Transfer Window over, time to handout grades.
We've brought in Alexis Sanchez, which is a quality signing, and Danny Welbeck on Deadline day, who is full of potential, but Wenger and the board still haven't adressed the key problems that saw us get battered at the rivals last season. Carvalho, Schneiderlin, Khedira, or Bender were must haves and yet Wenger, Gazidis, and Chief negotiator Dick Law were left haggling over the dowry for quality CDM's. To be fair I saw it coming once Arteta was named club captain. I don't personally think Wenger has it in him to bench another club captain or make the brave decision to bypass the line of succession (Arteta was vice-captain last season) for the quality of football on the field. Wenger is still playing the mind games with his players hoping that by giving them a chance and putting faith in them they will blossom into superstars. It's worked for Aaron Ramsey and many others in the past but its hard to see that working with a 31 year old Arteta who is being played out of position. (when he was at Everton he was a proper #10). Wenger did replace Sagna whose gone on to City with Debuchy, the man keeping him the former out of the France XI so it looks a good deal on paper. And Calum Chambers has been a revelation at the back along side both Mertesacker and Koscienly. Arsenal's attacking options are boosted significantly with the signing of Welbeck and Sanchez but the impact of getting Walcott back from his 6 month injury layoff might be the biggest addition of them all. I wouldnt be surprised if he hits the ground running and for Wenger to say in a press conference "He is like a new signing", but Arsenal and especially Mesut Ozil missed him during the title run-in. The other squads still look too strong to cope with and unless Arsenal bang in goals like Liverpool last season we may be going on trips to Eastern Ukraine on Thursday nights. We needed that CDM.
Chelsea: A fucking plus with a Ph.D in a I'm going to kick everyones ass degree.
Brought in Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas for 70 mil between them, brought back Courtois after he led Atleti to the title and CL Final, brought in Filipe Luiz to cover for the departing Ashley Cole, signed Drogba for general morale and Loic Remy to be an extra attacking option. Costa and Fabregas are the standouts this summer, but the real business was done in January of 2014. Brought in Matic sold Mata. Matic allows for Cesc to run free and create without having to constantly worry about defense. Mata has shown at United that he is creative but he lacks the battle plan defensive nature that Willian, Schurrle, and Hazard are adapting to. But most importantly Mourinho addressed his problems going forward. He wielded a heavy axe over the inept Torres and replaced him with the terrifying Costa. Thats the sort of pragmatism that wins you the title. Mourinho has his team looking at every game like a battle and that is best identified by Ivanovic who is fighting for his place with Filipe Luiz and Dave Azpilicueta.
I'd be surprised if Chelsea don't win the league. Only thing i see holding them back is a Costa hamstring injury or Cesc Fibreglass being over used as he was at Arsenal. IF both get injured were looking at the same Chelsea as last season who will be battling for 1-0 wins against the likes of Sunderland at home instead of annihilating them as they should.
It's hard to replace a guy like Suarez but an emerging Sterling with Balotelli can bring the goals back to Anfield. But that isnt what was needed most. letting in 50 goals last season is what lost Liverpool the title. (not Gerrards slip). Emre Can and Dejan Lovren are their marquee signings in my eyes. Put Emre in the squad instead of Allen and let Gerrard push forward and let Henderson run box to box. Or a Emre Gerrard pivot with Coutinho as the CAM. Thats the beauty of it, Rodgers has options. and I havent even mentioned Llanna or Markovic. Replacing Suarez looks difficult but I think Liverpool have spent the money well to bring in quality. But one has to be wary of the Spurs Sell Bale effect.
Manchester United: B
They've spent the money but haven't addressed their midfield issues and the 3 at the back. Going forward United look deadly, Rooney Falcao, RVP, Di Maria, Mata, Januzaj, Valencia. Deadly. But can they keep an out the opposition. One has to question the 3 at the back tactics of Van Gaal when it gets shred apart by MK Dons. Fucking MK Dons. IMO he needs to scrap it and go to a 4-2-3-1. Blind-Jones-Rojo-Shaw at the back can be effective in the prem. But more importantly it gets Valencia and Young forward instead of looking over their shoulder and having to defend. I can't imagine Di Maria having to track back as often as I have seen Young do it. surely he was not bought to defend. Not to mention the lack of a CDM. Just as much as Arsenal needed one United needed a quality Defensive midfielder as well. Vidal, Strootman, and Carvalho were there but none made their way to Old Trafford, leaving the red devils with Darren Fletcher, Fellaini, Anderson, and Ander Herrera. No wonder Swansea beat them. With a change in tactics all of United's signings can be a success. keep playing that 3 at the back non-sense and I guarantee you the likes of Stoke City will walk in and out of Old Trafford with 3 points and a cigar for good measure. United will score but can they keep you out?
Finally the Champions,
Manchester City: C
Held back by the FFP rulings that hopes to maintain the status quo of Football's Elite, Manchester City were only able to splash the cash on Eric Mangala from Porto. Mangala looks a proper CB and possible partner for Kompany who really doesnt need any help. They've also signed Fernando from Porto who can be an adequate replacement for Fernandinho and a partner to Yaya Toure who also doesnt really need any help. Sagna is a nice signing as well giving Zabaleta a break from time to time. But did this City squad really need any improving? they just need a kick in the backside from time to time to ensure they live up to their potential(see stoke city)
Good luck to everyone, but mainly Arsenal. I hope all of your signings get injured for long periods and Arsenal walk to the title.