Arsenal: What’s The Worst That Can Happen?

dr wengerRumours of signings for Arsenal still abound. Not Higuain now, obviously, not Cesc, still not Rooney, or Fellaini, or Bernard the Brazilian, or most of the others we’ve been linked with in the last three months. Maybe Suarez, who knows?

But supposing it’s no one. Okay, no one apart from Sanogo. What’s the likely outcome of the 2013-14 season? Title challengers, with our compact and settled squad? Second or third place? The usual scrap for fourth? The slightly less usual scrap for a Europa League place? Falling away towards mid-table? Lower than mid-table? RELEGATION DOGFIGHT? Surely not.

We’re far better than that, aren’t we? Though possibly rather relying on a lack of injuries right now.

But you know, we’ve been written off so many times over the last decade, and every year we’re still up there. Not as far up there as we’d like of course, but we’re not Spurs or Liverpool, never mind Everton or Villa or West Ham. And even ‘Arry couldn’t get us relegated. Well I don’t think so anyway.

But I’m interested in how confident people feel so please vote. (Not sure how ‘eleventh’ got in there on its own, but too late to change now.)

Twitter: @AngryOfN5

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24 thoughts on “Arsenal: What’s The Worst That Can Happen?

  1. I think it will be tight but 4th is possible again even without signings. Our settled squad has hardly changed at. Santos was replaced by monreal at xmas so his 3 starts will be improved upon by monreal. Coquelin with his 3 starts will be replaced by either jack and ramsey making 3 exyra starts to their 20 and 21 last season or frimpong will be given somechances. Mannone who made 9 starts last season will be replaced by fabianski who made 4 last season giving martinez a few starts if required. Finally gervinho with his 12 starts half as a striker and half as a winger will be replaced by sanogo and ryo so actually giving us a better squad. 3 more players made 9 sub apps between them. I would imagine that between bellerin hayden yennaris olsson zelalem gnabry afobe eisfeld and akpom we have 9 players who could make at least 1 sub appearance each.

    However I expect 3-5 additional signings by sept 2nd

    • How can we hope for 4th? We haven’t added to a team that didn’t beat a single top 4 team last year and only just scrapped a top 4 finish by 1 point from a team that have considerably strengthened.
      As it stands with this thin team we have no chance of qualifying next season.
      I don’t see Ryo as good enough yet and our youth team just got annihilated 7-0 by Luton.

  2. Nice post. I agree that there is nothing to worry about but 5 signings may be looking on the bright side!

    I predict a top 3 finish this year and some shiny FA cup winner medals!

    I think perhaps 3 at most including Gustavo if that happens!
    UTG

  3. I think we finished in second position but even do it nt a big signing at the 2nd of sep we will still sign 3 player by then

  4. I believe Arsenal will do very well this season. Even if there are no further signings this summer, Wenger seems to have discovered the strengths of his side from the run in of the last ten games of the prevoius season. After the Emirates cup debacle against Gala, he went back to the same strategy of compact high pressing game defending from the front and fast counter attacking game against City. His objectives are quite clear to me now which is to get results. We play much the same way against the big three (Man U, City and Chelsea) and go all out against the smaller teams. Arsenal will suprise all and the big guns in Europe are actually aware of this. Why is it that all the other big guns would rather sell to other teams like Napoli rather than Arsenal.

  5. I have always believed at the start of neaely every season we will win the league -call it blind optomism but I can remember thinking oh sheet we’re doomed in the 03/04 season when we only bought mad jens that year as our only single addition that yr to a team that lost the league to utd (I think we got spanked 6-1 by utd at ot-painful ).The invicibles turned out to be the best side ever that graced English soil.

  6. Ihate to say it but that mob down the road have bought some good players and if monkey boy stays they will be dangerous. Chelsea Man City and Man U are all solid so we need quality additions to get through the season and keep in the top 4. Bit of a downer after the promises at the start of the summer the best I can see for us is Fourth. Sad times.

  7. We definately wiil prevail this season. The goal scoring burden will be shared by the entire team particularly the midfield and defence. There is no stopping us this campaign.

  8. Always Arsenal Champions. Realistic? Do I give a fck? It’s the team I support and the team I want to be champions. I put £100 on it every year. This year I’m going to win, absolutely 100%.

  9. Al,
    monkey boy was there last season and we still pipped them– new players take time to “bed in” so I think that we will do well.
    Utd, City and Chelsea all have changes in management- consistency is the key. I think that we are in a fairly strong position with or without new players.

  10. Don’t want to put a dampened on things but chances of us not making any major signings before Sept 2nd is ridiculous. Still 20 days to go. We’ll be fine. Put down 4th had we not signed anyone major but we will

  11. Arsenal lack a focal point, a go to guy who can turn a game. United have had them for years and landed another one by getting RVP. Suarez is Liverpool’s (or was) while City have a few of them. The squad is nowhere near where it needs to be to challenge for a league title. Young players like Zelalem, Gnabry or Akpom while very talented are not physically ready for the cut and thrust of PL football. In order to compete in any business you must be prepared to invest in your core area of interest. In Arsenals case the team. For far too long Arsenal have been involved in other projects that have been peripheral to the team. Let no one tell me that we have built and paid for a new Stadium and that makes it all ok. Man U have developed their Stadium and have had their larder robbed by the Glaziers in recent years but that did’nt stop them winning league titles, champions leagues and the like. Ten years ago we were one of the best clubs in the world . We were winning titles for fun because we were competing. We were out there investing in quality players that had proven track records. I may be straying from the point a bit but I am sick and tired of people citing sugar daddies , millionaires, Arabs and a host of others for Arsenal’s demise. Its our fault, We have sat back and admired ourselves and our manager for too long. Don’t tell me that “investors” in other clubs did so because they were philanthropists ! They did so out of self interest ,They used the financial system for their own ends and did’nt mind if their clubs won something along the way. We should have done likewise. We should have used our financial muscle to win trophies and develop the Emirates at the same time.We could have called the shots ourselves. But we did’nt . We procrastinated and now we find ourselves in a “handbags” fight with Brenda and the girls at Anfield over a grossly over priced player who likes to bite his opponents. Imagine that bunch of nancyboys have won a CL title and have never won a PL title !! Arsenal lack class both on and off the field. It is not right that supporters who pay big money to support their team , supporters who know their football intimately, to be fobbed off with nonsense about winning trophies. I am angry with our manager and I am angry with the board. They are the so called guardians of the club . Heaven help us.

    • Exactly. The necessity was austerity we were told – but the truth turns out to be that with less greed or caution from Danny & co the resources of the Club could (and should) have coped with the Emirates debt without allowing the quality of the squad to decline. I guess our eyes were opened when they shuffled off carrying sacks of Yankee dollars.

      • Absolutely Englandsbest. We (me included ) were drunk with success. We thought that we could carry on winning and that we could get any player our hearts desired and hold the ones we had because we were Arsenal. But there was a serious lack of a balanced vision. The desire to fully exploit our success while understandable became the overriding goal of the board. They had a willing ally in the good Mr Wenger. As we know that board have long since defected after being bought off with Kroenke dollars. And the team ? Well that was left to Mr Frugal to with what he wished. And he did precisely nothing, like the Duke of York he marched his men to the top of the hill and marched them back down again, we went nowhere. And that my friend is where we are today, sniffing around the used car lot looking for a bargain because the manager is too mean to buy a new one . Or worse again he thinks he can build a better one at home . What arrogance .

  12. Fourth we would finish come the end of the season with or without major signings reason because we are stable and our players have came understand themselves better couple with the fact that they are all confident we could achieve/win silverware this season. Another reason is the managerial change in the other top clubs, so i say 4th is realitic

  13. Aside from numbers, we’ve lost very little of what we had last season. If you rate Gervinho (which I don’t) then you could argue that we’re worse off. Otherwise we’ve only lost players whose contribution to last season was negligible.

    On the flipside, it’s hard to argue that we won’t see improvements in the likes of Ramsey, Jenkinson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wilshere etc. I’d like to think that Podolski, Cazorla and Giroud will be better for having a season in England under their belts. You also can’t overlook the defensive solidity demonstrated towards the end of last season and this squad is stable. So one would imagine that we’d certainly be no worse than last season and possibly a bit better.

    If we sign no one other than Sanogo then the question is more whether our rivals for 4th have improved sufficiently to overtake us. Time will tell but I don’t think they have at the moment.

    Sp*rs have spent big money but i’m personally not impressed by the quality of the players they’ve bought. Soldado isn’t anything special and they’ve massively overpaid for him, he’s not much better than Defoe. There’s a reason why Paulinho was stuck in Eastern Europe and it isn’t his consistency. If Capoue was that good, why were none of the big 3 interested in him? If they lose Bale, their joker in the pack so many times, will they really have the creativity necessary to still win at Stoke etc?

    Liverpool? Shopping in the bargain basement in Spain is hardly going to make up the points deficit on Arsenal. Especially when their captain’s a year older, their vice captain has retired and their best player wants out. Oh and their boss is a tool.

    Who else is there? Does anyone really see Everton or Newcastle mounting a credible challenge for 4th this season?

    So I don’t think no new signings will be a disaster for Arsenal at all. That said, I do also expect Arsenal to sign other new players, I do expect them to eventually get the world class striker they need in Suarez (albeit on 2 September) and I do expect that to have a positive impact on the current squad.

    • You have made some fair points Chris. But we still lack strength in depth. While we won on Sunday last, one of our replacements was a sixteen year old and another was a trialist. Now I fully understand that the manager needs to see these players in action but he knows all he needs to know about the likes of Zelalem ( he played a part in all the games on the Asian tour ). But this lad will not be a realistic option during the season nor indeed do I believe will the other young lads either. While they are undoubtedly talented they lack the physical presence required to cut it in the PL at the moment. That’s why I believe we need to bring in a number of experienced pro’s who know what they’re about.. As I write this, word has it that we may be in for Luiz Gustavo from B Munich . If that proves true then he will be an excellent signing. But again I fear AWs tendency to drag his heels so I won’t be holding my breath.

      • I agree. We currently don’t have 2 players for each position even assuming that there are no injuries; on Saturday we only had 5 fit senior defenders. That won’t get us through the season once the injuries and suspensions inevitably hit, not to mention drops in form (we carried many out of form players last season).

        I think 3-4 top class players would make the difference between the 4th place groundhog grind and us pushing for 2nd/3rd and actually competing for cups. I just don’t think we’re really that worse off where we sit today as compared to where we sat at the end of May. None of the players we’ve lost were of any real use to us, they rarely filled in even when we had injuries etc last season. So whilst we lack strength in depth now, i’d argue we did last season too. The squad is now leaner and we’re probably saving c.£400k a week in wages and it’s time to put that to use.

        Wenger now has the chance to give the club the step-up it badly needs. It’s a pivotal moment in Wenger and Arsenal’s history, a massive few weeks. If we don’t sign the players required then we’ll be stuck competing for 4th and we’d have missed a golden opportunity. That’ll be down to one man only. He’s mishandled the market so far this summer. All’s not lost and he has time to make amends. Whilst early signings would’ve been ideal, the current squad has enough about it to get us through to 2 September. But I share your fear that Wenger’s dithering and reluctance to pay market prices will ultimately be our downfall. I’m confident we’ll sign 2 top players, quite possibly Suarez being one of them. Am I confident that it’ll be the 3-4 players I think we need to make the step up? No.

  14. No signings.Fourth place. Kroenke keeps making money. Never any ambition to win titles. Rather see us finishing last.

    • I’m no great fan of Kroenke but this is typical of the sort of melodrama that gets thrown about. For a start, if he’s only interested in money then he obviously won’t want us to finish last as this will mean a significant drop in the value of his investment. But it’s been made very clear that he has has made tens of millions of pounds available to Wenger to spend, Wenger has said as much himself. If we don’t buy anyone and have to put up with a battle for 4th again I don’t think that’ll be Kroenke’s fault, but Wenger’s.

      Longer term the issue is whether Kroenke should hand Wenger a new contract if he’s mishandled the direction of the club this summer. If Wenger makes a mess of this opportunity and still gets a new deal then I think it fair to criticise Kroenke. At present it’s palpable that Kroenke gives Wenger the freedom to dictate the size and quality of his playing squad and criticism of that squad should rest with one man.

  15. I’d say 2nd-3rd out of a natural state of optimism, and the benefit of both starting with a stable squad and players improving.

    To be honest though; Who knows? Last season 2nd to 5th was 6 points.

    Spurs are stronger, assuming they keep Bale, but bottling does seem genetic for them.
    Chelsea are stronger, assuming the Irritating one drops straight back into the groove.
    City are a little stronger, but how much depends on how well the new guys integrate and what Pelligrini can do.
    We are a little stronger for the reasons above, but lack of depth is our weakness.

    Even the ‘runaway champions’ have not strengthened, (Unless their unknown 20 year old is better than our unknown 20 year old). Add pissing off Rooney and of course trading down Scotsmen in the hot seat and anything could happen with them.

    In truth its about the most unpredictable season for years.

  16. The people who think we will finish 4th without new signings are idiots. Arsene Wenger has NEVER finished lower than 4th — for no other Arsenal manager, living or dead, can that be said. He always finds a way.

    These people are deluded into thinking that “spending money = success.” I have one word for them: “Leeds.”

    In addition, look at the other teams. Man United no longer have Ferguson and thus will no longer be able to intimidate officials into favoring them, so they will be lucky to finish top 4. Man City have a new manager and are unsettled. Chelsea’s only real addition (so far) has been Mourinho, and you never know when he’s going to blow up. Tottenham lost their 2nd best player (Dempsey) and have the choice of either selling their best player (Bale) or allowing their Redknapped finances to crush them. Outside of Bale, they have no decent players — if Soldado or Paulinho were any damn good, how come no ACTUAL big clubs went after them?

    Considering how we played over last season’s last 3 months, considering the competition, I think we’re in better shape than at any time since halftime in Paris.

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