Arsenal in 2014/15 – better off without Khedira?

Read West Ham in 2014/15 – Do Hammers now have the tools to score?

Read Aston Villa in 2014/15 – Lambert abandons his young gun philosophy

Arsenal were the early pacesetters in the Premier League last season, helped in no uncertain terms by the rise of Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey and goalscoring exploits of Olivier Giroud. But while Mertesacker and Koscielny formed a watertight partnership as the season went on, loss of form from and injuries to key midfielders ensured their almost predictable slip down into fourth.

Fans may have expected more from the mercurial talents of Özil and Wilshere, and Ramsey, Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain all found themselves on the treatment table during the campaign. Arsene Wenger did break his much publicised trophy jinx however, by beating a plucky Hull City at Wembley to lift the FA Cup for the first time since 2005 and the Gunners enjoyed solid form in the final league run-in to claim the final Champions League place.

Aims for the season ahead

Given the plethora of injuries they endured last season, Arsenal’s main aim this season must be to ensure their finest talent stays away from the treatment table.

Unfortunately, for some midfield personnel, lay-offs endured last season were not anomalous, as the likes of Abou Diaby, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere in particular have each missed 179, 111 and 86 games through injury respectively since the start of 2010.

The Gunners had been heavily linked to German World Cup winner Sami Khedira in recent weeks, however rumours have since subsided. Despite the commanding midfielder’s obvious talents, Khedira has too suffered major spells on the sidelines too, missing a total of 72 games through injury since the start of 2010; an average of around 18 games per season. Such a big money signing, in both transfer fee and wages, would’ve represented a huge gamble, particularly given Khedira’s previous cruciate ligament injury.

These numbers signal exactly why the club need to improve the conditioning and fitness of their stars, and may explain why they have failed to mount a serious title challenge in the last four years.

Key summer signing so far

Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean brings an all-round attacking game to the Premier League and a world class pedigree. Whereas Mesut Özil struggled for momentum, Wenger will be hoping Sanchez starts where he left off after an impressive tournament in Brazil. The forward can be to Arsenal what Luis Suarez was to Liverpool in terms of versatility and attacking assertion, and although he is unlikely to reach similar goalscoring feats as the Uruguayan, there is also no reason to suggest he couldn’t replicate such a return.

This coup is a big signal of intent from the North London side, who are finally starting to invest their resources on players capable of taking them closer to a realistic title challenge.

Predicted finish: 3rd

Arsene Wenger has already made a couple of solid acquisitions so far and rivals Liverpool potentially weakened by the loss of Luis Suarez, I can see Arsenal making real progress this season and leapfrog the Merseyside outfit, especially if they further add to their already talented squad.

What do you think Gunners’ fans? Can Sanchez be the new Suarez? Have Arsenal dodged a bullet by missing out on Khedira? What would be a good finish in 2014/15? Leave your comments below!

Comments

  1. gidsilva says:

    Epl & ucl is de target dis coming season and may be invicibles in epl 2

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