By Avenell Dave
When you lose a player as good as Robin van Persie, there are always going to be questions raised about your ability to compete.
While it would be harsh, there are some who suggest that Arsenal were a one man team last season.
While that is unfair on the others who contributed, certainly we struggled for goals without RvP and in Park and Chamakh we have to players simply not up to the standard required.
But while Arsenal have not always been proactive in the transfer market, you have to say that the three signings we have made this summer are far more than the sum of the departing RvP.
Yes, new players take time to bed down and who knows how long the strikers and Cazorla will take to get used to the hustle and bustle of the Premier League?
But while we're still in a state of flux with Alex Song's departure yet to be confirmed and question marks also hanging over Arshavin, Bendtner and even Walcott (not to mention Squillaci Park and Chamakh), we'll not know how good this team is until the end of the month. It is frustrating.
Even so, I have a feeling those who don't take us seriously this season may regret it, the combination of new players and returning players giving us the capacity to challenge.
Of course, Citeh, M*nure and the Ch*vs have stronger squads and the money to bring in more players.
But even those who lambast or criticise the manager should realise that he has never failed to reach the top four and in this market that is some achievement.
Could we win the title or is it simply down to who ahs the most money?
Well I have a feeling Mancini won't last the season in Manchester and Di matteo also may find himself moving on. If we can maintain some stability and get off to a good start, there is no reason why we cannot challenge.
Of course it would be upsetting the odds and to think we could possibly regain our place as long term title challengers is fanciful.
But momentum and stability are key elements in sport and football is no different.
Who will play today remains to be seen.
Key players such as Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Koscielny are out and Song will be ommitted as he finalises his departure.
I can't imagine Wenger won't start with Cazorla despite his long trip in midweek. We need his ingenuity.
Sunerland have an unhappy record at Arsenal. Let's keep it that way.
Jenkinson Mertesacker Vermaelen Santos
Ramsey Arteta Cazorla
Walcott Giroud Podolski
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