Premier League - Countdown: Arsenal  

Tuesday, 11 August 2009


- Manuel Almunia -

Bacary Sagna - William Gallas - Thomas Vermaelen - Gael Clichy

Theo Walcott - Cesc Fabregas - Denilson - Samir Nasri

Robin van Persie - Andrei Arshavin

BACK-UPS FROM: Lukasz Fabianski, Vito Mannone, Philippe Senderos, Mikael Silvestre, Johan Djourou, Armand Traore, Kieran Gibbs, Alexander Song, Abou Diaby, Tomas Rosicky, Nicklas Bendtner, Emmanuel Eboue, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Eduardo, Carlos Vela


In - Thomas Vermaelen (Ajax, undisclosed)

Out - Kolo Toure (Manchester City, £16m), Emmanuel Adebayor (Manchester City, undisclosed), Havard Nordtveit (Lillestrom, loan), Fran Merida (Levante, loan), Amaury Bischoff, Rui Fonte, Abu Ogogo, Paul Rodgers, Rene Steer (all released)

POSITIVES: Arsene Wenger's ability to rebuild a side is unparalleled, and if any manager can cope with the loss of senior players Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor, it is him. He has some outstanding youngsters, including 17-year-old Jack Wilshere, while Andrei Arshavin might just be the most entertaining player in the Premier League.

NEGATIVES: Four years without a trophy is too long, and Wenger knows it. Patrick Vieira has never been adequately replaced, and while Alex Song has the physique he needs to prove he has the intelligence and the temperament. Nearly slipped out of the top four last season - Manchester City's massive spending means that it could be a long way back if they miss the Champions League this term.

VERDICT: Wenger continues to make the most of the resources at his disposal, but without a big cash injection the Gunners will not contend for major silverware. They are too canny to lose fourth place to City, however. 4th.
Mario Hajiloizis / Eurosport


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