Will Arsenal become a more rounded team without Van Persie?
Despite selling both their top goalscorer and leading assist maker from the 2011-12 season in Robin van Persie and Alex Song, the mood is surprisingly good at Arsenal this summer. The much-heralded trio of Lukas Podolski (pictured), Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla bring both quality and variety, and, with the promise of a couple more new faces, the Gunners appear much better prepared than they were last summer after the excruciating Cesc Fàbregas and Samir Nasri sagas. In fact, the Life’s a Pitch team even goes so far as to suggest Arsenal look a more rounded team now their dependence on Van Persie has ended.
“From everything that I saw on Saturday, new heroes can emerge: particularly in the form of Cazorla, who really has excited the fans,” says the Daily Mirror’s John Cross. “Maybe as a team they’re stronger overall, [rather] than just relying on one thrust, which was Van Persie.”
And while selling the Dutch international was a wrench, Arsène Wenger seemed happier for Song to leave, adds the Guardian’s Dominic Fifield. “It was Arsenal’s choice to sell Song, who had plenty more years left on his contract. They’ve looked at the bigger picture and thought they’ve got enough bodies in midfield to cope without him and maybe bring in one, possibly two, more before the end of the window. I agree with John, their squad is looking stronger. Once Podolski and Giroud find their feet they’ll have goals from different areas. And that’s got to be more beneficial for Arsenal rather than an over-reliance on one man.”
“I think Podolski and Giroud will come good,” explains the People’s Janine Self. “They’re quality players. Podolski is being asked to play in a different position, for a start. I do recall a certain Thierry Henry coming to Arsenal and being asked to play in a different position, and it took him a bit of time. I’m quite excited about Arsenal. And I think the fact that they sold Song actually shows that Arsène Wenger is quite happy with what’s happening at Arsenal, too.”
The team also discuss Arsenal’s need to bolster the defence, Jack Wilshere’s return and Sunday’s visit to Stoke.
Watch the full video discussion by clicking on the play button in the image above.
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Stoke v Arsenal, 1pm, 26 August, Sky Sports 1
Liverpool v Arsenal, 1pm, 2 September, Sky Sports 1
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