For so long, Arsene Wenger has been after a successor to David Seaman. After years of searching, Arsenal have finally signed themselves a world-class goalkeeper.
Petr Cech’s arrival from Chelsea for around £11 million is a great coup for the club, who has been hailed by former great Seaman. But will the Czech Republic international’s arrival be enough to take Arsenal from top four certainties, to title challengers.
Simply put, no.
Arsenal have needed a signing like this for some time. David Ospina and Wojciech Szczesny are nowhere near the level required to mount a serious title challenge. Keepers before like Manuel Almunia, who was average at best and Jens Lehmann, who was the best of a bad bunch and a part of the ‘Invincibles’, however his erratic form, as proved in the 2006 Champions League final, cost Arsenal dearly.
Cech will come to the Gunners rescue plenty of times. His performances for Chelsea in the later stages of their Champions League triumph goes unnoticed far too much. His saves to keep Napoli at bay, to thwart Barcelona at the Camp Nou and the penalty save from Arjen Robben in extra time of the final. His organisation of the back four is something to be admired too. it’s no fluke that Cech is just two clean sheets away from equaling David James’ record of 170 clean sheets in the Premier league, playing 239 fewer games than the ex-Liverpool and Manchester City keeper.
So if the signing of Chelsea’s former No. 1 won’t propel Arsenal to the top, what will?
A new central defender. Laurent Koscielny is one of the best center-backs in the league. However, his defensive partner is nowhere near the standard needed if you are to be successful. Per Mertesacker is too slow, if he gets isolated then Arsenal are in all sorts of problems and teams look to expose that at every opportunity. Gabriel Paulista needs time to adapt to the Premier League. Injuries have hampered his Arsenal career so far, but more quality is needed than the Brazilian.
A new holding midfielder. A problem for Arsenal ever since Patrick Vieira and Gilberto Silva left the club. A player that does the ugly things and enables people like Santi Cazorla, Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey to just play. Francis Coquelin has done a steady job since his return from a loan spell at Charlton Athletic. However, a real dominant force in the center of the park has been lacking at the Emirates. Players like Morgan Schneiderlin or William Carvalho would be a perfect fit for Arsenal.
A 20-goal plus a season man. Arsenal never fail to create chances. If they finally have a striker that can take the majority of the chances that comes his way, then that alone can really take the Gunners a long way. Olivier Giroud is a decent Premier League forward, but he’s not going to fire you to the title, despite the player’s belief that they can win the title this upcoming season. Look at the chances he squandered against AS Monaco in the last 16 of the Champions League. If you don’t take your chances, you get punished and Arsenal have been a victim of that for some time.
It’s simple for Wenger this transfer window. A new spine is needed. So far the Frenchman has started his summer shopping pretty well. With a couple more additions like the ones I’ve stated above, then Arsenal can really mount a serious challenge on all fronts.
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