Arsenal’s 2007-2008 Premiership prospects

Arsene Wenger has indicated that he is not interested in signing another striker. There was a lot of hoo recently as Anelka was resurrected again but it was shot down by the gaffer. So far Soccerblog’s prediction has held good. But there is no reason to panic.
Theo Walcott has been in impressive form scoring a goal and assisting in one of RVP’s goals against Genclerberligi ( did I get that right?). Wenger thinks that Theo is ready for the big time. Which could only mean that Wenger is thinking of Theo partnering RVP up front.
Da Silva’s came on for the final 21 minutes and his form impressed Wenger and this is what he had to say:
“You could see that straightaway when Eduardo came on he is a quality player,” said Wenger. “His movement, his sharpness, the quality of his runs, and his final ball was perfect.”
Lets face it, if Da Silva can score a third of what he scored for Dinamo Zagreb, he would be an outstanding success. In the absence of a consistent 20+ goal striker which Henry was, the Gunners need smaller contributions from other strikers and midfielders.
That means Cesc, Gilberto (who had a great season scoring 10 goals), Flamini, Hleb, and Rosicky need to put in more goals. At least 30. The promising part was that the goal scoring aspect came alive when Henry was out all of December and January. The Arsenal defense was one of the more adventurous ones in the Premiership last season with Toure and Gallas scoring 6 and if they can score that many this season we have about 35 from these two areas.
Many have written about Arsenal being undersized and certainly, Da Silva with his 5′ 6″ frame is no Henry in his physical presence. I think Wenger has a very good option in Nicklas Bendtner with his 6′ 2″ height, to hold off the more intimidating defenses like Blackburn, Bolton, and Newcastle, and use his aerial ability to score goals. So we do have a solution. Adebayor is coming along nicely as a super sub.
Wenger is confident that Freddie Ljungberg is not going anywhere and sees the experienced Swedish winger playing a leadership role. Ljungberg has lost a bit of pace but can still be an asset in limited appearances, if healthy, and if necessary.
Gael Clichy’s widening the left side of the field with his speed was refreshing. Now if we could get him to serve up some quality crosses. Eboue’s forays on the right could be further developed into a more formal wing back position. It was a beauty of a cross from Eboue that led to Henry’s winner against Man Utd, so the man has talent in that area.
Arsenal needs 75 goals to remain competitive with no drop off expected in Man Utd and Chelsea and an upgrade in Liverpool and Spurs. Lets put this in perspective.
The key as I see is that Chelsea score a consistent 70+ goals, get their defense to then shut down attacks to achieve their titles and Liverpool who score a sub 60 goals but get their wins consistently through low scoring games; with Arsenal in recent years, its feast or famine, they either come out like gangbusters or dry up inexplicably.
Arsenal’s hyperactive 87 goals in 2005-2006 was only good for the runners up position as they won 4 fewer games than Chelsea. Similarly, in 2002-2003, they scored 85 goals and fell short in wins compared to Man Utd. Both years saw the defense giving up plenty of goals and a clumping of blowout wins followed by a string of losses.
In contrast, it was the Arsenal defense that shut down the opposition in their unbeaten 2003-2004 season as the attack only scored 72 goals, in relatively low scoring wins and many draws. So there is no reason to mourn the loss of Henry and filter the doomsday predictions of scrapping with the Spurs for fourth.
70+ goals can get us the title. I think this year may see the return of consistency and low scoring wins with a more distributed attack BUT we need a tighter defense.

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2 comments on “Arsenal’s 2007-2008 Premiership prospects
  1. i think spurs will be closer to the top 4 but i don’t think they will break them up and i have a few different reasons why. First of all goals. Arsenal may not have converted the large amount of possession and shots/opportunities into goals last year but towards the end of last season it was coming together more and we actually finished only 1 goal behind chealsea who had their 2 main goal scorers fit for the whole season. It’s only a matter of time before we start converting more chances and i’d be more worried if we weren’t creating any .
    The second reason is team spirit. I loved the fact Gilberto (probable our new skipper) hit straight back at Drogba who thinks that we have no chance without henry. Hopfully Gilberto can put that fighting spirit and the feeling of protection for the club like Drogba insulted a member of his family into the rest of the team. The other comment that i notcied was Fabregas saying him and the younger players promised eachother to stick together and start winning titles at Arsenal. That shows me the lack of ego (which maybe henry had the last year or 2) and the feeling that they all are pulling together in the same direction and want to win trophes at arsenal.
    The third reason we will be staying in the top 4 is having some real world class talent. Van Persies going to be quality this season and the fact he was joint top scorer with Drogba before his injury could make him a good bet for player of the year or young player award at least. Fabregas is already one of the best in his position in the world and if he starts getting as many goals as assists he will be untouchable.Gilberto and Toure are the battlers and highly consistant players in the team as well as being good leaders. Lehman can be a little unpredictable but is stll one of the best keepers in the league and we have a pair of fullbacks in eboue and clichy who have improved their overall game fast and could be among the best in their positions. Rosicky is a quality player and if he avoids injuries this season he will provide and score more goals for Arsenal. Diaby looks to be becoming the next Vieira for Arsenal and is the tough tackling and forceful player arsenal have been looking for in midfield and Denilson, with no fear in getting stuck in and a good eye for a pass, looks to be the love child of Gilberto and Fabregas. Theo Walcott will learn from last season and he will be fitter and stronger for it. Even when he was injuried he played on for months, which shows great character, and even helped the England under 21′s qualify for the european championships and scored against the best defence of last season in the carling cup final during that period as well.Adebayor brings something different to our foward line and i think he will score more next season.
    The fourth reason is knowing eachother. This team started to be rebuilt after the unbeatable season are o believe they have reached an understanding between eachother of how to play together and what each other will do and where they will be pitch which you cant just buy which Liverpool and Spurs are maybe are trying to do. Although it’s exciting for fans to see their team buying loads of players but you can’t just throw all of them into the team and expect them to play superb football. Also not all of your best players can play together, which England fans will tell you, and i think thats where Liverpool will have a problem next season because Rafa seems to think the rotation system works but he has’nt come close to the league yet and i can see more players getting upset of not getting a regular run in the team and therefore not playing well because they have’nt played together enough to have a understanding on the pitch.
    The fifth and final reason is we have Arsene Wenger. People doubted Ferguson a few years and said he was past it but you can’t buy experience and he had been there done it and bought the t-shirt and so has Wenger. Wenger knows what it takes to win titles (which only 2 other current managers know how to do in england) and i for one still have all the faith in world he will sign and bring titles back to Arsenal.
    I’m going to sit on the fence a little bit and say we may not win the league this season but i think we will make more of a challenge for it and might even finish 2nd or third.

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