SOME THOUGHTS FROM LAST NIGHT AND WHAT LE’PROF HAD TO SAY – By SN
Before we get to Arsenal, last night Aston Villa was paid a visit by that venomous b*tch called Karma. Aah… t’was so sweet to behold…
Villa was dealt in almost identical fashion as Arsenal on Saturday; 1 clear penalty denied (for the one they got for free against us), 1 opposition sending off denied (for the unfair 2nd yellow on Koz), and the ref threw in one offside goal for Chelsea just for fun.
On a serious note, I don’t enjoy watching any team being treated unfairly, after all, it’s not Villa’s fault that Taylor is a complete tool. Okay okay, I did enjoy it a bit in this case, but only because they kicked our players at every opportunity. Nevertheless, the poor refereeing so far is a cause for concern, because when refs are “out of form” we usually suffer the most for it. Maybe EPL refs should go on preseason tours as well eh? On a positive note, Chelsea looked quite vulnerable against Villa, and only won due to an offside goal. That shows they will drop points this season, and we need them to if we plan to get anywhere near the top guns this season. But enough about them.
Arsenal did the job last night, so we can all breath out now. Well done boys!
I won’t comment on the game as such as several posts here have done that already, but I’d like to analyze Arsene’s comments following the victory. If you read my post yesterday, I mentioned that while we cannot assume to know how Arsenal is run internally, we can gauge the mindset of those who do run the club by listening to what they say – so no conspiracy theories, just “direct information”.
Arsene started off explaining a bit how the transfer market works and why deals only happen later on, well, that’s his story anyway. Then he confirmed that his transfer dealings “start now”, which obviously means he wanted to have CL qualification wrapped up before really going after targets, hoping to lure players with the prestige of playing on the biggest stage. Yep, makes sense Arsene, but maybe if you just said that in the beginning instead of stirring up the fan’s wrath with stupid statements like “Even if we don’t sign new players, the players we have can win the title”, people would actually see your point of view and give you the “patience” you’ve been asking for? A little transparency with your supporters goes a long way, hope you learn from that.
I also sometimes wonder if Arsene would be capable of quality signings if we didn’t qualify for CL, I mean, he seems to rely heavily on this factor to help him in the transfer market. Anyway, that’s a topic for another article so let’s get back on track.
He then went on to say the next 12 days will see a lot of activity in transfers – hooray!! All good so far, but then he had to go and do it, he just had to say something to irk the fans again: “Numbers wise we are short, as I told you yesterday, but quality wise we don’t need anybody”. Really Arsene? Really??
This statement indicates that he is indeed looking for squad players to make up the numbers, no marquee signings then? It tells us that he believes his current starting 11 are all the quality he needs to win the title; he did say Arsenal is going for the title, did he not? So that means any players brought in will only supplement his current starting 11 in case of injuries or the need to rotate to prevent injuries. Let’s be fair and rational on this point; Arsenal do have a strong core, but they do NOT have a strong enough starting 11 to challenge the current top 3. Is Giroud the man to win Arsenal the league the way RVP won it for Utd last season, or the way Aguero won it for City the season before? We must be realistic and say no. Don’t get me wrong, I quite like Giroud, and I think he will have a much better season than last. He’s already started off well and I would put money on him getting 15-18 league goals this season, maybe even 20. The problem is, he doesn’t win you games! Having a 20 goal striker only means something when those 20 goals get you points. I read an interesting piece on last season’s stats, and of all the league goals Giroud scored, he only won us 4 points last season! The rest of his goals had no effect on the outcome of the game, so he is simply not a game-changer (although a good enough striker to come off the bench).
Then there’s the DM position, which we’ve all been crying out for. Arteta has been sublime for us, and his absence is really noticed in the team, but he is NOT a natural DM. I also really like Per, he’s an intelligent defender, but far too slow and when he does get caught out of position, and Koz is unable to cover for him, we’re always likely to concede. So we need a new CB to partner Koz. Then there’s Szcezny; he will be a world class keeper soon, no doubt about that, but for now he’s too inconsistent when it matters. One game you want to kiss him and the next you want to choke him.
That’s the whole spine of the team that I feel needs new players to become part of our starting 11, THEN if Wenger wants to add the Yohan Cabaye’s of this world to our squad, I wouldn’t mind at all.
In the absolute worst case scenario, if he made only one marquee signing I would prefer it was a striker. Look, we had a pretty decent defensive record last season, so even if we keep the rest of the team intact and just bring in a clinical finisher, that would put points on the board for us and I would be okay with that – “that” of course being the absolute worst case scenario. Anything below that, and I fear Wenger will lose whatever support he retains with the Emirates faithful.
I really hope I’m wrong about this, and that Wenger was just saying that to keep the morale going in his current starting 11, but God forbid I’m right. If he really does only bring in average squad players, and the results start showing on the pitch, those chants are going to get louder and louder.
What do you think Gooners, do you think this current starting 11 can win the league with squad players around them, or do we need to sign some game-changers? Do you think he will sign marquee players or, according to his statements, sign players to make up the numbers ONLY and not add to the quality?
Let us know your thoughts…