We probably all agree that we could do with three or four players this summer, in three or four different areas of the pitch. But what if we only had the luxury of signing one? Take Chamakh out of the equation (I’m assuming his arrival is a done deal) and let me know your priority.
Is it in goal, where Almunia and Fabianski have both suffered poor seasons. Both are good shot stoppers, but being a goalkeeper is not just about stopping shots, it’s about confidence, having an aura, commanding your box, marshalling your defence and giving that confidence to your back line ahead of you.
Or in central defence, where Silvestre and Gallas both look likely to sail off into the sunset, leaving just two men to hold the fort. Vermaelen has had a very promising debut season, but Djourou has only played about 20 minutes all year.
Or perhaps a new holding midfielder. We are well stocked with darting, creative, diminutive midfielders but when the much improved Alex Song is absent – as he was on several occasions last season – we lack an obvious candidate to slot in there and replace him. Neither Diaby nor Denilson seem to me to be the best fit there.
Finally, prolific striker. van Persie can score 25 goals if he stays fit, and Bendtner around 20, but we’ve not had a 30-goal man since Henry left for Barcelona. Is an out-and-out goalscorer the most crucial requirement?
I appreciate this is all rather hypothetical, but it’s indicative and, well, a bit of fun on a day when you’re *probably* going to grit your teeth and watch you-know-who in the cup final.
Update, 09:41 16.05.10
Pretty conclusive isn’t it? 68% say the the goalkeeping position is the most crucial. This, even if both Gallas and Silvestre depart, leaving us short in defence. But of course, the reality is we can sign more than one player and that both those positions might be strengthened.
Interesting nonetheless. A season of goalkeeping errors cannot easily be forgotten. Time for a change.