So it seems Arsene Wenger says he’s happy to go into next season with his current squad. Given the expectations of fans, himself and presumably Thierry Henry, we’d guess this means he reckons that Arsenal has the players to replicate or better last season’s run to the Champions League final, while also putting together a less-than-limp challenge on Chelsea for the title.
But is he right? With the club’s only major signing so far being Tomas Rosicky, a like-for-like switch with Robert Pires, it looks like Wenger is banking on continued development of his impressive and talented young squad while hoping that recent signings like Alexander Hleb will peform better after a year’s worth of experience. He may be confident with the side as it is, but it seems some Arsenal supporters may not agree.
In Wenger’s own words:
“Look at our squad. In defence there’s Johan Djourou, Philippe Senderos, Sol Campbell, Kolo Toure, Ashley Cole, Gael Clichy, Mathieu Flamini and Justin Hoyte coming back.
“In midfield we have Gilberto, Cesc Fabregas, Alexander Hleb, Tomas Rosicky, Fredrik Ljungberg, Mathieu Flamini, who can still play there, and Jose Antonio Reyes.”
“Up front as well we have plenty of players too. Remember we have players at the World Cup who have not featured for us.”
Is this the makings of a Premiership challenging, Europe dominating side? Was last year the exception or the rule? Will the youngsters take the club to another level or will they find their second year as key squad members more difficult than the first, now that they no longer have surprise on their side?
With Chelsea making sure they give themselves every chance to dominate again by anyone who’s ever achieved anything, Manchester United and Liverpool likely to spend more than Arsenal reinforcing their squad, and the Gooners unlikely to be underestimated by Europe’s top clubs again – will Thierry Henry regret choosing to score a hattrick against Reading rather than line up alongside Ronaldinho, Eto’o and Messi?