Arsenal News
Arsenal News

Arsenal News


Does Liverpool result matter more than new signings?

By Avenell Dave

Whether it's talking at the ground, in the pub, on email or social media, there is only one thing that matters to Arsenal fans at the moment - signing new players.

We've said many times on this site - as has virtually every other blog or fan I can think of - that Arsenal need players.

It's all very well signing up the British kids we have including the overpaid Theo Walcott, but the fact of the matter is that we needed new signings.

We needed players who would give the fans and the squad a boost and remind everyone that we are not a selling club anymore, that we're going for it.

No one could criticise the Club if we went out and bought three top class players and still missed out - although there would always be the argument I suppose that we could have done our business sooner, be it at the start of January or the end of August.

The problem with social media, and Twitter in particular, is that everyone has an opinion, most of those opinions (and I count myself amongst this group) yearn for things we cannot control.

There are 'In the know' types who claim to be convinced that they have exclusive information that we will or will not sign this or that player.

We get mixed messages from Arsene Wenger when we all know that the squad is threadbare, that we are one major injury away from becoming a mid table team and who knows how long it will take to clamber back into contention for titles or even the Champions League?

Football has become an ever-more mercenary business and on a practical level, if Ivan Gazidis is correct when he states the focus now on bringing in new commercial deals, you can certainly charge more when your team is playing with Europe's elite.

I was fascinated to read an article in the Financial times about Arsenal at the weekend in which Gazidis said that Financial Fair Play was not part of the club's strategy and yet at every fan meeting I have been to, he has said quite the opposite.

Emirates also indicated that the new sponsorship deal will be front loaded but not until the summer, so there is a possibility that the club simply has not planned its resources well enough to get deals done.

Certainly, just as with AA23 a few seasons ago, we should not be waiting until the last couple of days until signing players. Look what Daniel Sturridge has done for this evening's visitors, for instance, scoring goals and giving them another option.

Liverpool were the dominant team when I grew up and to consider that they wouldn't win the title for 22 years was unthinkable.

But they continue to attract big names because they have such a massive European pedigree with a raft of European Cups. Arsenal do not.

Who knows whether their FA Cup defeat to Oldham will spur them or demoralise them.

Whatever, we've beaten them once already this season and we have to do it again. It will push them one step further away from the Champions League and us nearer to those above us.

I've resigned myself to us not signing anyone and I'd suggest that everyone else does the same.

Switch off your Twitter feeds, Sky Sports News and any other news tickers on Thursday and try and forget about the transfer window.

New faces are something I fear we'll just have to wait for until the summer.

Six points in the next two home games is the only thing  we can really influence by getting behind the team, being vocal and supportive.

Addict XI


Sagna Mertesacker Koscielny Gibbs


Walcott Cazorla Podolski




Will Giroud ever live up to van Persie comparisons?

By Avenell Dave

When Ian Wright left Arsenal in the early days of Arsene Wenger's days, we had a young forward coming through caled Nicolas Anelka.

When the surly striker left for Real Madrid, Thierry Henry was signed after a disappointing spell at Juventus and slipped in rather seamlessly.

When he himself left, we have Adebaywhore and Robin van Persie, who had been patiently waiting in the wings for his chance. 

As my neighbour at Emirates reminded me last week, there was a time when French international Sylvain Wiltord was our fourth choice striker.

At that time, we had Henry, Bergkamp, Kanu, Jeffers and Wiltord and when van Persie joined us, we were still very strong in attack.

Arsene Wenger could now argue that he has three top class strikers in Olivier Giroud, Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott.

Us Addicts may see it differently given taht the German and Englishman are both played wide more often than not and even when played centrally, Walcott looks far better cutting in from the wing.

Olivier Giroud, who started the season slowly by comparison to the Dutchman he replaced, has long convinced me that he is a quality player.

Even when his little flicks don;t come off, it strikes me as the sort of things Henry would have tried in his pomp, only for his team mates to be one step behind him instead of on the same wavelength.

That's not to say that Giroud is in Henry's class, but his two goals on Saturday against a resolute Brighton side underline to me the range of his talents.

He fired in one from the edge of the area into the top corner and the other was a brilliant piece of control followed by a deft finish.

He's in good form at the moment but he already has 13 goals and nine assists, which, if the season was to end now, would still be a decent return in his first season - and two goals more than van Persie registered in a far stronger Arsenal team when he first joined.

The problem with some fans is that they don't know how to let go - van Persie plays for another team now and no amount of pining or bitterness will bring him back. He's dead to me.

Giroud is a different type of player and certainly hasn't yet got into the groove of being a match winner capable of scoring goals out of nothing in tight matches.

But we shouldn't expect that of any player - even Bergkamp took time to find his feet and as far as a first season goes, this is better than fair to middling from Giroud.

I never thought Brighton would be a pushover and despite some comedy defending, well done to the boys for making sure we didn't need a replay.

As we've seen with the Ch*vs, Spuds and Scousers this weekend, it's easy to slip up against lower league opposition.

We have to focus on winning our next two home matches now - against teams who have beaten us in recent years and yet who we are totally capable of taking maximum points against.

Liverpool should at least be tired after their game against Oldham and we have to take advantage.

It would be easy to lament our ridiculous defending, the hapless performance by Santos (who I have previously backed) and the worrying lack of authority shown by Wojciech Szczesny.

But we're in the hat for the fifth round and a tie against Blackburn. That's all that matters in the Cup.


Does Hammers thrashing mean the Wenger plan is working?

By Avenell Dave

I spoke yesterday about whether or not Arsene Wenger's new masterplan of building a team around British core with more established stars.

It was fitting that all three of our big summer signings scored last night.

Lukas Podolski gave me good reason to shut up after I questioned his ability to fit into the team - and I was happy to do so.

He can be devastating in attack but, even last night, he left Kieran Gibbs exposed and better teams have and will take advantage of his lack of workrate.

While no one is in doubt of the quality of Santi Cazorla, who had another fine gam, I was delighted to see Olivier Giroud get on the scoresheet and I'm sure he as as disappointed as I was that he wasn't given the chance to complete his hat-trick.

We lost something when he went off - and although the injury to Potts effectively ended the game as a contest, we would almost certainly have scored more goals had the Frenchman continued to lead the line.

I watched his performance closely last night and while some of his flicks did not come off, he seems to me to be a very intelligent player and a record of 11 goals and nine assists at this stage of the season is a pretty decent return.

Theo Walcott had a fine game as well, and it was good to see Bacary Sagna get back to the sort of form we are accustomed to.

Some of the football we played last night, even in the first half, was scintillating and brought back memories of Arsenal at our best.

But let's not get too carried away. It's four points out of a possible 12 so far this month and while last night's thrashing was more than welcome, West Ham backed off us and gave us the space to dictate the play.

Smarter sides know how to put us under pressure and force us into the erros we have seen all too often this season.

Fat Sam fielded Diame as a sub and even in that brief cameo, he showed skill and power that showed he would be an asset to us, particularly at £3.5m.

You can only beat who is in front of you and we were superb last night.

I'm confident that we can be a match for anyone.

But we have lost four massive games so far this season and we cannot hope to dine at the very top table unless we start competing with our so-called rivals on a consistent basis.

Let's hope Wenger wasn;t being flippant when he said he had to cut his press conference short in order to get on with business. Signings still need to be made in order to strengthen the squad, improve team morale and provide a filip to the fans who, let's face it, need a morale boost as well.

As an aside, it is interesting to see that the club has slipped in the recent rankings of European clubs.

Realistically, we can expect to be behind the likes of Real, Barca, Bayern and even M*nure but it was telling that much of our revenue comes from ticket sales rather than commercial deals.

I'm happy to give Tom Fox, Ivan Gazidis and his team time to broker the volume of deals that will mean we rely less on tickts and match-day income and more on external incomes.

Gazidis has said in numerous interviews and speeches that it is a huge project and that he knows Arsenal have a lot of ground to make up.

We know we have the kudos to attract more sponsors. 

The challenge now is to remain competitive so that the negative aura that afflicts the club every time we slip up no longer provokes talk of continual crisis. If we're not in the Champions League or winning trophies, sponsors are going to be less interested in being associated with us or of paying what we want.

The only way to solve that is through player investment.

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