All the fuzz about the upcoming season surrounding Arsenal has been about their title credentials in winning the Premier League, no one has really given much of thought about the Gunners chances in the continental championship. With 5 consecutive round of 16 exits, how far can Arsenal go in the champions league?
Wenger has assembled a really strong squad with competitions for places all through the starting eleven. The club also has got talented youngsters coming through the ranks and some really good signings with the likes of the latest teen Adelaide showing off what he can do in the pre-season. The team is nearly complete and with a possible addition of another striker the team would be a finished article.
The two games in the Emirates Cup showed the strength in depth that Arsene has. He virtually fielded two different 11’s for both the matches and still ended up defeating two top notch sides. So the question is can the squad really fight for the champions league?
When it comes to winning titles, the tactics deployed play a crucial part and to think about Arsenal winning the Champions League can’t be ruled out if Arsene decides to take the pragmatic approach to the games depending upon the opposition they face. If the French manager can adopt tactics similar to those exhibited at Etihad last season, against the likes of much powerful sides like Barcelona and Real Madrid, the Gunners can win the title for the first time in their history.
Despite of not tasting success in the Continental Championship, he has led his teams to victory against the European power houses in the past. The likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus, Bayern Munich have all been beaten by Arsene managed teams. It is now in the hands of the manager and the players in putting up such performances over a prolonged period and not in patches which they are used to.
It is also necessary to have your main players fit which would help boost the team’s chemistry and confidence. The mental block of not winning a title is not haunting the players anymore with back to back FA cup triumphs. With Sanchez blazing all around, coming back from an historic Copa America and Walcott all set to sign a new contract extension and Ozil being given his preferred no 10. The signing of Cech has brought serenity to that defense and with the likes of Ramsey, Ox, Cazorla, Wilshere and Coquelin in the middle the team looks formidable.
According to some experts the Gunners are well short of quality when compared to the European power houses, but the same was said when Arsenal faced Madrid back in 2006. However, Arsenal ended up winning the two legged encounter 1-0 with a back four which had Flamini, Toure, Eboue and Senderos. The Gunners reached the finals of that year’s competition, their only appearance in the final of the champions league.
We definitely need another striker, but don’t be surprised if we don’t buy one. But with or without a new striker never really rule out Arsenal. With Sanchez and Walcott and others being fit, we can really surprise everyone.