Reports have emerged today claiming that Theo Walcott has signed a new long-term deal with Arsenal, ending one of Arsene Wenger’s vows about the summer. They have secured the Emirates Cup, beating Lyon 6 – 0 and Wolfsburg 1 – 0 in two different ways to cap off a good pre season. Good performances from youngsters and regular alike must have pleased Arsene Wenger as they look to enter the season with all guns firing. So with a positive preseason done and dusted, what lies next for Arsenal?
First off, they face Chelsea for the community shield. Arsene Wenger is yet to beat Mourinho and the mental pressure must be on the Arsenal side, regardless of what they say. Beating this Chelsea side would be a massive boost to the team and the club alike. On the other hand, defeat to Chelsea again would raise question marks over Arsenal’s credibility and ability to challenge for the title and at other fronts. Victory for Arsenal would make it four trophies in two seasons, an impressive return after their barren run.
Secondly, they must look to address their striking situation. Oliver Giroud is a great striker but one striker alone cannot win you the league. Wenger looks at Walcott as a center forward but Arsenal’s match against Wolfsburg shows the limitations of Walcott as a lone striker. Danny Welbeck might be considered as another alternative but with injuries persisting and a return of only four premier league goals last season, Wenger might want to bring some additions into the squad.
Thirdly, they must look to keep all players fit. Injuries have hampered Arsenal’s seasons year after year after year. Arsenal’s squad depth looks better than ever as they have multiple and quality players competing for the same spots on the team. Coquelin, Cazorla, Ramsey, Rosicky, Wilshere and Arteta are examples as all of them would compete for the midfield two. Meanwhile up front would be grabs for between Giroud, Welbeck, Walcott and maybe even Sanchez. Such competition will be healthy for the players and would also allow Wenger to rotate players enough and to keep them injury free.
With the season just two weeks away, we could expect Arsenal to return to their free-flowing attacking football soon enough. But Arsenal also need to be pragmatic and stay injury free if they want to win the title this season. The hard work only begins now.