The Premier League 2015/16 season will begin in another week’s time. All the clubs have geared up well and have completed their pre-season friendly games. It’s time to battle it out on the field for highest supremacy.
In our previous article we throw light at the Chelsea squad for the current season. Now it’s time for Arsenal squad for the current season. Arsene Wenger over the years have built an extremely strong squad which is now worthy enough to win the title. The French manager has a bad reputation of not buying BIG players, spending big amounts. In 2013 Wenger successfully shrugged off all the criticism and made Mesut Ozil a club record signing from Real Madrid. The succeeding season, that is the previous season he made another big signing in Alexis Sanchez who proved to be great success at Emirates. The Chilean had picture perfect debut season and guided Arsenal to FA Cup triumph, second in two years and they finished among the top 3.
With the likes of Sanchez, Ozil, Cazorla, Ramsey, etc in their squad Arsenal is expected to do well in this season’s campaign.
Goalkeepers- Petr Cech, David Ospina, Emiliano Martinez.
Defenders- Mathieu Debuchy, Hector Bellerin, Calum Chambers, Gabriel Paulista, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal, Kieran Gibbs, Isaac Hayden.
Midfielders- Tomas Rosicky, Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere, Mesut Ozil, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla, Mathieu Flamini, Francis Coquelin, Gedion Zelalem, Krystian Bielik.
Forwards- Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott, Danny Welbeck, Alexis Sanchez, Serge Gnabry, Joel Campbell, Chuba Akpom.
Carl Jenkinson – West Ham, Loan
Wojciech Szczesny – Roma, Loan
Abou Diaby – Released
Ainsley Maitland-Niles – Ipswich, Loan
Brandon Ormond-Ottewill – Swindon, Free
Ryo Myaichi – St Pauli, Undisclosed
Semi Ajayi – Cardiff, Undisclosed
Yaya Sanogo – Ajax, Loan
Best starting lineup & possible Formations and Tactics
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger generally prefers to field his team in a 4-2-3-1 formation. With a single striker upfront three attacking midfielders accompany him from behind.
Olivier Giroud is likely to start as the front striker. Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla will fulfill the roles of attacking midfielders. French youngster Francis Coquelin who had tremendous season with the Gunners in the second half of the season will likely start in the defensive midfield position ahead of veterans Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini. Either of Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey will accompany Coquelin the central midfield role.
The most likely formation for the Gunners is given below in graphics:
4-1-4-1 is another possible formation in which Wenger can field his team depending on the circumstances and situation. Last season Wenger had bought Danny Welbeck from Manchester United on the summer transfer deadline day. Due to Welbeck’s poor performance as a front striker and due to lack availability of key players due to injury, Arsenal had played the formation in several matches. Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey or Mesut Ozil used to play as central midfielder with Danny Welbeck and Alexis Sanchez on the wings. Francis Coquelin used to be the lone defensive midfielder who would play a pivotal role in front of the backline.
The formation proved to be a success as Arsenal did well on several occasion. The previous season’s results might give Wenger the motivation to apply this tactics if the situation demands.
The formation is represented graphically below:
Possible Starting Lineup (4-2-3-1): Cech; Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs; Coquelin, Wilshere; Ozil, Cazorla, Sanchez; Giroud.
Santi Cazorla: Santi Cazorla is the most versatile and consistent player in the Arsenal squad. The Spaniard can play in almost any position in the midfield, be it central midfield, on the wings or as an attacking midfielder just behind striker. He has tremendous ball control and his vision is extraordinary when it comes to provide long passes. He will be the most crucial man for the Gunners’ success this season.
Alexis Sanchez: Alexis Sanchez is possibly the best recruit of Arsenal in a long time. The Chilean attacker was brought home by Wenger from FC Barcelona last summer for a bargain deal. He was an instant success in the Premier League and adjusted himself very quickly in the atmosphere. Sanchez is undoubtedly the best player in the Arsenal squad right now and he holds the capability of leading his team to glory single-handedly. If Arsenal have to win the title, Sanchez should be at his best for the entire season.
Players to watch out for
Francis Coquelin: The French youngster was an Arsenal youth player but spend most of his time on loan. He was brought back to the club last January by Wenger as the club lacked a proper defensive midfielder. Since then the French midfielder did a commendable job in the defensive midfield role and installed faith among fans and the manager. The present season will be an extremely crucial for the 24-year-old. It can prove to be a make or break season for Coquelin.
Aaron Ramsey: The Welsh midfielder is one of the most talented player in the present Arsenal squad. He too is extremely versatile just like Santi Cazorla. Ramsey has great goal scoring ability and can play as a playmaker at the central midfield. He is one of the players to watch for in the Premier League this time.
Arsenal can boast of having well balanced and an energetic unit this time. They have quality players in almost every department except the striker position. The likes of Olivier Giroud or Danny Welbeck are not good enough for a title challenging team. If Arsenal buy a marquee striker and /or a CDM in this transfer window they will surely become serious title contenders.
As for now we predict a top 3 finish for Arsenal.