THIS IS ARSENAL SEASON
A year ago at this time Arsenal supporters were calling for Wenger’s time at Arsenal. Arsenal had just lost their season opener at home to Aston Villa.
After a transfer period that had promised so much, no meaningful acquisition had been handed to the squad. All marquee signings the Boss had promised the supporters had slipped away. Only Flamini had resigned free from AC Milan. Suarez had gone. Di Maria and Benzema had decided to stay in Madrid. Wenger for the first time was facing a moment of uncertainty on his somehow glittering Arsenal career as the Manager. Only a quick purchase of Ozil at the 11th hour from Real Madrid restored parity. The fact that Wenger forked out a cool 42.4 Million Euros; a club record at the time for a single player spoke volumes of the amount of pressure he was into at the time. The youth project he’d trusted so much had failed.
During the first half of the season Ozil and CO led arsenal to the top of the table and in fact no team stayed at the top of the EPL table than Arsenal. Ozil was at the heart of everything and led the on the assists charts. Carzola was peerless alongside Ramsey who himself couldn’t stop scoring. Giroud despite being the only recognized striker at Emirates carried out his duties well. Walcott after a long injury layoff too found back his scoring boots and tormented defenses at will with his searing pace. Per Mertetesacker and Koscielny became one of the best defensive partnerships in the division. The feeling at Emirates was that after almost a decade of waiting, at least a trophy was on the cards.
Then the season began to crumble dramatically. Damaging defeats at Etihad, Liverpool and Chelsea all but ended the Barclays premier league trophy chase. The UEFA Champions league trophy dream ended after a home loss at the hands of German giants, Bayern Munich. The chance to build on the early season form had failed. The squad was depleted after a series of injuries to key players. Ozil was blamed for a dip in form. Giroud showed he is not the kind of striker to spearhead a title chasing team.
The Community Shield trophy
Afraid not to repeat on the last season failure, Wenger entered this transfer window with a bang. Alexis Sanchez arrived from Barcelona. Contract rebel Sagna was replaced almost immediately by France and Newcastle defender Debuchy. Ospina who had a good World Cup with Columbia joined the race for number one spot. Chambers, a promising teenager from Southampton too joined the fray to bolster the defense. Big names were linked to Emirates and Wenger was spending.
The second trophy arrived in style. A dominant Arsenal brushed aside Manchester City to lift the Community Shield. A psychological boost for the oncoming season. Ramsey picked on from his exploits of last season. Alexis Sanchez showed the quality of a world class player that he possesses. Giroud proved his critics wrong with a dipping 25 yarder goal. Chambers looked promising with some well, hard but timed tackles at the heart of defense. The over forty thousand Arsenal supporters at Wembley stadium finally had a feeling of optimism for the season ahead.
Arsenal has an embarrassment of wealth in midfiled but the need for a defensive midfielder was clearly evident. Khedira and Morgan Schneiderlin could protect the likes of Ramsey when going forward. Arteta despite being handed the armband looks well past his age and Flamini is always reckless in on his tackles. Vermaelen has since left for Barcelona and is yet to be replaced. The close of transfer is two weeks away and the activities of Wenger in the remaining period will define Arsenal’s season a head.