Arsenal FC: Arrival of Andre Villas-Boas Dented Gunners' Hopes for 2011-12?
Arsene Wenger may not be too keen on knowing what his rivals are planning for next season, but identifying the strengths and weaknesses of your opponents is as important as strengthening your own team.
First off, let's get the champions out of the way.
Manchester United have been the busiest on the market so far with the names Phil Jones and Ashley Young already in the bag.
As for Liverpool, they've set a benchmark for the selling clubs with the purchase of Jordan Henderson for £20m and have been very active thus far and looks like there's no stopping them until the deadline day.
These two are certainly going to threaten quite a lot of teams next season.
Next on the list is Chelsea. Although Chelsea are known for spending big, Roman Abramovich hasn't yet started the summer spending spree and part of it was because of the managerial position which remained empty after the departure of Carlo Ancelotti.
Now that Abramovich has successfully enticed FC Porto manager Andre Villas-Boas, a busy summer is on the horizon for the blues' supporters.
A new manager comes in with a lot of ambition and has a natural inclination to bring in his ex-players with him.
Who should Arsenal fear the most next season?
How is this going to affect Arsenal?
As you all know, Arsene Wenger has promised new signings this summer.
But up until now, it has remained a deceptive assurance to pacify the grumbling horde of supporters.
Even the imminent arrival of Gervinho looks far from over, and I wouldn't be surprised if it was stretched to the deadline day, such is the ability of Wenger to delay transfers to save fourpence.
As Wenger continues to amaze everyone with his unique ability to complicate even the most straightforward of transfers, Chelsea seem to be on the right way to challenge the current champions and seize the Premier League next season.
Villas-Boas is the spearhead and, to be honest, he's an excellent manager with the right vision and ethos.
Villas-Boas is a one-of-a-kind manager and his journey as a manager so far has been truly baffling as well as awe-inspiring.
He has no football playing experience yet became the youngest manager to win a European club title—Europea League with Porto in 2010-11.
His brand of football is eye-catching with the focus mainly on attack. He's not all about attack as you can infer from his treble-winning season at Porto that he knits together a tight defence, part of the reason why he won the Portuguese league without losing a single game.
For the rival clubs, this is an ominous sign of what to come in future.
Juxtapose the abilities of Villas-Boas with the cash of Abramovich, and you will get a deadly combination of quality meeting money.
It's common knowledge that Villas-Boas is a hard-working man, as when he used to work under Mourinho, it was his impeccable dossiers about opponents that helped Mourinho devise his plans.
Therefore, his arrival will only strengthen Chelsea in ways more than one, and with a couple of new signings he could assemble a team capable of dismantling any opposition.
At this point, if Arsenal remain incompetent on the market, it would spell doom and gloom.
If Manchester United's summer outlay wasn't a good enough incentive for Wenger to act quickly and wisely, then the arrival of Villas-Boas should hasten his moves.
It will take some doing to beat Chelsea next season and Wenger should leave no stone unturned before he takes on Villas-Boas in the upcoming battle of London supremacy which may very well decide where the Premier League title ends up next season.
A battle of wits and a battle of similar brand of football. But a mismatch when it comes to the players—assuming Chelsea sign new players which is a question of when, not if.
And you can't be sure of anything about Arsenal when it concerns transfers. So, it's finally time to get the chequebook out, Wenger.
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