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September 23, 2018

Positions? They so matter when it comes to the EPL

Football - Arsenal v Sunderland - Barclays Premier League - Emirates Stadium - 20/5/15 Sunderland's Billy Jones in action with Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil Reuters /
Football - Arsenal v Sunderland - Barclays Premier League - Emirates Stadium - 20/5/15 Sunderland's Billy Jones in action with Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil Reuters /

As much as we all pretend that it doesn’t matter whether you finish second, third or fourth in the English Premier League the fact is, it does. All week I’ve had to contend with people saying “no-one remembers who comes second” or “there’s no medal unless you win”, but unsurprisingly all the people saying that support either Manchester United or Liverpool. Of course you only say it when you realise you won’t finish in a certain position.

Manchester United will finish fourth while Liverpool are only assured of a Europa League spot because Chelsea have won the League Cup while Arsenal will win the FA Cup; allowing all teams from position 5-7 to participate in the Europa League.

That’s good news for Liverpool because even if they lose their last match against Stoke, and Southampton beat Man City and Spurs are victorious over Everton, Liverpool will finish 7th and still play in Europe. If I were in their position right now, even I would be making snide remarks about Arsenal. The Gunners have long been made fun of for finishing fourth season after season, and starting the next season’s Champions league earlier than the bigger clubs.

But we’ll avoid that this time around. We’ll start the Champions League with the big boys and that’s something to be proud of! And we’ll finish above Manchester United for the second season in a row and that doesn’t hurt. So just to be clear, it does matter which position you finish in the league so stop pretending that it doesn’t. As the season ends attention always turns to the transfer market.

Already Arsene Wenger is implying that he won’t buy big. I think he needs to buy one or two players; not many. Watching Arsenal against Swansea two weeks ago and last Sunday against Manchester United; it’s evident that the one position where we really need to buy is up front. We are blunt! Even when we dominate a game, we don’t score.

Francis Coquelin has really proved himself in the holding midfield position but we need cover for him. To me, those are the two positions that we really need to solidify if we are to challenge for top honours in major competitions next season. David Ospina has been pretty decent in goal but if we have spare change, it wouldn’t hurt to add a world class goal keeper – a Victor Valdes sort of person who would agree to be benched but can deliver when called upon to do so.

But first though he needs to shed off dead weight like Abou Diaby and Mikel Arteta. I gather we’ll be spending a lot of time on transfers between now and the 31st of August when Wenger finally makes his decision. Talk to me on @CarolRadull on twitter or www.facebook.com/CarolRadull

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