Blog by: Theron
The depth of this season’s squad, quality and numbers wise, is the best we have had since 2004, in my opinion. For the past three seasons or so we have had a lot of quantity with little quality and a large number of young players in the senior team are still learning the game and polishing their game.
I can hear Wenger’s voice from an interview earlier on in pre-season saying, “We have a young squad which can improve internally. All we need is two or three quality additions.”
Ramsey, Wojcech, Giroud seem to have stepped up a gear or two; the signing of Flamini and of course Ozil, proves that Wenger is a man who has learnt over the past few seasons that numbers are not the answer but quality is.
The greatest magic that happened, for me, this summer is the offloading of all those 15 or 17 average Arsenal players to free up much-needed wages.
People who are paid to analyse football in the media and public domain tend to follow what I like to call “popular lines of critic”, either negative or positive. With Arsenal, our “weak defense” over the years has become the football analyst’s “popular line of negative critic” even if statistics over the last two seasons show a consistent reduction in goals conceded over a whole season.
Some claim that pressure was the only reason why Arsenal finally spent big on an established star, but I beg to differ. I believe that the signing of Ozil and that that much money was spent on a single player, is the down to a new strategy by the Emirates honchos and a signal of financial health. I believe that more marquee signings will follow in January and beyond.
Although we have a very good squad, there is always room for improvement, hopefully January will be that room. Up front is the most obvious area in terms of number of strikers available to the manager, and Wenger tried to rectify that through Demba Ba. I think we are going to sign a striker in January. He must be a different type of player to Giroud, he must be quicker, a better dribbler, a bit versatile than Giroud.
Talking about tweaking with formations, I believe that Wenger should now be open to trying out other formations in games where visibly, plan A has failed. A lot of times last season, he seemed to not have a plan B during games, only relying on substituting, especially the wide men and Rosicky (if/when he starts).
For the first time in a long long time, I can honestly feel that a trophy is only a matter of time away.