This Sunday’s clash with Manchester United is unlikely to make a huge difference to our season, regardless of the result. Champions League football is secured once again, but any hopes we had of lifting the Premier League trophy were dashed when Chelsea were prematurely crowned champions with games to spare.
We should still be aiming for second spot, although our loss against Swansea this past Monday has certainly made it difficult. Our priority should be avoiding a fourth placed finish however, as we don’t want to have to play in the Champions League qualifiers yet again.
It would be fantastic to get our second Old Trafford victory of the season, and we are certainly more than capable of getting it. Providing we don’t let Louis van Gaal’s side leapfrog us in the table though, there could actually be some positives from a loss this Sunday.
We have come on leaps and bounds this season, and the big money signings of Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez have signalled the dawn of a new financial era. We are still some way off having the perfect squad though, and signings are a must this summer if we want to challenge Europe’s top teams.
This makes Arsene Wenger’s recent comments rather worrying, with the Frenchman claiming that his transfer plans had changed due to our fine form this season.
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“Massive changes. Massive,” Wenger is quoted as saying by the Mirror.
“We are not in need of absolute change. We have a strong squad. We have some strong young players behind.”
This is not what we as fans want to hear, as it essentially suggests that our form this season has lead Wenger to believe we don’t need to sign as many players this summer.
We have been excellent in 2015, but it isn’t necessarily anything we haven’t seen before. After a slow start to the campaign, we hit form in the second half of the season. We still failed to get the win in the big games that really mattered though, and while we could potentially finish higher in the table this time around, we don’t look like improving significantly on our season’s points tally.
Signings are still a must ahead of the 2015/16 campaign, and Wenger needs to be convinced that this current Arsenal side is not the finished article.
Our shock loss against Swansea was a painful experience, as it was reminiscent of the old, toothless Arsenal who did very little with possession, and were punished by individual errors.
The 1-0 loss may have started Wenger thinking, and will hopefully have him re-evaluating his transfer plans. This point would be hit home if we were to lose against Manchester United this Sunday, and would no doubt have pundits criticising us for our big game mentality.
In a perfect world, we would beat Manchester United, pip Manchester City to second place, and Wenger would still go out and strengthen in all the right areas this summer. But if the boss’ transfer plans really will be decided by our performances this season and how strongly we finish, then a disappointing loss against United could prove a necessary evil in the grand scheme of things.