My 5 aims for the season

Here’s my rundown of the key components that I believe will make a successful season:

1. COMPETING FOR THE TITLE
As we all know after 4 trophies at Wembley (although some people will have you know that the Community Shield is just a glorified friendly.)  Arsenal simply must compete for the title properly from August to May.  With the best squad since the Invincibles, 2004 (with or without the possible dream signing of Karim Benzema) the club has no excuses or Arsène Wenger will face huge scrutiny from the fans.

The Emirates which needs to be hosting a title challenging team.

The Emirates which needs to be hosting a title challenging team.

2. DEALING WITH PROBLEM FIXTURES
Arsenal have done very well to quell suggestions that they are big game bottlers last season. Beating most of the Top 5 teams.

However, there are still some fixtures which I personally look at every season and think here we go again. Swansea for example, we have won approximately 50% of our games against them and they were the only team to do the double over us last season.
So it’s frustrating to see them take points off us as we have failed to beat them at home in 4 seasons.  Last season Calum Chambers had a nightmare against Jefferson Montero, so focusing on better defending is a must.

Seeing as every fixture is an important one, we cannot afford to have mental blocks against certain teams such as Stoke away.  We saw it this weekend against West Ham, which is usually a given 3 points.  If we want to compete, we can not afford to drop points like this.

Arsenal vs Stoke is always an important fixture and we need to improve our poor record of only 1 win at the Britannia ever in the year Ramsey broke his leg.

Arsenal vs Stoke is always an important fixture and we need to improve our poor record with only 1 win at the Britannia ever in the year Aaron Ramsey broke his leg.

3. REACHING THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUARTER FINAL.. MINIMUM
One of the biggest disappointments of last season was losing humiliatingly to Monaco. That should not have happened and I am sure the players will never forget it for a while. However with the team that we have, we must regardless of the fact we are going to have to face one of Barca, Bayern, Juve, PSG, Zenit, PSV and Benfica in the Champions League group stages must be aiming to progress beyond the last 16.  Anything less than that progress and there will be serious questions about the club’s ambitions in Europe.

Monaco at home where we unforgivably lost 3-1 at home against a team we were better than but lost the plot on the day. It cannot happen again.

Monaco at home where we unforgivably lost 3-1 at home against a team we were better than but lost the plot on the day. It cannot happen again.

4. SHIFT THE DEADWOOD AND LOAN THE FRINGE PLAYERS
Whilst the club has done well in shifting 12/13 players either permanently or on loan this summer there is more work to be done. Whilst we sit here we still have players like Mathieu Flamini, Tomáš Rosický and Joel Campbell on the books who either have no future here or will virtually not play this season so the club has decisions to make on them.

Mathieu Flamini – Not everyone’s favourite player & has been outgrown by the team. Now we all expected him to leave 2 weeks ago to Galatasaray but that supposed deal has stalled potentially because they want to sell Felipe Melo first.   According to Fanatik in Turkey, there have been claims that he had turned them down. Now true or not, in my opinion the club should be finding him a new club and sanctioning a free transfer as soon as possible. Every moment he remains an Arsenal player our title challenge becomes harder to mount (Francis Coquelin won’t stay fit all season, Mikel Arteta has shown signs of being past it at 33 years old and therefore he is blocking a move for a defensive midfielder).

Flam

Mathieu Flamini badly needs to be moved on but his bromance with Mesut Özil could prove a problem as he tries to hang onto his best mate to survive the clear out of this summer.

Tomáš Rosický – There have been claims that the guy doesn’t want to be here. He was planning to leave on a free transfer on June the 30th like Ryo Miyaichi and Abou Diaby but Arsenal unexpectedly took up an automatic option to extend his deal, which was out of his control, so it is likely he would be unhappy. Also he came out with these quotes back in June: “Since the moment Arsene Wenger ‘used’ the option in my contract, I haven’t even been on the bench. I am laughing, but it’s not funny. It’s frustrating but I am a professional. Even if you lose your place, you must be still prepared because the situation can change”.

Now at 34 he needs to play ahead of possibly his final involvement for his country at next year’s European championships. As it stands he will be stuck with only League Cup appearances which is sad for a player like him.

Rosicky with his 2nd FA Cup in a row however how long does he want to settle as a bit part player.

Rosicky with his 2nd FA Cup in a row however how long does he want to settle as a bit part player.

However the reason I think his situation has been quiet this summer is because he is currently recovering from a long injury that forced him to miss pre-season. Once he is fit though don’t be surprised to see quotes from his agent begging for us to let him go as his role at the club has been mooted as just a squad player who apparently Arsène Wenger only wants around as a role model to our club’s youngsters. Personally I would like the club to reward his loyalty and let him go to avoid a messy situation in the coming weeks.

Joel Campbell – After 4 loans in 4 years in France, Spain twice and one in Greece it seems that he has no future here. Arsène Wenger kept him around the 1st team post world cup but never trusted him and when he was given chances he failed to take them or score. Now in January after signing a new 3 year deal to 2018 I think that Arsenal hoped that his loan to Villareal would be a success enough for them to be able to sell him for a huge profit this summer but that strategy failed as he only managed 1 goal in 20 odd games for them.

Joel on his 4th loan spell in 4 years. In this case it didn't work out at Villareal and Arsenal are stuck with him till a team offers to pay up unless we drop his price.

Joel on his 4th loan spell in 4 years. In this case it didn’t work out at Villareal and Arsenal are stuck with him till a team offers to pay up unless we drop his price.

Arsenal since then have agreed that all parties should part company permanently however up to this point Arsenal have priced clubs like Real Sociedad and Palermo out of a move. Now I think Arsenal should bite the bullet and accept lower than £7m (€10m) or we are stuck with a player who doesn’t want to be here and has an agent who we can do without at the club.
Then there are others like Emiliano Martinez who once David Ospina is up to speed ought to go on loan for regular games and Wellington Silva who the club needs to decide to loan or sell as soon as possible. An update on that is that it looks like Emiliano Martinez has joined ex-Gunner Benik Afobe at Wolves so he should benefit from a year on loan at a team that is going for promotion from the Championship.

5. USE OF SQUAD

Arsenal's success this season will come down to how much AW uses his squad to negotiate every fixture in this season. Credit to the photographers at Wembley who took this picture.

Arsenal’s success this season will come down to how much AW uses his squad to negotiate every fixture in this season. Credit to the photographers at Wembley who took this picture.

One of Arsène Wenger’s biggest problem is his insistence on sticking to a tight group of players but this season Arsenal will be looking to be playing 50+ games and he needs to use the squad smartly. Last season he was mentioning Alexis Sánchez was at risk of burnout and this season if Arsenal want to succeed we cannot afford to lose a key player for a sustained period so he must use our squad not a first 11 + a few others this season.

By

@SachaWild11

 

 

 

Gooner Ramble

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