With five games left of the Premier League season Arsenal go into Monday nights’ game with relegation threatened Wigan Athletic knowing that nothing less than a win will do.
With 3rd place rivals Tottenham Hotspur in FA Cup action this weekend Arsenal have the chance to put a bit of breathing space between themselves and their North London neighbours. A comfortable 3-0 win last week against a poor Wolves side all but sent Terry Connor’s side down, but for Arsenal it continued their fantastic run and was also a second successive Premier League clean sheet, a feat that has only happened on two other occasions this season for the Gunners.
It seems that has been one of the main problems for Arsenal this season, conceding goals: only Newcastle have conceded more goals out of the top eight teams in the Premier League this season. Injuries to key players such as Thomas Vermaelen, Bacary Sagna and Keiran Gibbs have seen inexperienced players such as Carl Jenkinson, Francis Coquelin and Ignasi Miquel all feature in the back four this campaign.
Without influential figures such as Vermaelen and Sagna, Arsenal seem to lack that organization at the back, which has often led to them conceding soft goals from set pieces. It is in stark contrast to the days of Tony Adams and Patrick Viera, two former Arsenal enforcers that once led the team with their driven performances.
It’s vital that manager Arsene Wenger is given the chance to add big name players to his Arsenal side next season, especially down the middle of the park where games are often won or lost. The Daily Mail has reported Wenger is interested in players such as Ajax’s centre half Jan Vertonghen and Cologne’s Lukas Podolski, a striker who has scored 16 goals in 24 games this season. Both would be fantastic additions at the Emirates next year and would show that the club is looking at the immediate future.
Players like these would compliment quality footballers such as Jack Wilshere, who has spent the majority of the season injured, Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott and the red hot Robin Van Perise, who has scored 34 goals this campaign.
One player who will be looking to take his form into next season is Alex Song, who is arguably one of Arsenals most underestimated players. Song was instrumental in Arsenal’s win at home to Manchester City has really equalled his strength with his wonderful technique in many excellent performances this season.
With players such as Andrei Arshavin, Carlos Vela, Nicklas Bendtner, Park Chu – Young and Marouane Chamakh all reported to leave the Emirates at the end of the season it could be a summer of transition from Arsenal and with money still left over from the sales of Fabregas, Nasri, Clichy and Eboue last year, Arsene Wenger may finally be able to go out and spend the kind of money that will see his club challenge the likes of Man United, Man City and Chelsea for the Premier League title next season, providing he spends it wisely.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Arsenal