Podolski as we all know join Arsenal from German side, FC Cologne for a fee in the region of £10.7 million. He scored 18 goals for the German side last season but unfortunately this wasn’t enough to prevent Cologne from relegation. He has over 100 caps for Germany, scoring 44 goals from the left-wing in Joachim Löw’s side. However he unfortunately has some doubters. It has been said that because of his bad spell at Bayern Munich, that he wouldn’t be able to handle it at a big club, However Poldi joined the German giants at the tender age of 21, he is more mature now and Arsenal fans would hope that his experience will help him be great on and off the green carpet that is the Emirates. He has already started off his Arsenal career with a bang scoring in the two nil win against Liverpool recently proving his worth to the Arsenal team. There is so much more to come from Podolski once he fully settles, he is a hard-working determined player and he will be key to any success Arsenal may have this season.
Arsene Wenger once again dipped into the French market in the summer transfer window, signing 2011/12 Ligue 1 top scorer Olivier Giroud from newly crowned French champions Montpellier. Olivier fired Montpellier to the top of Ligue 1 with 21 goals in 36 Ligue 1 matches. Some people have compared Giroud to Arsenal misfit Marouane Chamakh and have serious doubts as to whether he will be able to fill the void left by the departure of Robin Van Persie to rivals, Manchester United. I can assure you that this is not the case, Giroud’s height and physical presence should bode well for him in the Premier League and despite him standing at 6 foot 4 inches tall his movement is top class. Although, he is still yet to register with a goal I am confident that Giroud will come good, new signings take time to settle and gel together with the team. Once Giroud scores his first Arsenal goal the confidence will start to flow and I am sure he will soon prove his worth to the Arsenal cause.
Arsenal’s third summer signing was Spain international Santiago Cazorla, Cazorla was sold to Arsenal for much less than his actual market value due to the financial problems that his former club Malaga C.F. are currently suffering as a result of mounting debts. Cazorla will add some much-needed creativity to the Arsenal midfield and is almost the Cesc Fabregas replacement that came a year late. With Robin van Persie’s departure, Cazorla is one of the best players Arsenal have right now. He has hit the ground running from the off scoring his first goal of the season against Liverpool, he has also been very impressive in all 3 Premier League games he has started this season. Cazorla has settled in very quickly and he can only get better and better for Arsenal. A very exciting Spanish talent who still can offer Arsenal Football Club even more!
What can I say about Abou Diaby? When fit and in full swing Abou is a top class player and a joy to watch, unfortunately he hasn’t been able to stay fit for large parts of his Arsenal career and hasn’t been able to fulfil his potential which once led to him being labelled ‘the new Patrick Vieira. For the first time in years Diaby is starting the season fit and available and if he can remain so throughout the season he will really be like a new signing. But this is his make it or break it season here. He has started to season off very impressively but his ability has never been in doubt the problem has always stemmed from his inability to remain fit! Diaby is a very talented footballer and a player who simple must be out on the pitch showcasing his skills. The importance of Abou staying fully fit this season is greater than it ever has been.
This is a very big season for Theo Walcott. He is 23 years old now and has made 221 appearances for Arsenal, making him their longest-serving player. It it is time for Theo to step up, he has been on the same level for too long and he has to get better. Nevertheless he has had a great pre-season which only bodes well for a great season ahead. But he was on the bench for Arsenal’s game against Liverpool and with his long-term future in doubt Theo’s time at Arsenal may be running out. The player could well be sold in January but in the mean time he simply must step up and prove his worth. On his day Theo Walcott can cause havoc to any defence, consistency is key for the England international.
Gervinho- For me Gervinho’s first year at Arsenal was good, he started off brightly but his confidence and form dropped when he returned from AFCON after missing the crucial penalty that lost Ivory Coast the final. I am hoping he has a Koscielny-esque second season this year and that fans will recognise his talents. He has started off the season brightly and his final ball looks much better. I am confident that Gervinho will flourish this season and prove his doubters wrong.
Lifelong Arsenal fan Carl Jenkinson has a good opportunity to showcase his talent and silence his critics this season. With Sagna still a few weeks away from training Carl will continue to play until Sagna returns. The right back will have gained some confidence from Arsenal’s start to the season helping the team to keep 3 consecutive cleans sheets! He still has a long way to go but this season could be the season he really pushes on and grows as a player.
It is pivotal that Coquelin impresses when given a run out in Arsenal’s side this season, as he is of course not a regular starter at the club. With the summer departure of Alex Song and Arsenal failing to buy another midfielder to replace Song, Francis will now be on the fringes of the starting 11. If he wants to dislodge one our starting midfielders he simple must make advantage of any chance he gets. His future is also in doubt with the player unhappy at a lack of playing time and in January he may have to seek pastures new either on loan or a permanent transfer.
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