Monday, 8 August 2011

View from la playa; Statistics don't always tell the whole story yet in sporting terms it is foolhardy to ignore them. In this sense the prognosis for season 2011-12 should have some basis in logical conclusion based on factual evidence  Last season Arsenal scored a high number of league goals. Conversely Arsenal conceded the majority of goals from set pieces. This would strongly indicate where improvement needs to be made in order to improve on the previous seasons finishing position In fact goal scoring in general was healthy as exemplified in the 4 goals in the first half at St James. The defensive shortcomings were also highlighted in the same match Conclusion? Strengthening of the defence and over all defensive duties throughout the team Wenger obviously feels that a fit again Vermaelan improves the defence, which it does, however, despite some criticism, Clichy at left back has been deemed surplus to requirements leaving a void of experience in that position.  The area in which Wenger has strengthened the squad, at least in terms of a player who has a league winners experience is in the offensive area.  With a week until the start of the season and a demanding August the club appears to be ineffectually treading water.  There us still uncertainty regarding the club captain and Nasri; in Nasri's case it appears that Wenger sold the wrong player when he let Gallas go.  Eboue, Bendter & Almunia are still at the club. There has been no addition at the heart of defence nor an experienced keeper joining the squad.  Judging by the pre season friendlies the defensive problems remain and there is a general air of uncertainty relating to Arsenal.  Based on last season we appear to have the most need of change and improvement as the other members of the title hopefuls  have either done better or stayed the same; Man Utd as Champions and ECL finalists strengthened their squad in ample time to bed in the new additions. Chelsea were a solid second and have a good squad and new manager. Man City have entered the fray with squad depth. Liverpool have improved on the last couple of seasons which leaves Arsenal as the team in the group who have gone backwards, dropping league position and conceding more goals.  To make a prediction about Arsenal and the season ahead should be done objectively and therefore I believe that Arsenal will finish in a Champions League spot, will not win a trophy and the status quo will remain unexcitingly static going into the 2012-13 season We will continue to gain sufficient points on a regular basis and retain an air of vulnerability defensively. Injuries will be a key factor , as given the lack of quality throughout the squad, a heavy performance burden will rest in our handful of quality players No significant personnel changes no formation changes and no 'marquee' players to excite us.  For 2011-12 the song remains the same

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