So, I don’t really want to talk much about football on the blog, there’s so many topics already, but as an arsenal supporter I wanted to cover my thoughts ahead of next weeks fa cup final.
We had a decent season, although we finished fourth again, we were top of the league for most of the season, hopefully if we spend a bit of money in the summer we can kick on further next season.
Next weeks fa cup final is a big deal, we haven’t won a trophy in 9 years, so we need it. We’re also playing hull city, so it should be ours for the taking, unfortunately a few years back we all thought the same about the league cup final against Birmingham city. That time a mistake between koscielny and szceszny cost us. Both have improved massively since then and I hope the team have learnt.
Anyway, my preferred team for the final would be
Sagna mertesacker koscielny Gibbs
Despite the fantastic efforts of fabianski in the cup this season, he’s leaving, so better our no 1 gets a potential cup win
Our defence has been solid all season, aside from a couple of mega blips, so it mostly picks itself, it could be argued that like fabianski, sagna is leaving and so jenkinson should play. If this happens then fair enough, but sagnas a far superior player and experiences, whereas jenkinson has barely played this season.
Midfield, the toughest bit. Flamini returning has been fantastic, he should never have been allowed to run his contract down, I’m not sure why he’s played less in the second half of the season, but alongside arteta it’s been a solid midfield base. Ramsey picks himself, he’s been awesome all season (apart from the injury), ozil and cazorla have the ability to win a game with a pass so both should be there.
Upfront, probably the easiest decision, do you play giroud who’s massively improved this season or sanogo, who’s played a handful of games and not done much? Yeah, it’s giroud.
Other contenders will of course be wilshire, rosicky and podolski. Rosicky has had a good season, whilst podolski has started scoring more recently so either would be an acceptable place, I don’t know who I’d want dropped to fit them in though, it may come down to fitness. Wilshire, whilst clearly very talented, just hasn’t impressed this season. I expect next season to be his second big breakthrough as long as he can keep his ankles in one piece at the World Cup.
As for the game itself, I expect arsenal to struggle initially against the plucky underdogs (maybe even concede) before class and fitness win out in the second half- much like a good number of our games this season.
I’d expect wilshire, sanogo and kallstrom to appear from the bench, though vermaelen, rosicky and podolski would of course be potentials too.
As for arsenals future assuming wenger signs his contract, I expect the summer to be a little underwhelming.
Fabianski, sagna, and kallstrom will leave. Fabianski has proved what a good keeper he is, but he needs to be a number one, someone’s going to get a bargain there. Sagna has been a solid consistent performer for years, it’s a shame to see him go, but who can blame him seeking out one final big contract. Kallstrom arrived on loan to a little bit of fuss, as far as I can tell he did ok when he played, I think if he were available cheaply he’d be a decent signing in midfield,
Another potential exit is vermaelen, who just can’t get back into the team. I’m not sure why he’s still captain if he’s isn’t playing, but I expect him to want to leave this summer in any case.
As for buys? I could list a whole load of signings we could make, and arsenal will make a few surprises instead. It’s widely accepted we need a goalkeeper, centre back (two if vermaelen goes), a right back, a vieira type midfielder and a centre forward. Given that three of those will just replace departures, I think the majority of fans are going to be disappointed by September, at least until arsenal look like challenging for the title,
Next season i think we can potentially win the title, but our injuries need to drop, for a few seasons now we’ve missed too many key players from too many games, so that needs to be sorted. Also, when January comes around, if we look to be short, then a signing must be made.