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Arsenal News

Arsenal News


Should us Arsenal fans really be so gloomy during the transfer window?

By Avenell Dave

I was speaking to @LeGrove yesterday and while we don't always agree, we were discussing the general feeling of doom and gloom around the club at the moment.

Whether it's down to the position in the table, drawing with Swansea on the FA Cup, not signing new players, ticket prices or the tedium which is the Theo Walcott contract situation, the fact is, there's plenty to complain about.

We certainly need to turn draws into wins in the Premier League and speaking to Citeh fans this week, they seem confident that their team will lose on Suday. Let's hope so. It would be a boost to everyone if we beat the big spenders.

Was drawing with Swansea such a bad thing? Not really. Yes we switched off, we always look vulnerable and our full backs have to remember how to defend again.

But Swansea beat the Ch*vs in midweek and if that doesn't underline how far they've come in the last three years, I don't know what does.

They're an example to us all of having a tight but flexible squad, a great ethos and responsible gambling over players.

Yes we can all lament not signing Michu and he looks to be a top top player, but you have to ask yourself why no one other than Swansea cam in for him when he was made available last summer?

The likelihood is that his form is erratic and no one wanted to take a punt on him.

The worst part of it for me is that quality strikers are hard to find. They're the gold dust that everyone wants and while I think Olivier Giroud is superb, he hasn't done enough to suggest he's world class. Yet.

I was philosophical about selling van Persie in the summer. His injury record, the fact that keeping an unhappy player when there was big money on the table made no commercial sense at all and the fact that we relied on him too much.

But as @legrove said, if we had dug our heels in, we could well be challenging for the title now. While Giroud adjusts, Cazorla and Wilshere would have provided just as many chances for the freescoring Dutchman as M*nure do now.

It's gone from a divorce from someone I couldn't care less about to one where my ex wife is now enjoying a happy life while still living in my street. If only he'd gone abroad.

Everyone wants us to sign players and while Liverpool signed Sturridge early, little other business has been done.

We need players and I actually think now is the best time to buy, because it gives new faces time to settle in for half a season.

Does Wenger or the club have a plan? He's certainly talking about the possibility of bringing in new signings in a way he doesn't always do and the fact that he is getting the likes of Djourou and Chamakh out (and maybe AA23 as well) means more funds for wages and squad places.

It's still early in the month and while previous windows would suggest that we aren't likely to do any incoming business, let's wait and see rather than moan.

We have a fully fit squad and while a couple of injuries could hamper us, especially with a busy schedule coming up, let's worry about that when we need to and get behind the team during what is going to be a criticial month.

Addict XI


Jenkinson Mertesacker Koscielny Gibbs

Cazorla Arteta Wilshere

Walcott Giroud Podolski


Admit it - you'd have taken a replay with 10 minutes to go

By Avenell Dave

There's a sad inevitability about Swansea's equaliser on Sunday.

I was bracing myself for a defeat that would have had the hacks and fairweathers crying crisis once again and when we scored twice in a ouple of minutes, it really looked as if we'd turned it around.

Such is the ridiculous nature of football fandom that Michu, who scored with his first touch, got the man of the match award despite doing precious little else during the game.

As soon as he scored, Swansea sat back, we pushed on and but for some fine goalkeeping and wayward finishing we'd have put Swansea out of sight.

I'm not afriad to admit that when Kieran Gibbs scored our second, I was out of my seat screaming like a baby.

Why? Because despite our dominance in the second half, we looked as if we had run out of time and to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat was a real boost as I contemplated going out of another cup competition.

But then we seemed to withdraw just as Swansea had and I don't altogether know why.

We looked a shambles at the back, our clearances were half-hearted and we didn't maintain the pressure that had put the hosts on the back foot.

When Danny Graham scored, it was predictable given the way this team performs and a draw will add to an already congested period of fixtures for us.

We can complain, we can worry about fatigue and injuries and it certainly doesn;t help us in the pursuit of fourth, but given the way I felt after 75 minutes, I'll take it every day of the year.

I wonder how much fatigue is playing a part in the form of some players at present.

Bacary Sagna looks a shadow of his former self and whether it's because he wants to leave, he is suffering a dip in form or he's just knackered, he is a bit of a liability at present.

Carl Jenkinson is injured but the fact that he's signed a new deal suggests to me that Bac may be off in the summer and when fit, I'd like to see Jenkinson come in, if only to give the France international a rest.

Full back is an area of concern though.

Sagna was at fault for goals at Everton and Newcastle but Gibbs isn't doing much better despite the plaudits he received from Arsene Wenger after the game.

It's all very well having roving full-backs that add something when we're going forward but their main job is to defend and the number of crosses we let come across is shameful.

Someone should have all our fullbacks study videos of Dixon, Winterburn, Cole and Lauren to see how attacking instincts can be fused with defensive rigidity. Any side wanting to get at us simply focuses on attacking us out wide and knows we're vulnerable.

A reason to move back to 4-4-2? Maybe, but that's not a discussion for today.

We're in the hat for the fourth round, we have a huge game against Citeh on Sunday and between now and then, let's hope AA23 moves on and we get some recruits who'll help ease the pressure on the squad and give us something extra as we look to establish ourselves in the second half of the season.


Are Arsenal on a hiding to nothing in Wales on Sunday?

By Avenell Dave

Happy New Year everyone - it's good to be back after a break for the festive season. 

I've been thinking a lot about Theo Walcott's situation and how it reflects on the club.

We hear from the player and Arsene Wenger that Theo wants to stay and while there are rumblings that he wants to play centrally, it's hard to think that money is not at the root of it all.

Theo was superb in patches against Newcastle last weekend and pretty poor against Southampton earlier this week.

Not for one minute would I blame him for the lacklustre display, but his performances seem to reflect the inconsistent, heartless manner in which we play at times. Think Norwich, Swansea, Bradford, for instance.

There is something lacking in the team at times, something that stops us being able to fight or eek out victories when not playing so well.

Last season we had Robin van Persie to get us out of trouble and perhaps what we lack now is that match-winner who can unlock tight defences in the more difficult games.

We've heard a lot from Wenger about the market being quiet, the usual ramblings about only signing quality players and yet the departure of fringe players gives me the impression that we may have deals planned once squad spaces and wages have been made available.

What we need to do first of all is make sure we beat Swansea.

It's a sad state of affairs that in three Premier League games against the Swans, we've won one, due to a goalkeeping error, and lost the other two. 

Many Addicts I've spoken to don't fancy us to come away with anything from the game and even the eternal optimists are hoping for nothing more than a draw.

Michu's performance in the recent match at the Emirates was superb and there has been much debate about why we didn't know about him.

Depending on who you listen to, we either were not aware of him and he would have been a risk, or Wenger knew full well what Michu was capable of but decided not to sign him.

As anyone with a good memory of Arsenal will remind you, much of the frustration over our lack of trophies is linked to how well Wenger did when he arrived at the club. Expectations are high.

But now everyone is investing in their scouting networks - they've sen how well Wenger served us with the signings of Anelka, Henry, Petit and Vieira and they've wised up. It means new signings cost more because there's more competition.

The FA Cup may well be considered to be our best chance of a trophy now, so its importance increases to get this stupd media-driven trophy drought monkey off our backs.

Which Arsenal turns up on Sunday is anyone's guess - but no doubt Theo Walcott's will have a big impact on whether we come home looking forward to the next round or waiting for another media storm.

Addict XI


Sagna Mertesacker Koscielny Santos

Wilshere Arteta Cazorla

Walcott Giroud Podolski