It’s incredibly frustrating being an Arsenal fan, just ask anyone associated with the Gooners, and there’s certainly a reason why many flocks to ArsenalFanTV on a weekly basis, grumble about the goings on and then get mocked by rival supporters.
That negative atmosphere has become associated with Arsenal in recent years and, rightly or wrongly, it’s something that the Gunners will have to shake moving forward. For that to happen though, the North London side need to pull their finger out and do the business necessary.
Every single year Arsenal impresses in the transfer market with one marquee signing but leaves themselves open to criticism by failing to strengthen one or two more areas. This summer, Arsenal broke their transfer record to sign Alexandre Lacazette, who’s already made an impression, but Arsene Wenger’s side looks lacking in central defence.
Laurent Koscielny is one of the best in the Premier League but is in the latter stages of his career, whilst Per Mertesacker will probably have his final season ended prematurely and Gabriel Paulista only seems to be at the club because everyone is too scared to tell him that’s he’s not actually very good.
Shkodran Mustafi was a quality addition last summer and should shine this year in his second campaign with the Gunners, whilst Rob Holding has also impressed but showed his inexperience on Friday night against Leicester City.
These options would be fine if Arsenal were to be playing with a four-man defensive line but Wenger has instead opted to switch to a three-man defence that mimics Antonio Conte’s successful Chelsea side from last season- and the current central options don’t have enough depth or quality to be competitive both in the Premier League and Europe.
Arsenal’s policy seems to be one or two big signings a summer. This year was Lacazette, last year was Mustafi and Granit Xhaka, the year before was Petr Cech, then it was Alexis Sanchez and it all started with Mesut Ozil. All superb players, all significant improvements, all failed to solve all of the problems within Arsenal’s side.
I can tell you exactly what will happen in the next 12 months for Arsenal on the transfer market; Wenger will realise the defence needs strengthening, he’ll sign someone next summer. He won’t solve the issues in replacing Cech, who’s past his best, and we’ll struggle again. Rinse and repeat, fitting in the inevitable loss of Alexis Sanchez wherever you like.
Manchester City and Manchester United may be criticised for spending a tonne of money in the transfer market every summer but they don’t do it for the sake of it, they do it to improve the areas of the squad that they need to.
For Arsenal to solve all of their issues this summer, a centre-back and a goalkeeper need to be signed before the deadline at the end of the month- but does anyone genuinely think this will happen? If you do, you’re probably still feeling the effects of the weekend’s alcohol.
Had Arsenal secured more of those aforementioned big names in a single summer then the Gunners may well have already ended their long wait for Premier League glory. Instead, the wait for another league title rumbles on and even the most optimistic fan will struggle to tell you that we can pip both Manchester clubs to the title this season.