After starting with the much maligned positions of defence and Goalkeeper yesterday, I shall now move on to the midfield and attack.
With the imminent exits of Fabregas and Nasri, the midfield obviously needs strengthening and the countless names of attacking midfielders we've been linked to shows that not many people are certain who to
In our 3 man central midfield we are anchored by Alex Song, who can be one of the most underrated players in the league. Last season he did have a slight dip in form towards the end of the season (who didn't) but I put that down to lack of competition. This season he has Frimpong, who is hungry for first team action, and the return of Coquelin will give him even more. We may be short in this position when Song leaves for the African Cup of Nations, but luckily there is a chance Cameroon may not qualify.
Also in midfield we have two of the brightest young British talents in Ramsey and Wilshere. Both are fantastic players and hopefully the pressure of being leading payer in the first team won't hamper their natural games. In back up we have Diaby, Rosicky and Lansbury which does mean we lack creativity from central positions. With the addition of one or more of the creative players we've been linked to I think our midfield will be more than comfortable.
Our front 3 is probably our strongest position this year. We have great strength out wide with pacy, skillful players, hungry to make an impression in the first team. We might even be adding to ourdepth in this area with a Nasri replacement like Mata.
Arshavin is older, but looks a lot fitter this year and hopefully could realise the form he had when he first arrived. Back then he was touted as our second or third best player, and was on the verge of being declared world class. If he can get anywhere near to his best the loss of Cesc and Nasri will be swallowed a lot easier.
In addition to Walcott, in the new first team additions of Gervinho, Miyaichi and Chamberlain, Wenger has addressed a problem we have faced in recent years; lack of pace. Walcott has always had blistering speed, but with 4 lightning quick winger we can scare a lot of opponents and stretch teams more easily. Gervinho has been great in pre season and has briliant movement and finishing. I think he will get a lot of goals for us and at 10.5 million pounds he could go down as a bargain.
At the figurehead of the front 3 we have our supposedly new captain and best player in Robin Van Persie. Van Persie has amazing quality and technique, and whilst playing in a position he is not comfortable in he has excelled over recent years. If he picks up where he was at the end of last year he will be a great bet for top scorer, although he can't be trusted to play a whole season because of his injury record.
His back up does worry me though. Chamakh started well last season but was awful in pre season and his confidence is at rock bottom. I don't think we can trust him to play as Van Persie's back up when he inevitably get injured. I'd also have Bendtner ahead of him, but he looks to be on his way. Vela isn't ready and could be going out on loan, whilst the new signing Joel Campbell is very raw and will be tired after a summer of continuous tournaments. We are definitely short in this position, and hopefully some of the Cesc/Samir/Bendtner/Eboue transfer money will be reinvested in this area.
Overall our squad is short in a number of positions, and is probably not ready to start the season just yet. We can hope that the eleven that we put out today can beat Newcastle today, but they will not have enough to win the title. We are in a worse position than we were last year with the exits, and last year we finished 4th - albeit we should have finished a lot higher.
At the very least we need 3 (or 4) new signings; A defender, a midfielder (or 2) and a striker. Right now we have the quality to make the top four, and possibly win a cup, but unless we get those reinforcements then we can't expect to win the league. The Udinese game is vital and is worth 25 million pounds to our future revenue, so that may be delaying some of our money being spent, but we need to do our business soon and get the right players to improve our team.