Here is the next preview/prediction article on a contending team for the upcoming Premier League season. For the other previews so far click the links here:
Arsenal Preview 2011/2012 Season
Since winning the FA Cup back in 2005, Arsenal hasn’t lifted a single trophy and has basically been one of the biggest chokers in world soccer. Whenever they’re faced with a must-win situation, they just can’t get over the hump and produce a decent performance.
Manager Arsene Wenger has one of the most talented sides in the world, let alone the English Premier League, but there’s still something missing. One problem has been the lack of a world-class goalkeeper to match the rest of the squad. They were in the title race most of last season, but faded badly during the last several weeks and haven’t won the league since 2004.
The club added Brazilian Gervinho over the summer and he’ll help and Carl Jenkinson was added from Charlton. Captain Cesc Fabregas is another whining millionaire soccer player and he might keep crying until Arsenal get tired of it and finally sell him to Spanish champions Barcelona. Samir Nasri could also join him out the door. Defender Gael Clichy left during the offseason and Denilson was loaned out to Sao Paulo of Brazil.
Arsenal has never had a problem playing good attacking soccer as the team is loaded with skilled players. The problem is they miss too many chances and often pass instead of shooting in an attempt to make the perfect or prettiest play.
The midfield’s best include Abou Diaby, Tomas Rosicky, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshire, Emmanuel Eboue, Fabregas, Nasir, and Andrey Arshavin. Up front, they’re also loaded with Theo Walcott, Robin van Persie, Nicklas Bendtner, Carlos Vela, Marouane Chamakh, and Gervinho.
They’re not as strong in defense with the best of a pretty weak bunch being Thomas Vermaelen, Bacaray Sagna, and Laurent Koscielny.
When it comes to goalkeeping, they’re even weaker with Manuel Almunia, Vito Mannone, Lukasz Fabianski, and Wojciech Szczesny. It’s hard to say who’s the best out of this bunch, but Almunia’s probably the worst.
It’s hard to understand why Wenger hasn’t addressed the situation in goal over the years, especially with the likes of Paul Robinson and Shay Given being available over the past five or six seasons.
While Gervinho may help the club score a few more goals this year, it’s not really going to make a big difference if the team falls apart whenever they’re faced with a big game. These players need to dig their heels in if they hope to lead Arsenal to a league title. They have the talent to do it, but it seems the determination and work ethic is missing.
Odds and Prediction
Sportsbook 5Dimes.com has the odds of Arsenal taking the EPL this season at +925, which is behind Manchester United, Chelsea, and Manchester City. Arsenal could be in the race again this year, but it’s doubtful they’ll take the title. They could place anywhere between second and fifth, but closer to second looks like a better bet. Either way this isn’t a good bet because Arsenal just simply does not have the team to legitimately make a case for a Premier League win.
If you do decide to place a bet, 5Dimes is the best place to bet soccer online. They offer the best odds for almost every match in every league.