4th Place: Arsenal
Arsenal will once again finish 4th in my opinion although I think they could run Pool close for the 3rd automatic Champions League spot.
Selling 2 of your 1st team players with no adequate replacement will only mean great losses. Selling them to a team that is looking to challenge you for a top 4 finish is just plain bad business in my opinion.
Whether it is the lack of financial support or Arsene’s refusal to spend we might never really know the inside story, but again this season you will again see huge responsibility on the shoulders of the young Cesc Fabregas. If they have a mediocre season, I see him leaving next summer.
Arsene needs to have a full team of fit players, losing the likes of Rosicky for 6 weeks after he is just back from a 18 month layoff is not good news for I think he is a great player if fully fit. Losing Samir Nasri who I think has great potential is not good news as well. All this even when the season has not started yet.
They really need to have a fit Van Persie and Eduardo upfront although I have a little suspicion that they are too left footed to play together. Brendtner never looks like a great striker and you really cannot rely on him.
With Rosicky and Nasri available when fit, we might see Wenger finally playing Walcott upfront. Walcott in the right of midfield isn’t right as he looks a little out of position there. He needs to be more central and more involved.
It is in the goalkeeping and defensive department that Arsene will have the biggest headaches. Almunia is too inconsistent and losing Toure, their best defender is not good. To expect the unproven Vermaelen to replace Toure is risky. What does Wenger mean when he said the team has adequate cover in defense I do not know.
The fact that most people are not expecting great things from Arsenal this season could be the best tonic for the young side. This is where they could be dangerous for on their day, they are the best footballing side in the league by a million mile.
Having Arshavin for a full preseason is great news too as I think he will be te tailismen in the team this season. He operates so well just behind the front man and his finishing is so clinical. He could be the player to watch in the League this season.
I do expect Arsenal to finish comfortably in the top 4 this season, if they have a good start and continue to do well, they could finish 3rd, well ahead of Liverpool.