No need to worry about defence or attack, the key area in need of progress lays in midfield!
It is only early days, but those first two friendlies are showing us we might be okay with scoring goals this season. I have argued in a recent post it is quite likely that Giroud, Podolski and Theo will score significantly more goals next season. The first two have now settled in the PL and are entering their very best years, and our young English winger/striker is getting better and more productive every season.
If Cazorla can equal his PL goal scoring tally of last season, then between the four of him, Pod, Giroud and Theo they could score in excess of 60 goals next season (compared to 48 last season). I am going to make a statement by saying we will be fine up-front next season and there is no need to buy a superstar striker.
If we can get a top, top established striker who is PASSIONATE to come and join Arsenal this season then let’s go for him. But I don’t get the feeling Higuain, Rooney or Suarez have Arsenal on top of their wish lists, and if so, I don’t want them; they can sod off.
However, we DO need back up: one or two players who can come off the bench, or start the occasional game, and can hit the ground running. A Michu, Demba Ba or Benteke would do fine for us.
I am also happy with our defence now, although I would welcome a fourth CB as, unfortunately, Miquel does not look ready yet.
The key really lays in midfield. We have fantastic footballers, and if one day they all manage to be fit, we’ll have one of the best midfields in the country.
I have little doubt that Arsene will continue with his double-DM pivot of Arteta and Ramsey. I really want us to buy a ‘beast’/classical DM who can play a bit of footie too, and this might still happen, but it is more likely we will get somebody who can be back up to the Spaniard and Welshman.
With Le Coq out on loan, Diaby out injured and Frimpong’s future uncertain we are light in this area. Wilshere can play in the double-DM pivot, but other than him, Arsenal have no quality defence-minded midfielders available. Unless, of course, Arsene will move Vermaelen or Sagna in midfield if and when required.
But let’s say we will be a bit lucky with injuries next season and even see one of the youngsters step up from time to time; let’s say we will be fine in midfield from a defensive point of view so we can focus on another key requirement for our midfield.
The bigger question is who is going to score goals from midfield next season?
If we take out Arteta’s penalty goals, Wilshere, Ramsey, Rosicky and Arteta scored less than 5 PL goals between them last season! Luckily, Cazorla scored plenty – 12 PL goals in total – but he was often deployed more as an attacker than a midfielder.
We need more goals from our central midfielders and it is hard to tell whether we’ll see progress next season.
Arteta and Rosicky are not getting any younger and the former is deployed too deep to get himself in scoring positions often enough, whilst the latter lacks consistency in terms of finishing chances.
Will we get more goals from Wilshere and Ramsey next season? Well, if they are going to make it at Arsenal, we will need to see goals from both of them more regularly now.
I reckon, if Arteta, Rosicky, Ramsey and Wilshere (and maybe Diaby in the second part of the season, and Eisfeld if given a proper chance now) can score twenty goals between them, Arsenal will win the PL next season.
Our defence and attack will continue and further improve from last season’s performances; I have little doubt about that.
But will our midfield be able to deliver 20 PL goals without us buying one or two experienced, quality mid-twenties midfield players who can hit the ground running and score goals regularly?
That my Gooner friends, is the question I am putting to you tonight! 🙂
Written by Total Arsenal.
Please note, I am considering Ox as an attacker rather than a central midfielder, but this could change next season.