Troubled Times in North London?
With the departure of defensive-midfielder Mathieu Flamini to AC Milan on a free transfer earlier this summer and the continuing rumours concerning Aliksander Hleb’s future at the club, Arsenal can ill afford to even contemplate the loss of top scorer Emmanuel Adebayor. Arsene Wenger’s side finished just four points behind league winners Manchester United in May, losing out on top spot by a poor run of form, involving four draws in games they should have easily won, following Eduardo’s horrific injury. But the coming season looks to be even tougher, with Ferguson looking to build on United’s success and Abramovic cracking the whip at Chelsea and demanding trophies, it will be a telling time for the North London club.
There are two viewpoints; either Wenger has to focus his time on keeping together a team which promised so much but delivered so little in order to bring home the trophies they undoubtedly deserve after having already lost one, possibly rising to three, of his stars. Or he can rebuild, with the supposedly imminent signing of Samir Nasri from Marseille, Aaron Ramsey a done deal and a certain Carlos Vela returning as well as interest in Portuguese midfielder Miguel Veloso, Wenger could change the squad considerably. Gael Clichy’s new deal coupled with Fabregas’ public support for the club shows that the so called ‘kids’ whom the Frenchman has trained up are loyal and Adebayor’s exit could provide welcome funds. David Villa will be on the market and has stated his admiration for Arsenal, £20m would go nicely towards a potential bid for he or another striker. But one thing is for certain, as much as the fans can hold aloft banners reading “In Arsene We Trust”, as much as they can seek comfort in the knowledge that on the whole they were the best team in the premiership last year and as much as they can talk of the potential the team has they are tiring of missing out on trophies. Arsenal’s current odds for winning the league this season stand at 9/2 on football betting website Blue Square. They are not favourites, but considered potential winners by the bookies and might just be worth backing as they look to build on a promising recent season. Ideally for Arsenal Adebayor will stay and Wenger will bring in reinforcements, but even if the African Player of the Year decides to leave for AC Milan or Barcelona it won’t be the end of the world providing Arsenal do what they’ve failed to do for the past few seasons; win something.
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