Verdict – Experienced Keeper is a must
We need more depth at right back, it’s hard to compete with someone as good as Sagna but we need a more experienced full back to deal with long layoffs, as Sagna’s health is now somewhat in the balance after breaking the same leg twice in the same season and no, I don’t consider Jenkinson to be a first team player just yet.
Required –Cover/Competition for Sagna
Santos or Gibbs? Well in truth, neither. I enjoy watching the Brazilian on his forays going forward and I think he’s excellent in the challenge but he can be lethargic when in possession at the back and he gets caught out of position too often. Gibbs still has to prove he can stay fit, again that’s his biggest challenge heading into another season.
Required – A new left back preferably one that can defend and attack.
We have one world class defender (Koscielny) and two very good partners in Vermaelen and Mertesacker. Personally I prefer the Mertesacker and Koscielny combination because they both just defend and I’m a bit tired of seeing defenders that mask their own deficiencies just because they score goals. That will probably not go down too well but our back four needs to learn how to walk before it can run. A new centre half would be a nice addition but with Djourou and Squillaci looming large it’s unlikely.
Required – A new face if we manage to offload dumb and dumber.
As starting midfield trio’s go Song>Arteta>Wilshere is a pretty respectable combination but the trouble is we’ve never seen that line up.
We have seen Rosicky occupy the main attacking role but with all due respect, he doesn’t score enough and we need a playmaker who can take some of the pressure off van Persie.
Is it worth discussing Diaby? Really? I do think some sections of support forget how inconsistent he is when he returns. I don’t think any side loses any sleep over Diaby and it would be nice if he could take part in a campaign for once. That would be a positive in itself and it would allow us to rotate.
After that we have youthful exuberance in Ramsey, Frimpong & Coquelin. I do fear that Le Coq is seen as cover at right back but I think this hinders his development in the middle, as he should be cover for Song. His performance against WBA on the final day demonstrated a player not used to patrolling the centre of the park.
Required – A playmaker and a defensive midfielder both of which need to be quality
Attack (aka van Persie)
Where do I begin?
Chamakh/Park– hopeless/never gets a look in. Neither of these figures in our plans but are both are burning a hole in the clubs pocket. We were 3-0 up at Wolves late in the season and the home side had been down to 10 men since the opening minutes and still Wenger wouldn’t bring on either to give RVP a rest, need I say more?
Gervinho had a poor season but I see something in him, I like his direct approach but another ACoN beckons and I don’t think that helped him last season year and I fear it will be the same again this year.
Walcott improved last term but he still lacks in far too many areas. When he gets in-between fullback and centre half he can be devastating but most respectable full backs (exc. Cole) suffocate him when he is in possession. He could certainly be replaced that’s for sure and if you listen to van Persie, Afellay wouldn’t be a bad choice.
Oxlade-Chamberlain –I often find the clamour for his involvement in the first team rather embarrassing in all honesty. Wenger knows how to introduce these youngsters into the team and we all need to be patient. He is an excellent player but he’d be even better if the personnel he trained with every day were much better than him.
Required – Well we have Podolski who is a superb signing but I see him more on the left. So I think we need a quality striker (or two…) and also a more consistent winger
So after assessing our squad I think we need seven new players, which is obviously not going to happen but it’s what we need in order to compete. Until we start addressing the issues that presents themselves with this squad then we can never expect to challenge for anything. This is probably what van Persie wants to get him to put pen to paper but in truth it’s not about appeasing his needs, it’s about meeting our expectations as supporters. We finished 19 points behind Man City and whilst we did finish third, I see that more as a reflection on the poor standard in The Premier League. We have to start resurrecting ourselves on a domestic front and our lack of depth means we can’t actively compete on every front.