When the dust had settled on Arsenal’s tragic summer transfer mess, this team became an enigma. Gone were their two best playmaking midfielders. Gone were two fullbacks and a plethora of their team’s depth. As Fabregas, Nasri, Clichy, Eboue, Bendtner, and more players departed, the media vultures gathered round and prepared to strike.
Manager Arsene Wenger appeared weak-minded and desperate as he rushed to sign the likes of Arteta, Benayoun, Dos Santos, and Park Chu-Young on deadline day. These were players who initially seemed like the poor man’s replacements of a once great team. Arsenal began the season just as predicted, succumbing to draws and losses against lesser opposition. There was the debacle at Old Trafford.
But oh how the winds have changed. Arsenal has somehow recovered. On a current streak of 8 wins of their last 9 matches, suddenly this team doesn’t look half as bad. Re-emerging from the depths of the Premier League’s relegation zone, the team now sits at 7th in the table, only three points off of the revered Champions’ League qualifying 4th place. After the grand victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, Arsenal is back!!
The team has finally accepted that Fabregas is gone. Players like Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott have taken his place. Captain Robin van Persie has taken it upon himself to score a brace every match the and the masses have ceased calling for Arsene Wenger’s head. All this, while the team still lacks two of its greatest weapons.
Young English star, Jack Wilshire, has yet to make an appearance this season. Arsenal’s player of the year last year was supposed to be the attacking midfielder who would replace El Capitan, but he will remain sidelined until January with an ankle problem. Belgian captain, Thomas Vermaelen, is one of the best defenders in the world. His first season at Arsenal, he demonstrated leadership and strength at the back, which the team seemingly always lacks. He has missed the greater part of a year with injury but is just finally breaking back into the team and full fitness.
If Arsenal can get these two players back and in form, the sky is the limit. This team is capable of competing for trophies with the best of them. Perhaps the damage was too great early on in the season, as Arsenal now sits a daunting 12 points behind leaders, Manchester City. But if Van Persie continues to lead this team, trophies will arrive. Everyone misses Nasri and Fabregas, but we all want trophies, and these two player provided none. Their Arsenal side was never great. They had no steel, no heart, no united sense of them against the world. They had their eyes on money and home. Arsenal now has one united purpose, pride. The way this season started will have brought the boys together in the best way possible. Expect this team to have a big say for one of the trophies this year.