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…