The 2017/18 season is less than a fortnight away but Arsenal still need to answer several key questions before it kicks off.
Arsenal’s first Premier League clash against Leicester kicks off on 11 August – just 10 days away. However, the new season suddenly feels very close. A bit too close, in fact.
The Gunners have just come off the back of a pretty poor performance and resulting loss against Sevilla in the Emirates Cup. Now, while we shouldn’t take too much stock in pre-season friendlies, they can be a good indicator of how ‘ready’ we are for the next season.
While Sevilla did finish fourth in La Liga last season, they should still be a team Arsenal can beat, especially in front of a home crowd during our own bloody tournament.
Next, the Gunners face Chelsea. Again.
Although we managed to beat them when it mattered during the FA Cup final in May, we’ve already faced them in pre-season this summer and lost 3-0.
Therefore, Arsenal really need to have their game faces on when they face them in the Community Shield on 6 August.
Hopefully, the result will help to answer some questions we still really need to a know before the new season but what are some other questions we need answering?
Will Arsenal at least try and learn to defend?
Despite Laurent Koscielny being one of Arsenal’s most consistent players, the team can’t defend to save their lives.
Against Sevilla, the defence practically stood back and watched as Correa scored.
Arsenal’s inability to defend isn’t new and it’s baffling why nothing appears to have been done to prevent these comedy-errors from happening. Or, if something is being done, how someone’s not realised it’s not working and changed things up a bit.
Will players X, Y and Z be sold
There are several players being linked with a move away from north London including Kieran Gibbs, Jack Wilshere, and Carl Jenkinson.
While there are plenty of rumours talking about them moving, very little appears to actually be happening.
These players won’t exactly get in the way of others in the squad but you’d imagine getting business done, or at least knowing where everyone stands, would be a bonus before the season started, wouldn’t you?
Why was Wojciech Szczesny sold?
When the goalkeeper signed for Juventus, I don’t know of a single Arsenal fan who wasn’t perplexed by the move. He was supposed to be our #1 and now he’ll be warming the Old Lady’s bench.
Arsene Wenger did try to explain why the 27-year-old had been allowed to go but didn’t exactly answer the question, saying, “We have so many top-class goalkeepers that we gave him a chance to remain in Italy. I think that it’s very good for his future because he will certainly take over from Buffon.”
So… many… top-class goalkeepers…? What? An ageing Petr Cech and David-Bloomin-Ospina?!
Are Arsenal actually going to buy Thomas Lemar or…?
Wenger has admitted that there’s interest there and talks do appear to be ongoing but are Arsenal going to actually buy him before the new season starts? Because time is running out.
The 21-year-old would need time to meet the team and although he’s been training with Monaco, he’d still need to bed into the style of training at Arsenal.
So, are we actually going to sign him??
Who else is Arsenal going to sign?
Whether the Gunners are signing Lemar or not, is there going to be anyone else?
The team seems incomplete and Wenger claims we’re active in the transfer window but everything’s a bit quiet.
Another defender? A midfielder? Anyone?
Will contracts be tied up?
While some players reaching the final year of their contracts are linked with an exit, others are supposed to be staying. For example, Mesut Ozil is said to be ready to sign a new deal after keeping his box at the Emirates.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, linked with a move to Liverpool, also has just one year left, although he’s another player Wenger insists is staying.
Will these be sorted before the new season or, as I fear they might, are they just going to rumble on?