Mid-season Break…

After a period of game after game after game, suddenly, we go a week without a game… personally, I don’t understand why the FA think it’s a good idea to cram loads of games together and then have such a break before the next one. Our point haul of 4 out of 9 has been pretty bad. The good thing for us is that the others around us, with the exception of Sp*rs, are throwing away points just as badly as us.

Tottz gave us a great overview of what the Fulham game meant and an insight into what the current situation at the club is at the moment and I’d have to agree with him. Our first eleven is good, and probably about a top four side. It’s not the best set of players that we have had at our club and therefore, even with our first eleven fit, week in and week out, we won’t win all our games. But as we’ve discussed before, our strength in depth is pretty bad at the moment, in a lot of departments.

Whilst I love the tenacity and play that Gervinho brings to our squad and to our team – his pace and skill are a joy to watch – this type of player would be someone whom we would bring on as a sub for his first season until he refined his skills ready for the Premiership. The thing is that we can’t buy finished articles and can’t afford not to play the rough diamonds as they’re the best we’ve got. (No disrespect to Gervinho, of course)…

If you’ve ever tried playing as Arsenal is a football management game, then you soon realise that there is a lot of dead wood in the squad and right from the off, the assistant manager tells you you need a left back as Santos and Gibbs aren’t good enough, a backup  goalkeeper, as none of the rest are anywhere near the right standard. No backup for midfielder, a new winger and a new striker also required – wow, so you start off with the need for 5 players at minimum… plus another 6 or 7 who aren’t good enough to play for the club.

Whilst I understand money doesn’t buy you everything – players like Andy Carroll, David De Gea are prime examples of that – at the same time, there is a need to buy sometimes and increase the quality of the squad. We have the likes of Park, Chamakh etc, but if they’re not good enough, then surely we need to look at getting rid of them and getting in players who can do the business. I am increasing annoyed at the fact we didn’t sign Demba Ba. If Arsene is the king of bargains and there is a French speaking African striker available for free, you’d expect him to jump at the chance.

We don’t necessarily need a Podolski, but we do need someone who can make a difference. We need to be able to play more 4-4-2 when we need to beat a team, not just the same 4-5-1 but with different players. I can think of a lot of players who could do a job in the Premiership – Yakubu, Saha, Ngog, Doyle – surely all affordable? Yes, I know not very exciting names, but you get my point. But a real forward who can play anywhere across the front line would be preferable. Alexandre Pato? Moussa Sow? Ba?

There is a lot of hoo-ha about Thierry Henry’s return and that in itself says a lot about how far back the squad has gone. Szcznesy’s recent comments that we “need” him show a certain worry within the squad about the strength in players. The bigger worry is that I don’t think Arsene will sign anyone else other that the loan return of Henry. After the summer of buying and selling – Ivan Gazidis guaranteed that the club would be active this January – to ensure we bought the players the club needs. Is that really going to happen? At the moment, we have a very genuine possibility of finishing outside of the top four and unless we bring in re-enforcements, then can we really improve in the second half of the season?

I don’t think we have a problem in defence. Yes, we concede goals, but then again, all teams do. Our problem is that we’re not scoring enough goals. Against Wolves, we couldn’t break them down and drew the game 0-0 – at home – and then against QPR, we squeezed out a 1 goal victory against a team that we would normally beat by more a margin in previous seasons. Against Fulham, we had an amazing amount of shots and territorial advantage, but couldn’t score one than one when we were on top.

We have Jack Wilshere, Abou Diaby and 6 defenders soon to return to the squad, but up front, we are tired, leggy and have 2 strikers leaving the squad. Please Arsene, sign a forward, a player with craft and skill. Play him with Robin, play him in a 4-4-2, play him whilst Gervinho is gone, play him on the right. He is needed, who ever he may be…

  • afc4life

    Signing Henry on loan for 2 months is a call of desperation.
    We are doing “okay” in the league, but the transition from team fighting for the title to “top 6″ has been completed now.

    I wouldn’t expect a title fight in the near future to be honest.

  • robin

    abo diaby to retaurn i nearnly fell of me chair laughing haha. that’ll certianly get the other team fearing in their boots

  • robin

    Get over it that french toad aint signing anyone and its actually better if we finish out the top 4 to boot this dictator out of the club. the mediocre displays are now incumbent with the mercenaries that don the arsenal jersey and the sooner this vermin called wenger is booted out the better.

  • robin

    Frankly we are a shit team right now who relies on perosn to score the goals and we should sincerely be relegation candidates the way we have played over the last 5 games. Spurs are a million miles ahead and that team would put us on planet mars if we played them.

  • paul

    @Robin have to agree mate. Back in 1950 it cost 3/- (15p) to get in – less than 2% of the average wage

    1n 1980 it was £1.50 – less than 2% of the average wag.

    In 2010 the average wage was £400 pw. Using the same percentage a ticket should cost about £8 . . .

    Guaranteed they won’t bring prices down, but us at the BSM have put forward a number of ideas to help fans out – one major one being to offer two types of season ticket, one with and one without cup credits. On a Block 4 season ticket that would mean a saving of over £250 a year, and a shitload of people would rather take that and miss some cup games than fuck it off completely.

    We met with the club at the end of November, we confirmed our thoughts and suggestions to them the day after… and are still awaiting a response. We’ve been promised a reply in the next few days so let’s see what comes back.

    But rest assured we’ll campaign long and hard over prices. They’ve taken the piss for too long and unlike others we’ve got the bottle to stand up to them – and this is helped massively by the ever-growing following we’re getting. They know they can’t take us lightly and too fucking right as well.

    Watch out for further details and what you can do to help

  • paul

    I’ve seen that players who have left the club in the past few seasons have suggested that AW does not actually say much in the dressing room at half-time. Now we don’t know if that is true but I would love to know what actually goes on…

    All we see from the sidelines during a game are the painful grimaces and *what can only be described* as the ‘Penguin trying to fly’ act!

    There are some very painful stats associated with his reign and recently those are incredibly stark relevations about how good he is at thinking out a game and using tactics to change them:

    We’re the only team in the last few seasons to lose from a leading position on 85 minutes – today was the SECOND time – it’s not happened to anyone else once – let alone twice.

    As long as Steve Kean is a manager he won’t give any other boss a goal lead TWICE and still win a game. (He did with Arsene)!

    There are plenty of others….

  • bergChamp

    I don’t think Wenger said anything at half time during the Fulham game. Or whatever he said took the wind out of our sails. Rubbish form at the moment.

    The bad start makes this position look good, but in fact, it is rubbish.

  • Bonathan

    if only we’d signed jose enrique. 5m! what a price. i don’t think he’s missed a game for liverpool. probably about the best LB around at the mo.

    i’m a bit surprised we let frimpong go out on loan. with wilshire still injured, diaby forever in and out with injuries, and you just think it’s a matter of time before we lose arteta or ramsey to an injury. we basically only have coquelin and rosicky covering in there.

    fa cup time and even though it’s always a fair chance of silverwear, i think with 4th place under so much threat and champions league still in the offing, we should be looking to rest most of our first team for this round at least. trouble is, i’m struggling to name a team if i rest first teamers:

    keeper: well, szezney probably doesn’t need rested but i think its a good game to keep our 2nd choice keeper sharp anyway, so i’d go for fabianski.

    RB: ?? well, jd has been playing there lately but i think this is an ideal game to see how miquel would fair there. if he does well then i’d keep him there.

    LB: the game is too early for gibbs and tv. i’d be looking at playing coquelin in midfield so i’m struggling with this one. i’d be looking toward the youths/reserves

    CB: mertersacker hasn’t had much opportunity to take a breather since coming here and kos must have played nearly every game so far. i’d look to rest both. that’d mean starting with squillaci and JD.

    3 midfielders: song, ramsey and arteta need rested in my opinion. so that leaves coquelin to play the song role and rosicky to play the more advanced role. if diab y is back then he could make up the 3. if not then again, i’d be looking at the reserves/youths.

    wide forwards: gervinho’s off and i’d be looking to rest walcott. i’d start with chamberlain and arsharvin. both should be fresh and need a game. we’d then still have benayoun on the bench. he’d be gighly likely to be needed to come on for arsharvin or rosicky.

    up front: rvp needs rested, so it’s gotta be henry for me. park could come on for him later in the game.