Reports in the media that Marco Reus won’t contemplate signing for Arsenal this summer, due to the club’s poor trophy haul over recent seasons handed us the perfect opportunity to try and solve the Gunners’ problems.
Here’s a fairly representative Arsenal team from the season so far. They’ve won just eight of 19 2014/15 matches.
Gaps that were all too evident during the summer still remain, particularly in deep midfield and central defence.
Mathieu Flamini is starting to show why nobody wanted him 18 months ago (even Arsenal weren’t initially thought to be keen) while handing 32-year-old Mikel Arteta the captain’s armband was an odd mistake by Arsene Wenger.
Last term, Santi Cazorla either scored or assisted only two more top-flight goals than Lukas Podolski, who can’t get a look-in again this season, despite the Spaniard starting more than twice as many 2013/14 matches in the Premier League.
If Atletico Madrid really did fancy parting with £20m for Cazorla’s services during the last transfer window, Arsenal were remiss not to take it.
Wenger needed at least one new centre-half over the summer, so he bought 19-year-old Calum Chambers, who had only ever played at right-back for Southampton.
The young England man has been chopped and changed so much he mustn’t know whether he’s covering for Laurent Koscielny or Mathieu Debuchy at times.
Danny Welbeck hasn’t scored in any of his last five appearances, and has failed to find the net in eight of his 12 Arsenal matches so far, while Wojciech Szczesny clearly isn’t feeling enough pressure from new sub goalie David Ospina.
The Poland stopper makes 1.15 saves per goal conceded according to Squawka.com. Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois makes 1.80.
Arsenal are 40/1 to win the Premier League this term, but they might as well be ten times that, and are in real danger of missing out on a 1/2 top-four spot.
Here’s how they could have lined up at the start of this campaign with some much needed investment.
No doubt this team would be among the favourites to storm the top-flight next season, but Arsenal fans shouldn’t hold their breath.