By Avenell Dave
It’s hard to write a preview to a match taking place on Sunday when there are still so many hours left of the transfer window.
As we’ve seen in the past, Arsenal like to do their business late and if we’re going to sign anyone, be it Julian Draxler, Mirko Vucinic or whoever, it’s already about as late as it gets.
You could argue that if he had been signed and fit, Draxler may have made a difference against Southampton or that we could have upped our goal difference.
You could point to Chelsea or Manchester United and argue that their willingness to make big money signings shows that even when you’ve won the title the previous season or already have a fine looking squad, there is room for improvement.
But that’s a simplistic view.
Jose Mourinho is signing players because the current squad is still not his Chelsea and he wants to put his stamp on the team while United’s struggles have been well documented.
The fact is, despite the likes of United, Chelsea and Manchester City all investing heavily, the last 12 months in the Premier League have seen Arsenal take more points than anyone else.
No team should rest on its laurels and there is plenty of room for improvement at Arsenal.
We could do with another centre-back; a central midfielder, particularly one who is tall and dominant in the way Yaya Toure is for City and PV4 was for us for so many seasons; and of course a striker, ideally with an eye for goal, strong and with barrel loads of pace.
Certainly in the case of the latter, it’s the sort of player everyone is after and whether Draxler is that player, now or in the future, remains to be seen.
He’s been likened to Cristiano Ronaldo or having the same impact that Andrey Arshavin and Jose Antonio Reyes did for Arsenal in the past but if he doesn’t come, we haven’t exactly done badly without him, despite a catalogue of injuries to Lukas Podolski, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott and now Aaron Ramsey.
But the price of success is playing more games and you wonder how we will cope and how many more injuries we could endure if new recruits are not brought in.
Thankfully, even though the squad is stretched, Tony Pulis doesn’t do well when he brings teams to Arsenal. Yes his sides are physical and Crystal Palace are resurgent but we could be facing a far more challenging team.
Nothing short of a win will do, that’s for sure, and perhaps it’s time to give Podolski and Oxlade-Chamberlain more game time to get them ready for the big month ahead.
The rest of the team picks itself.
Let’s hope before then, we have reason to celebrate a new signing that underlines our intention to really go for it this season.
Sagna Mertesacker Koscielny Monreal
Rosicky Arteta Cazorla
Oxlade-Chamberlain Giroud Podolski