So, this is the first of my team previews for the 2012/13 season. The season kicked off yesterday and I hope to be giving you some information on each team and what to look forward to in the coming season.
Last year arsenal got off to a slow start and were trailing the leading pack of the premier league. This year Wenger will aim to come out of the blocks a lot faster than previous years as most notably arsenal’s best form has come at the latter end of the season. With them retrieving a 10 point gap from Tottenham who were positioned above them in the league.
Over the course of the summer transfer window we’ve seen arsenal make a selection of signings. Whilst also experiencing the loss of RVP and Song in the last week. So lets run through the new headline transfers:
Carzola is a midfielder/winger joining from spanish side Malaga. Though he may not be the fastest of players he may be the perfect fit to replace the likes of Nasri and Fabregas. His creative attacking positioning should open up play for the strikers aiming to replicate RVP’s goal tally of last season.
Podolski has played at the top of international football with Germany, he will aim to replicate some of RVP’s goals this year aiming to solidify the loss of the forward. His international experience should help some of Arsenals younger players seeking to play consistently. I think we’ll see podolski as a regular first team member because of his versatility to play on both wings and as a lone striker.
Giroud may come into Arsenal as a semi unknown with many fans wondering as to the accusation of the player by Wenger. He comes from France having won the french league with Montpellier last season. His forward presence is vast with the striker being both strong and skill full. He is probably Wenger’s hope to replace RVP in both the short and long term, yet with no proven record in the premier league we will all have to wait and see. If he can match his Montpellier record of 71 games 33 goals we can be sure that Arsenal will be well on their way to making up for the lost striker.
Plan A: It is no secret that Arsenal are one of the pass masters of the premier league with an average of 60% possesion in matches last season. With long balls being off the menu, with 92% of their passes being short.
Plan B: If the tikkatikka passing doesnt work then Wenger will have to improvise. Last season there was no clear plan B, from the on lookers perspective I would assume Wenger would instruct the players to use the full width of the pitch and exploit the pace of both Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Gervinho.
Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen (C) , Gibbs
Arteta, Diaby, Carzola
Walcott, Giroud, Podolski
Notes: I would swap Walcott and Podolski for Gervinho and Oxlade-Chamberlain for certain games. And when Wilshere is fit he would play.
Lessons from last season:
Getting the defence organised will be high priority for Wenger and the defensive coaches. Arsenal’s badly positioned defenders made 25 last-man tackles during the last campaign, almost twice as many as any other team!
RVP will be missed but the new signings should instill some belief from both management and fans. Wilshere’s return will continue to be uncertain but the other young gunners such as Oxlade-Chamberlain should be given a chance. This year will be a big test for Wenger with fans wanting more and more, but he retained a champions league place last season so we’ll have to wait and see.