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What we do about defensive midfield could define our season

AND so the new season is nearly upon us and I’d better start finding time for updating this blog more often than it has been over the summer.

My thoughts on our transfer business thus far:

- Sanchez is a very exciting solution to a monster gap in our squad. Yes, we’ve strengthened. But numerically, in terms of proper striking options, we’re at best only where we were a very few short years ago. Nonetheless, a very welcome addition.

- Szczesny thrives on competition and with Fabianski gone we need someone to give him some.

- Debuchy for Sagna at right-back seems reasonable enough.

- For me, it is what we now do in midfield that will define whether when the transfer window closes I forsee a genuine chance of the title or a season not dissimilar to the previous nine. I was, frankly, fairly distraught at our failure to land Fabregas. For me we’re a midfield not short on numbers, but less certain of how many of them can be relied upon to deliver this season.

By this I mean that while Aaron Ramsey appears well placed to deliver some decent stuff, others appear less certain. Arteta might creak, Flamini was far less influential in the second half of last season than the first, Diaby is Diaby, Rosicky is lovely to watch but can’t be expected to play every game, Theo might take time to recover, injury contributed to the Ox, Wilshere and Cazorla having seasons that were moderate at best and Ozil has in the space of a year lost a winter break and gained a seven game World Cup. He wouldn’t be the first to suffer a World Cup hangover.

Of course, the above is no doubt excessively pessimistic. But I think the overall point has some truth to it.

For me the big thing is the Arteta position. I really like the guy and we’d be incredibly foolish to let him go. But at the same time, I’m not sure he is going to win us the title in that position. Nor Flamini. Nor Wilshere. I can live (reluctantly) without Fabregas, but I think whether or not we strengthen in the defensive midfield position could be pivotal.

We’ll see what happens.

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