Former Arsenal FC midfielder Ray Parlour, believes that the arrival of Petr Cech at the Emirates has made the current Gunners squad the strongest since “The Invincibles.”
Parlour, who himself was part of the famous squad, which went an entire league season unbeaten, feels the arrival of 33-year-old Cech from Chelsea FC for a reported A?11 million, gives manager Arsene Wenger his most complete squad, since his last Premier League triumph in 2003-04.
It’s definitely the best squad since “The Invincibles.” – Ray Parlour on Arsenal FC
Cech made his Emirates stadium debut for The Gunners last night, in the 1-0 win over Wolfsburg, to claim the Emirates Cup. Parlour believes that the current crop of players at The Emirates can go all the way and win the Premier League. However, he did add that the club could do with a couple of more signings, especially like Manchester United’s latest signing, Morgan Schneiderlin. Speaking to DailyMail, Parlour, who made 466 appearances for the North London club, said:
“It’s definitely the best squad since ‘The Invincibles.’ They need to steer clear of injuries. Last season, if the injury list was a bit lighter at certain times then they would have been a lot closer.
“The most important thing in any squad is to have the right team spirit and harmony. Everyone has to be pulling in the same direction. You can’t have some not getting on with others, a personal feud or something like that.
“At the moment, it’s the best I’ve seen in terms of team spirit for a long time. I think now, winning the two FA Cups, they believe they can go to the next level which, for me, is winning the league. That’s the most important trophy. That shows you how consistent you are throughout the season.
. a I dona t think you can win the league if you havena t got a top class goalkeeper,a said Parlour. a I was lucky to play with David Seaman and Jens Lehmann. When David Seaman went, we all thought: a how can you replace him?a Luckily enough, Jens came in. He is such a big character.
“Petr Cech is experienced, has won everything, been involved in massive games which is so important. He’ll be involved in the dressing room, helping the youngsters, helping people who have not gone as far as Chelsea when he played for them.
“He’s a proven keeper and I still think he’s a good age. I look at [Edwin] van der Sar, he turned up at Manchester United at 35 years old and you think: ‘can he still do it?’ He was superb for the next three or four seasons.
“I think it’s a massive signing. Maybe they need a few more as well. I was hoping that theya d get Morgan Schneiderlin. Ia ve watched him a few times this year. I watched him at St Marya s against Chelsea which is always a good test, to put him against the best.
a I would still look at that position and also centre half as well. I know therea s Chambers who could emerge as a top centre half. Not really seen a lot of Gabriel yet. Then Mertesacker and Koscielny would probably be first choice.a
Arsenal FC real title contenders?
The FA Cup winners, have had a brilliant pre-season, and the addition of Petr Cech has certainly lifted the morale of the entire team. The squad looks in the right spirit, and the cohesion is unparalleled, which makes you wonder, are they capable of mounting a genuine title-challenge for the whole season?
While, it is a general notion that the club are a striker and a defensive mid-fielder short of assembling a squad, capable of winning the league. Arsene Wenger has reiterated that the club would only recruit if a “World Class” player is available who would add genuine quality to the team, insisting that the most important thing as of now, is to work on squad cohesion, which would help get the best out of the team, and going by the looks of how Arsenal FC annihilated Olympique Lyon 6-0 in the first match of the Emirates Cup, one has to argue that he might be right. Nonetheless, the shortage of a World Class striker, capable of winning a game on his own, is missing from the ranks of the Gunners, with Karim Benzema’s name being heavily linked with a move to the Emirates to help reduce the aforementioned shortage.
If the Gunners are indeed able to pull off the signing of Karim Benzema from Real Madrid, then they have to be considered in the same breath as Chelsea FC and the Manchester clubs, to be front-runners for the Premier League title.