The trophy drought at Emirates stadium continues with Arsenal having failed to win a trophy since victory in the FA Cup final four years ago. The Gunners have lost key players since that dramatic day in Cardiff: Patrick Veira, Thierry Henry and Robert Pires to name a few.
The exodus of senior players from the club has continued this summer with Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure both joining the Manchester City revolution.
Arsene Wenger has made steps to improve his squad. Thomas Veermaelan has joined from Dutch club Ajax. The experienced Belgian will add some much needed steel to the Arsenal back four.
In midfield the void left by Patrick Vieira’s departure in 2005 has still to be adequately filled. A replacement for Emmanuel Adebayor is also needed, with Emirates side heavily linked with Bourdeaux striker, Marouane Chamakh.
That clichéd saying; the return of an injured player is like a new signing. Well Thomas Rosicky fits that description as he hasn’t played for 18 months and had made a successful rehabilitation, making it through pre-season unscathed. That was until yesterday, when Wenger announced the Czech Republic international had picked up a hamstring strain.
It is an unwanted injury woe for the French manager who has already suffered the loss of Samir Nasri, who broke his leg in training. Eduardo will be looking to feature heavily in Arsenal’s season as he made it through pre-season without picking up any knocks after returning from a horrendous leg break last season.
If Arsenal could ensure the fitness of key players like van Persie, Nasri, Rosicky and Eduardo then the London club have the quality to mount a serious title challenge.
At the Arsenal Members’ Day 2009, when club captain Cesc Fabregas was questioned over the ambitions of the team this year, the Spanish international reacted sharply when it was suggested the club would be content with a fourth place finish. A sign to rival clubs to take Arsenal seriously.
Manchester City will be a threat this season. The Eastland club have signalled champions league qualification as a must. Should they lay claim to fourth spot or higher, it would appear Arsenal would be first out the door. In addition Aston Villa, Everton and Tottenham Hotspur will all be contenders to break into the top four. Arsenal will face an uphill battle.
Another trophyless season is surely unimaginable for Arsene Wenger and the Frenchman will be hoping the fruits of his labour come ripe this year as some of the younger players come of age.