With the Premier League season set to start this weekend, Arsenal starts the 2013-14 season at home against Aston Villa. After a summer that has largely been disappointing for Arsenal fans where we were told that available to Arsene Wenger was between £70-100 million to spend on player transfers, this has not been the case.
As a result of the lack of action aside from finally shedding and letting the likes of Gervinho, Andrei Arshavin, and Marouane Chamakah go and signing a young project in Yaya Sanogo from French club Auxerre, no major world-class players have been brought in. Because of Wenger’s failure to significantly upgrade the squad, more and more Arsenal fans rightfully began to stop drinking the “In Wenger We Trust” Kool-Aid.
But then came Saturday’s final preseason game last Saturday where Arsenal defeated Manchester City 3-1 in a game played in Helsinki, Finland. Since then, a number of Arsenal fans and others are once again beginning to sell us that the team as is can challenge and compete and they really don’t need to bring in any big names. In the immortal words of tennis great John McEnroe, you cannot be serious!
The fact of the matter is, and remains that while the team had a great end to the 2012-13 season, this team is not good enough to seriously compete or challenge for the Premier League title this 2013-14 season. Let’s be honest with ourselves fellow Arsenal fans, this team would have been in Europa League if not for the fact that Arsenal finished fourth last season in large part due to Tottenham choking away third and fourth place.
While it is easy for some to remember the end of the season, also remember that at this is the same team that in the first half of the season played badly and was languishing around eighth or ninth place halfway through. Another bad start this season and it is possible that Tottenham won’t have another late season collapse for Arsenal to take advantage and finish fourth and qualify for Champions League. And no, Arsenal’s good finish to last season does not mean they are title contenders this season.
The fact of the matter remains that in order for this team to actually compete and be legitimate contenders to win the league in 2013-14, they need serious upgrades. That means sealing up and executing this talked about transfer for Brazilian midfielder Luiz Gustavo, who would add to the team by providing cover to the back four defensively and allow the likes of Jack Wilshire to have more offensive freedom.
Aside from bringing in a Luiz Gustavo, Arsenal also need to bring in a certain player like Luis Suarez in order to bolster the forward line and attack. Yes, Arsenal need to bring in a player like Luis Suarez because quite frankly, adding him will improve the attack. I know many still think Olivier Giroud is more than capable but let’s be honest … those that actually paid attention, Giroud was non-existent, a step slow and wasteful in games against top table opposition. He is better being a substitute in such games as opposed to starting.
While it was nice for Arsenal to close out its preseason with a win over an actual Premier League title contender, the fact of the matter remains that as long as Arsenal does not add quality reinforcements to the team, it will not be a serious contender for the league title. Unless of course you drink the Kool-Aid of fourth place being a “trophy”.