hardly a difference between Flamini and the Arteta of today.
        Wiltshere,ramsey an Walcot will get injured so will 80% of the team before december.It happens every year.What has changed?
        Chambers and Gabriel were good back up last year yet still we finished miles behind Chelsea.Chelsea have gotten better.
        Ozil will not improve his work rate.
        Sanchez alone cannot win the EPL.
        Get over youself

        1. Cech has been consistently a great shot stopper and imposing presence in the box. He’s not a huge upgrade, but he’s an upgrade.

          Flamini is nowhere near as good as Arteta. Arteta may not be a fantastic DM but he is a good player and makes alot of interceptions in that position because he does read the game well. The real addition is Coquelin – who once he was added to the team greatly improved our win rate.

          What has changed with injuries? Well a total overhaul of our fitness team and medical staff. We’ve been getting less injuries and recovering quicker since Christmas, so I’d say that we’ve got positives there for sure.

          Gabriel wasn’t even there for the first half of the season…the half where we fell 12 points behind Chelsea. So hush your mouth and get over the fact that we improved mid season and looking at the season as a whole hides that fact.

          Ozil already has a good work rate – look at the distance travelled. Yes, he has the position which requires most distance covered, but he works now. If you didn’t notice the marked improvement and adjustment to his game since his injury I can assure you that you’ve not been watching properly.

  7. “Karim is very happy at Real Madrid and he will be a Real Madrid player by the end of this transfer window, 1,000 per cent,” the agent is quoted as saying by Sky Sports.

    “Karim is not looking to move anywhere this summer.”

    As if it wasnt expected. Benzema was always just another rumours….

  8. “Karim is very happy at Real Madrid and he will be a Real Madrid player by the end of this transfer window, 1,000 per cent,” the agent is quoted as saying by Sky Sports.

    “Karim is not looking to move anywhere this summer.”

    As if it wasnt expected. Benzema was always just another rumour….

  9. I completely disagree with this article. I would say that Arsenal are in the third best position to win the league as things stand, but that would significantly change if Wenger signs a top striker.

    My order right now is:

    1 – Chelsea
    They are very strong in all positions, and have good depth. But most importantly, they have the best manager in the league. The football may not be pretty at times, but Mourinho knows how to win, and he wins a lot of trophies. He also has an outstanding record against the big boys, which is a major reason for their success. I also expect more signings before the season starts. Arsenal can barely create a goal scoring opportunity against Mourinho’s Chelsea, let alone actually beaten them, so I fully expect dropped points against them.

    2 – Man City
    Similar to Chelsea, they have quality in every position with more top signings on the way one would expect. I feel they have too much quality for us to finish above them, but we usually do okay against them.

    3 – Arsenal
    Almost every football fan (Arsenal or not) knows what we need, problem is, Wenger usually ignores our deficiencies. Although we only need one more player to complete the starting eleven, it’s arguably the most important position on the pitch…the striker! So will Wenger fix or ignore? We also need a backup DM, because we’re finished if Coquelin gets injured. But the main reason we’ll struggle to win the league is because of our manager. Even with the money since the 13/14 season, Wenger’s made too many glaring errors. All managers make mistakes, but one has to be concerned when these errors are absolutely shocking and on a fairly consistent basis. I’m not saying we can’t or won’t win the league, but whatever happens, Wenger will definitely do things the hard way.

    1. So if I get u right arsenal has two problems that make Chelsea and man city better strikers and better manager. And solution if I read your mind is get a better striker than giroud and sack Wenger right? Man city has d best striker last season in Aguero ( before you take me on, strikers are measure by goals and Aguero was the highest scorer in EPL) y didn’t they win d EPL or any trophy? Ronaldo the world best player or second world best scored basket full of goals last season but real won no trophy and the manager that won four trophies the previous season was sacked. Football is more than one player and more than one manager. It is a team sport and arsenal currently has a team and we only pray for additional team player if Wenger and his team can pull it off and better lucky on the injury front

      1. First of all, I never said Man City had a better manager. I believe Wenger is better than Pellegrini. Secondly, your point about top strikers doesn’t make any sense. First you state that Aguero and Ronaldo won nothing despite being world class, your point being that it’s a team sport, and I guess you’re saying that upgrading Giroud doesn’t necessarily guarentee trophies. And then you contradicted yourself by admitting we needed an additional team player, which I imagine had to be a new striker. Unless you were talking about another position, and you honestly don’t believe we need a top striker. Ronaldo and Aguero may have won nothing last season, but are you honestly saying they’re not the most important players in their teams, and that any team in the world wouldn’t be interested in signing them?

        You’ve also inadvertently reinforced my point about the glaring errors Wenger makes when you mentioned that football is more than one player, it’s a team sport. I completely agree with you, it is a team sport, but surely you have to agree, that you need balance in your team, and top quality every position to win the really big trophies. Going into the 13/14 season we badly needed a DM, CF, LW was also an issue, and still concerns about our GK (although not from me) and CB. So what did Wenger do? He did exactly what you seem to hate, he ignored the needs of the team and spent £42 million on an individual that wasn’t needed at the time. The CAM position was probably our strongest area on the pitch considering how good Santi was the previous, not mention Rosicky and Wilshere can play there. For me, that’s a glaring error.

      2. Chelsea are the best, but I value Man U squad as equal to theirs they need to gell as a team though

        Our squad is better than Man city although they have the best x11

        Liverpool are the only challenge for top four

  10. I never cease to be amused by angry people who feel unless you buy any players you have no ambition! I wish to ask some of these angry people where they think we are short and need reinforcement. Buying players is not like a fashion show but an activity aimed at making the team stronger than it is currently. Acquisition of players is not different from any other form of recruitment for a job. It is occasioned by a desire to fill an existing vacancy or to reinforce undermanned positions. Hence buying players is not an end in itself but a means to an end. My question, therefore, to angry colleagues is where is the weakness they want to be addressed? If that question is not answered it creates a situation of having players who might even never be needed and yet they have to be paid and they might even create discontent in the team. It is good to have a big squad because it is necessary in case of injuries and other unforeseen situations. However too many unused players can be counter-productive to a team in many aspects. Before we criticise the Arsenal management let’s us take cognisance of these facts.

    1. We are short of a top quality striker to win games you have to score goals.

      We are short of a quality DM and a CB you lose games by letting in goals.

    2. The weaknesses are very obvious David, we need and there seems to be a pretty spectacular agreement on this, a better striker, something we have needed since RVP left. Btw Arsene knows this as well and he has tried( in a very inefficient way) to remedy this problem.
      When you are looking at other top sides you see players like Costa, Aguero, Rooney, and to a lesser extent last year there was, Drogba,Dzeko,RVP,falcao etc.. So everyone of these guys in their day are better than Giroud is on his day. So in order to compete with the other three top clubs we need to match them in scoring efficiency. And yes even 2 extra goals in a season matter.

      We are also very light in the DM department, if we want to play with that system. We have a half a season wonder in Le Coq, who is probably the main reason for our comeback and third place finish and pretty much nobody else who can play that position in the team.

      So basically, we need an upgrade to Giroud and at least competition to Le Coq. We can also do with a faster CB than Per but that is probably asking too much.

      1. @JimBeam
        It wasn’t just Olivier who missed a boat load of chances last season. Our whole front line went wanting. If you tally up all of our chances created, compared with goals scored. You’ll find all our guys need to be more clinical in front of goal. Not just Giroud…

        1. agreed. but he is the striker, the man up top, his main job is to score. I would like everyone to score more, but i rightfully expect the most from my striker

          1. JimBeam
            Even with the makeshift defense we had due to injuries, we still created a bunch of chances and thats what pizz’d me off. Not who missed em.

            Looks like Diaby has found a home at West Brom. Big ups to him….

  11. Off Topic:

    Not AKB or AOB but saying Wenger win the league because of the good defences he inherited is plain stupid because Toure, Campbell, Gilberto and Viera were all Wenger’s buy. And he won the Invincible with his own set-up.

  12. Boring boring. Pre season are so boring, even on just arsenal. Every comments are about the same. Wenger buy or don’t buy, he is the boss, who can touch him. Someone here even more money pinching than him, maybe they are the share holder, scared wenger spend to much, there got no return. Maybe some here are arsenal employee who are employed to join just arsenal.

  13. Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has long been prominent on Wenger’s list of desired signings and, although Lord Harris says there is more than £200 million in the bank, the club’s summer transfer budget is around £50 million.
    “We get a list of the players that Wenger wants,” said Lord Harris.
    “‘On the list is a centre forward, but I’m not going to tell you who he is. I think he wants to come.
    “It basically comes down to whether the other team can find a superstar to replace him. We could go into the market and probably buy any player in the world, apart from half a dozen who are unbuyable.

    I have been telling you guys for so long now that we have so much money in the bank but always thumbs down, I expect your apologies in writing NOW


  14. All the papers are talking about big transfer kitty and record breaking striker transfer on the way.

    I hope its lewandowski and not benzema.

    Thumbs up for Lewa, down for Benz

  15. Ray Parlor was saying Arsenal lacks a true defensive leader like Tony Adams or John Terry. I agree with him, would rather spend the money on a Mertesacker upgrade, than on the striker department.

    1. We got WC defender, the Girouddddddddd. He should play as defender so we buy a striker.

  16. I disagree with the premise of this article as well.

    First of all there’s a level of hypocrisy and short sightedness in this analysis. Why is there the assumption present that we are the only ones improving from a team perspective? Buying players and improving cohesion aren’t mutually exclusive events. Signing players doesn’t necessarily mean that cohesion will be hindered, the opposite is just as likely.

    Secondly, why is Chelsea more susceptible to an injury than we are? What proof is there of this? We played Chelsea with all of their strikers out, we couldn’t beat them, so where is the evidence of this. I think we are more susceptible to injuries than Chelsea. Our squad was completely transformed when Ozil and Giroud were out. Chelsea beat United without Willian, Costa or Remy.

    A point was made that Begovic is under pressure, why? He’s their 2nd choice keeper.
    A point was also made that Falcao was a strange buy? How so, he’ll be there 3rd choice keeper and has the task of replacing a 36 year old. Who’s our 3rd striker?

    In addition how is it we were able to look past Giroud and Ozil’s poor first season but Falcao is all of a sudden beyond help? Moreover how is it that we think Giroud’s poor performance vs Everton is just a pre season match but a preseason loss for Chelsea is a sign of things to come.

    I get that we want to win the league but this is hardly an analysis at all. From a purely squad related point of view the favorites in my opinion Chelsea are still clear favorites

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