First of all, Arsenal will not win the league, Arsenal might not even make top four but they will excite you, play beautiful football, press hard and get lots of points that will surprise many but at the time of penning this, they still haven’t fixed their major problem in midfield; training pictures reveal that Mesut Ozil is back in the fold, the bad PR given to the ex-German international means no real suitors to gamble on his hefty wages and he’s here to stay. Matteo Guendouzi is another player they failed at every attempt to offload, while the kid made lots of mistakes with his disgusting attitude against Brighton but the reverberations that followed weren’t well handled by the club, he was hung to dry outside and that doesn’t speak too well of the club, no one will take a player you painted as such, considering the fact that in all sincerity, the lad isn’t anywhere near the hype the fans created around him, even Unai Emery isn’t talking about taking him to Villareal, that counts for something.
The acquisition of Gabriel Maghaeles from Lille means the Gunners have finally fixed their defensive issues, William Saliba will start his Arsenal career fully too and the long term contract to Pablo Mari means they have depth with David Luiz on hand to hand them the experience they need. Some will leave the team, Sokratis, Lucas Torreira and Mustafi have been touted to look elsewhere, PSG have signified interest in Hector Bellerin, a good offer will definitely be listened to, but the real conundrum is in goal, Emiliano Martinez shone brightly in the absence of Bernd Leno up to the latest Shield victory over Liverpool, leaving Mikel Arteta wondering who takes the starting shirt, Aston Villa have been in for the Argentine but will Arsenal sell? Willian Borges joined from Chelsea to offer options to Arsenal upfront, he can play in the middle too, he’s versatile but he’ll be better for it on the flanks, Eddie Nketiah is gradually maturing, Alexander Lacazzette should be moved on, the no-brainer is the option of handing him over to Atletico Madrid in part exchange for Thomas Partey, the latter will help Arsenal shore things up and protect the back four if he maintains his La Liga form, there’s no worry about Aubameyang, dude is as good as you want him anywhere upfront, in fact, he has scored seven of Arsenal’s last eight goals… Worrisome?
Tottenham Hotspur at the moment haven’t signed more than Doherty in defense and Pierre Emile Hojberg from Southampton, a deal that saw Walkers-Peters head the other way, what is expected of Spurs isn’t really identified for now but the grit that comes with a side managed by Jose Mourinho will be evident, they haven’t replaced Jan Vertoghen, they must, of course except they believe Julian Foyth is a finished article.
Sometime in February, Nuno Espirito Santo stylishly sent a note of warning to the traditional top six sides, “the gap is no longer wide, anyone can beat anyone”, he didn’t lie, Wolves keep strengthening in the right places, they were denied the chance to add Arsenal’s Ainsley Maitland-Niles with the Gunners refusing to lower their asking price, one that must have been geometrically affected by the lad’s call up to the national team where he eventually made his debut on Tuesday night against Denmark in the goalless draw, another team that will hope to break into the kingdom of the top sides is Everton; Carlo Ancellotti has signed James Rodriguez, Allan from Napoli and the impressive former Watford enforcer, Abdoulahi Doucoure, they haven’t done much in defense and they still need fire powers upfront, what level of tinkering will the experienced manager bring to the table for the Toffees?
Not a team anyone would be afraid of but Newcastle are doing serious businesses, they haven’t completed the takeover, yet they’re already showing intentions, while many will argue they’re becoming Bournemouth 2.0 with the double swoop for Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser, they signed Jamaal Lewis from Norwich too and will really excite if they get ticking fast…
Sheffield United will look to pick up from where they left off last season, the question is: can they emulate the level they reached last season? Will the likes of John Lundstram, Sander Berge, Egan, Baldock and McGoldrick hit same heights of last season? Elsewhere, there must be a mention for El Loco, Marcelo Bielsa, the self-styled tactician will be rearing to have a go at the big boys, Leeds United won’t be easy to run over, whatever angle you’re looking at him from, he is the real deal and will have lots of say in the affairs of things.
The 2020/21 league season is upon us, it’s an outstanding achievement that the footballing world has won this one, beating COVID-19 despite its presence still means a lot, we’ll hope that the slim margin of lead over the pandemic doesn’t get usurped by new cases among the players and the society at large…
Let the season begin!