Hopes/Expectations for the Season

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Hopes/Expectations for the Season

Post by Jay29 on Sun Aug 02, 2015 7:47 pm

The Players

We have a good squad, but are maybe one or two players short of a complete squad. That’s been the common opinion for many seasons now, and it seems, with a good four weeks left in the window, that that’ll probably be the case again unless something dramatic happens in Madrid.

But enough of transfer window stuff. The squad has plenty of talent and depth to work with this upcoming season. Ospina should be an able backup to Cech, we have eight defenders, none of them make-shift, a bevy of creative midfielders and some explosive forwards to mesh with the slightly pace-challenged Giroud.

There are plenty of question to be asked of these players, of course. Will Cech prove to be the world class keeper he used to be or will he continue to steadily decline? Will Gabriel learn how to speak English? Can Bellerin continue his impressive progression? Can Coquelin replicate the form that saw him rise out of Championship humiliation? Will Ozil “flop” again? Can Alexis be amazing again? Will Welbeck make it into double figures for goals? Will Walcott play through the middle? And so on.

The big questions for me, though, concern the fitness of certain players. Arsenal are notorious for having a slew of injuries every season that contribute towards derailing any attempt at challenging for the league, and the three most frequently afflicted remaining in the squad happen to be amongst its most talented members: Ramsey, Wilshere and Chamberlain.

Now, the club claim to have resolved Ramsey’s constant hamstring niggles, but time will tell if this is the case or not. Arsenal have yet to enjoy this Ramsey, the one who’s on the verge of breaking into that top level of players, for a whole season, and you feel that any title push would benefit hugely from that. As for Wilshere and Chamberlain, it’s a case of always picking up bad injuries just when they’re starting to get a run in the side. Wilshere could, perhaps, benefit from the new squad role he has, just by virtue of having less opportunities to have his ankles destroyed. Chamberlain’s issues, though, is something we should get to the bottom of soon, because there’s a very good player there who could explode into life with the right opportunities.

And speaking generally, it’d be nice not to have an injury crisis every season, as though our squad may be strong, it’s only strong if they actually stay fit for the majority of the season.

Tactical Outlook

So on the wild assumption Arsenal will keep their players fit for most of the season, this is how we’re expected to line-up for the start of the season:

Cech

Bellerin - Mertesacker - Koscielny - Monreal

Coquelin - Cazorla

Ramsey - Ozil - Alexis

Giroud

The keeper is fine, and the backline is settled, and Ozil and Alexis are practically undroppable. In order for those two to play in their best roles, certain other players will have to compromise their positions.

The most affected here is Ramsey. Since the unlikely midget-duo of Coquelin and Cazorla have found their niche in central midfield, and since Wenger has seen the light and restored Ozil to his one-and-only no. 10 role, Ramsey has had to make a do with a functional right sided attacker role. It’s not a bad role for him, as he can still move into dangerous positions and score goals, but I think we all agree his best role is in central midfield.

Ramsey at least has the comfort of being a certain starter when fit. Wilshere and Chamberlain, on the other hand, have a more difficult job of finding a role in the first team. Wilshere finds himself behind Cazorla and Ramsey for a central midfield spot, and Ozil for a no. 10 spot, which means he may have to make-do as a right midfielder. However, Chamberlain will expect to be immediate backup for that role. Then there’s Danny Welbeck, who has been used more on the flanks.

Arsenal could, of course, solve this issue by playing a diamond:

Cech

Bellerin - Mertesacker - Koscielny - Monreal

Coquelin/Arteta

Ramsey/Chamberlain - Cazorla/Wilshere

Ozil/Rosicky

Giroud/Walcott - Alexis/Welbeck

However, this is pure fantasy that will only become reality on my PES and Football Manager saves.

As for Theo, it seems  that he’ll be competing directly with Giroud for their lone centre forward role, though will also play right or left depending on the game.

Expectations

Last season was deemed satisfactory. After a poor first half of the season, we finished strongly, flirted with a late title charge for a bit, finished third and retained the FA Cup (and won the Copa America).

This season, we should be going a step further by making a sustained title challenge. Anything less than that would feel like a step backwards for this squad. Whether we can win the league is another matter, and not something I can comment on now as there a few too many uncertainties, such as whether the spine of our team is strong enough, or whether we can keep our players fit long enough.

At the moment, we’re straddling that boundary between a top four side and title challengers. It’s time we stepped over it.

As for the Champions League, my only expectation is to get beyond the damn round of sixteen for the first time in ages. We’ll worry about after that if and when that happens. It’s not going to be easy, either, as due to some rule changes we’re now going to be in Pot 2 of the group stage draw, which means we could face Barcelona, Juventus, PSG or Bayern Munich in the groups. Wouldn’t that be fun?

I’m not overly fussed about the Capital One Cup and the FA Cup, though that could change depending on the state of our season.
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Re: Hopes/Expectations for the Season

Post by El Gunner on Sun Aug 02, 2015 7:53 pm

We're going to be in pot 2?????? rofl rofl rofl
FFS, need to win the CL this season to set that right.

But on a more serious note, for now I just hope we have a strong start to the season. I can revisit this thread in November to see how that start went.

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Re: Hopes/Expectations for the Season

Post by silver on Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:54 am

PL or nothing.


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Re: Hopes/Expectations for the Season

Post by RealGunner on Mon Aug 03, 2015 6:25 pm

Y u do this jay Sad

Now I have to be hopeful and expect a lot.



In terms of tactics, we have been trying a lot of narrow and compact 4-4-2 and 4-5-1. Reminds me of the 07/08 season. I think Ramsey and Wilshere will have to play a lot of football in wide areas. They will obviously drift inside and interchange, but it's difficult to see us fitting so many players in CMs.

It's crazy how stacked we are in midfield positions tbh.

We saw Arsene playing Cazorla at LM in teh community shield. Ramsey in the middle. Not sure if Arsene is convinced who plays in the middle and who wide atm.

I agree that we might be 1 or 2 players short of a convincing title charge tbh. But atm we have a great squad with top class players. And specially players like Oxlade, Coquelin and Wilshere need to be a big part.


Expectations

I am going to go all out and say that we need to win the PL now. We keep saying that a challenge is good eough and finishing 2nd is good but I think we are past that stage. We don't have a poor squad by any means. With players like Sanchez, Ramsey, Ozil, Cech and Koscielny, we should be mounting a title charge and potentially winning it.

I don't think we'll win FA cup again though. But obviously winning it would be nice.

In terms of CL. WE NEED TO GO PAST R16. It's becoming a joke now. And for sure we'll face a strong team from pot 1 in the group stage. But it doesn't mean we can't finish 1st.

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Re: Hopes/Expectations for the Season

Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce on Mon Aug 03, 2015 6:58 pm

Me and Jay both playing diamonds on PES/FM Proud

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Re: Hopes/Expectations for the Season

Post by Twoism on Mon Aug 03, 2015 11:30 pm

gonna keep it short, top 2. Don't want to come back and bite me in the ass at the end of this season, seen so many on GL already Very Happy
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Re: Hopes/Expectations for the Season

Post by urbaNRoots on Mon Aug 03, 2015 11:47 pm

We've spend well, have a very strong squad and are able to add more if we want. Therefore the expectations are high, anything but a PL title/FA Cup and a strong CL run will be disappointing me.

Wenger has had the money to create this squad, he still has more if he needs it, so if he is still the top level manager he used to be, he's gotta win the league - we never had a better chance in recent years and if we don't do it now, an exodus of players leaving will be soon coming again and the chance to make the big step up will be gone.

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Re: Hopes/Expectations for the Season

Post by Raptorgunner on Tue Aug 04, 2015 5:44 pm

@silver wrote:PL or nothing.



I agree here, FA cup was nice but really EPL or nothing.

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Re: Hopes/Expectations for the Season

Post by Sri on Tue Aug 11, 2015 11:39 am

Has AW ever played a diamond though? I think he has an innate dislike of the formation :/
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Re: Hopes/Expectations for the Season

Post by Arsenalfaithfull on Thu Aug 13, 2015 11:24 pm

We will win the the league or finish second imo.

We lost 1 game ffs due to flukey goals (which i admitted were due to carelessness from our players) and suddenly we go from being champion materials to scrapping 4th. I could have sworn people were wax lyrical about how great our squad was after beating Chelski. Our fans on the interwebz can be highly suggestible and fickle I swear.
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Re: Hopes/Expectations for the Season

Post by Raptorgunner on Thu Aug 13, 2015 11:58 pm

We are champion material?Shocked We lost at home to WHU.rofl

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Re: Hopes/Expectations for the Season

Post by 6unner on Sat Aug 15, 2015 5:11 am

Same tactics, same players and same finish. We will end up either 3rd or 4th.
I think it will be a challenge to not give up more goals this year.

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Re: Hopes/Expectations for the Season

Post by SUPERCARTTS on Fri Aug 21, 2015 3:54 pm

As is, we'll more than likely get a top 4 finish behind Chelsea City. If Utd buy an out and out goal scorer and sort out their ball retention they'll more than likely finish higher than us.

Liverpool have an outisde chance depending on how Benteke, Firmino and Sturridge perform. Though not terrible players, I'm slighly bothered as to how Liverpool will manager if the CM pairing of Henderson and Milner get injured.

We desperately require an upgrade on both Giroud and Coquelin, imho! Without that I envisage a 4th place finish.
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Re: Hopes/Expectations for the Season

Post by Chumlum on Sat Aug 22, 2015 1:18 pm

My own expectations and hopes for the season are pretty nebulous this year. I think I just want to see the club compete, really compete, on all fronts. No shameful cup/CL exits - if we go out, I want it to be because another team, a bigger and better team on the night, edged us out. The way things are, and the way financial competition is, it's not shameful to be "top 4." A lot of clubs would love to have that success. But Arsenal should be aiming for ever higher levels of competitiveness within that elite bracket.

I also want to see continued progress in keeping players fit. And an optimistic part of me wants to see Danny Welbeck have a breakout year - if we don't sign that great forward, which we won't.
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