Well blow me down: Arsenal have actually spent some bloody money!
At the end of last season
Well, they managed to finish ahead of Tottenham, which is really very funny given some of the shit chat coming in from White Hart Lane during most of last season. I don’t really remember any good performances from them other than against Man City and Spurs, but Robin Van Persie basically saw them through rocky patches on his own, which is fair enough.
What’s happened since then
They’ve signed some genuinely decent footballers, by the looks of things. It should be noted that this is an altogether different concept to ‘good signings’, because while Santi Cazorla (<3) Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud are all pretty good players, they resolve literally none of Wenger’s squad issues. Unless Cazorla can play fullback and hasn’t yet told anyone in Spain then Arsenal are still buggered. (Interestingly, Man United seem to be trying the same thing with their central midfield, in what we can only suppose to be a stubbornly myopic suicide pact.) Van Persie has refused to sign a new contract, but so far it hasn’t resulted in a move as nobody wants to pay a whole lot of moolah to a man with a body made of Cadbury’s Flakes.
Current Starting XI
This picture comes with a caveat – it’s not very easy to predict the team because:
a) Van Persie (and Song and Walcott) could well leave.
b) At any one time about two thirds of these players will be crocked.
c) Sagna isn’t looking like he’ll be fit for the start of the season, and if I’m honest I’d probably be tempted to just play Cazorla at right-back AND left-back because Kieran Gibbs is pretty pants. Jack Wilshere can’t even stand up.
d) My opinion differs quite significantly from Wenger’s on the actual ability of some of his players.
e) I don’t really know or care that much about Arsenal.
God only knows. There aren’t many people in any walk of life who veer from the sublime to the ridiculous quite as much as Arsene Wenger, and there are fewer still who have the ability to teach everyone around them to do the same thing. He’ll come up with something by May, though.
Where will they finish?
They’ll probably come 4th this time if Chelsea are any good, with their attacking options keeping them up there even if the defence is pump. I’m only really interested in Santi Cazorla, as you may have gathered.
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