The prayer on the lips of all Arsenal fans especially on the back of such an entertaining game at the Emirates cup is that Arsene Wenger having renewed his love affair with trophies will do everything to make this relationship last. While it is perfect to enjoy the joys of winning a pre-season game, the season will only be judged in May by how well Arsenal and Arsene have performed over a long period.
For clubs like Arsenal that compete in all competitions, squad depth is as critical as the quality of a manager. An perfect example would be Dortmund and Jurgen Klopp, after successfully getting to the Champions League finals 2 seasons ago, pushing Bayern to the limits over the years, they fell of the way last season immediately they were hit by several injuries to key players and they never really recovered making Bayern Champions with almost half the season to spare.
To compete in all four competitions, playing midweek and weekends you need a big squad and for Arsenal it is even more important as they compete in a league where clubs above them have a no holds barred approach to player signings. Manchester City has won the league twice in the last 3 years and the massive improvement in squad quality is a key reason why this was possible. Mourinho has released himself of the shackles of the team he inherited and is investing heavily in improving his squad, Liverpool seem to be on a never ending shopping spree.
Arsenal has definitely improved the squad but there are is still key room for improvement and Arsene has given indications that one or two players might still be added to the squad. Key positions the manager should be looking to improve on are
With the imminent departure of Thomas Vermaelen, the centre back position is a key area for squad improvement. Chambers, Isaac Hayden and Nacho Monreal have occupied this position during pre-season but Arsenal would still need a readymade replacement for TV5 if he departs.
Proposed Player: Nastatic (Man City) – Young, apositionally aware, and can play any on the right or left of central defence. He seems available for ManCity as they also having seen Sagna perform in this position for Arsenal they might want to consider him there creating more competition for Nas.
Arteta and Flamini are currently close to the end of their contracts and are on the wrong side of 30. Arteta might not be as athletic as Flamini but the manager loves him for his positioning and ability to pass and keep the ball making him an anchor from defence to attack. Flamini was a massive lift for the squad last season but it is hard to see him staying past this season.
Rumoured Links: Sami Khedira, Morgan Schneiderlin, Lars Bender, William Carvalho, Sven Bender
Proposed Player: Lars Bender (Bayer Leverkusen) – Other signings might look flashier to the eye but we need a job done in defensive midfield and one man who can guarantee that it gets done is Lars. Khedira is most likely the signing that we will make but he really is not as defensively aware as Lars. With our full backs having a penchant to bomb forward a lot, Lars an excellent tackler will do well to cover up and break attacks. He might not possess the same passing ability of Arteta but that can be worked on.
Likely line up for next season
Debuchy Mertesacker Koscielny Gibbs
With this, we will still have several quality players on the bench; Wilshere, Rosicky, Podolski, Chambers, Vermaelen or his replacement, Ospina, Campbell, Sanogo, Chamberlain, Diaby.