With the season approaching the business end, games will be coming thick and fast. After the lull that is January, the European competition re starts after the winter break and teams like Arsenal will have to play twice in a week especially if they progress further.
Given that the Gunners are in the FA Cup things could become a bit congested. This is where having a deep squad helps.
In years gone by Arsenal had a good starting XI, but the lack of overall quality in the squad meant that Arsene Wenger had to play the same team almost week in week out.
This resulted in fatigue and injuries so we more often than not fail to progress far in the knockout phases of the Champions league and wilt away gradually in the league.
However, things have changed in the last 18 months or so, we have a squad that is genuinely capable of competing on all fronts, we have two players competing for each place and even our much maligned defence looks stronger after the signing of Gabriel.
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The league is gone for this season, but in both the Cup competitions we are in with a shout – especially the FA Cup. Yes we will have to play Manchester United at Old Trafford, but I believe we have enough know-how and desire to at least get a draw at Old Trafford and win the return leg at the Emirates Stadium.
In the Champions league if we were to win against Monaco and kick on from there who knows, European games demand only sporadic brilliance.
Also if it not were the injuries to Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Debuchy and Aaron Ramsey we could genuinely put out two entirely different yet top class teams.
Not since the days of Invincibles we had so much depth in our side. If Wenger could just carefully manage the squad over the next month or so we could be in the semifinals of two major competitions.
That said we should not lose focus on the league, the race for top 4 is tighter than ever and it’s unthinkable for us to finish outside the Champions League places.
A good run in Europe, top four finish and defending the Cup would represent a successful season for me. Despite our increased financial strength I don’t think we have enough resources to directly compete with Chelsea or Manchester City for the title.
The key is to keep our trophy run going – we have already won the Community Shield but it’s more ceremonial than a trophy with real substance.
If we could keep our key players fit and rotate the squad effectively there is more than enough quality in this side to defend the FA Cup and reach the semifinals of the Champions League.
Arsenal may not be in the reckoning for the title race this season but we are building a squad capable of challenging the two oil funded clubs.
Come on you Gunners.