Are They Gunner Perform: Five Arsenal Players Who Could Struggle This Season

Callum D'SouzaSenior Writer IJuly 29, 2010

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 15:   Francesc Fabregas of Arsenal is congratulated by teammate Robin van Persie (R) after scoring his team's fourth goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Arsenal at Goodison Park on August 15, 2009 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

2010/2011 could arguably be one of the toughest seasons in Arsenal history. Having gone five years without a trophy the Gunners are desperate to reinstate their dominance on the footballing world be securing at least one piece of silverware. Arsene Wenger and his men are also fighting a battle to stay in the highly respected "Big Four". 

With so many teams coming into hefty amounts of money the Gunners could soon see themselves struggling to compete with the likes of Manchester City and Tottenham who are slowly building up formidable line ups.

But none the less with Wenger at the helm Arsenal will always be a stupendous outfit to defeat. Not only do they boast a world class manager, the North London side are also blessed with some of the most talented footballers in the world.

However it is whether Arsenal can come out and perform strongly in 2010/11 and work solidly as a unit. Fitness, as always, will also be a problem for the Gunners. Each season their young roster is decimated by injury and it is likely this season will be no different.

But if there big names maintain consistency and the Arsenal style is continued throughout the campaign then Wenger's side will undoubtedly be a feature this season. However there is a chance some players may struggle.

5. Andrei Arshavin

When the Russian arrived at the Emirates in the later stages of 2008/2009, Andrei Arshavin made a huge impact. Most notably his historic four goals against Liverpool in the Anfield thriller.

Last campaign the Russian captain was a solid contributor and one of the few who wasn't constantly barraged with injury. Notching a handy 12 goals the dynamo was strong at times but now approaching 30 the 29 year old may struggle.

The physicality and strength of English team's defences is certain to increase and with more teams reacting to play "rough" football when encountering Arsenal, the little magician could find it hard to thrive and ultimately end up getting bogged down and injured.

Also Arshavin has a tendency to speak out, often using Russian papers as his spokesman. There is always a chance the Russian starlet will say something silly about Wenger or Arsenal which could result in turmoil.

4. Armand Traore

The Frenchman enjoyed a solid loan spell with Portsmouth in 2008/2009 before returning to the Emirates for 2009/2010. Injuries to Gael Clichy and Kieran Gibbs saw the left back receive a window of opportunity in the Arsenal first XI.

The 21 year old showed glimpses of strong attacking prowess as well as a lethal cross but was a little frail on the defensive side often getting caught out of position. With both Clichy and Gibbs now back to full fitness the former Auxerre defender is going to struggle to get a consistent amount of playing time and may be forced to be utilized as a winger which could see him struggle further.

3. Lukasz Fabianski

The Polish deputy keeper has had a torrid time since joining Arsenal from Polish side Legia Warsaw in 2007. Fabianski has made a host of errors of a number of season that has ensured fans do not speak highly of their Polish shot stopper.

Although the 25 year old has shown moments of potential it appears each time he is given an opportunity the Polish international makes an untimely mistake. Many Arsenal supporters demanded the departure of Fabianski, but Wenger has kept faith which is usually a good sign for any player.

However despite other calls for "Flappianski" to receive a loan spell, it seems likely the Polish shot blocker will stay at the Emirates this season and with current number one, Manuel Almunia, no better than Fabianski, the Polish could be elevated to the top job where it could be increasingly likely he will fail.

2. Robin van Persie

The stand out performer in 2008/2009 endured an injury stricken 2009/2010 which was shaping up to be another dominant one. The Duthchman was the most notable absentee from Arsenal most recent season, absent from November to March. 

Although considered one of the most lethal strikers in the world, van Persie was a major disappointment in the Netherlands successful World Cup campaign in which the Oranje finished runners up. Van Persie managed to find the net once and was often missing on the field when the Dutch played the big names.

Now with a injury cloud over his head it is worrying signs for the Arsenal sharpshooter. Can his body hold up and does he still have that lethal eye for goal?

1. Cesc Fabregas

The majority of the Arsenal news this season has been dominated by captain and midfield maestro Cesc Fabregas. The Spaniard has made it no secret that one day he longs to return to his childhood club Barcelona. But reports came out suggesting the 23 year old was eager to return to the Camp Nou this season.

These reports caused a whirlwind of rumours and allegations which have now cooled down. It is almost certain Fabregas will play with Arsenal this season but does he want to be there?

Fabregas's uncertainty could ensure his mind and heart are not fully  focused on Arsenal.

However there five are all tremendously talented and play for Arsenal, it is likely they will be stand outs this season for the mighty red and white.


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