Sunday, 7 August 2011

Judgement Week

Morning all,

I could come up with many a metaphor for how low we are feeling yet I am just too hung over to try. It is far easier to say dread continues to fill the heart of many a Gooner. However it is important to note that yesterday's performance has not given us anything new to think about and therefore shouldn’t make us any more fearful for the upcoming season (not that that's much consilation).

A 2-1 defeat to a decent side in a pre-season friendly, on the face of it, is not a crisis, under normal circumstances. When we dig deeper though, it is clear that with the apparent losses of Fabregas and Nasri, we have no real penetration or impetus to start attacks. Of course this wasn’t helped by the loss of Wilshire as well, but it does make me think that this may be too heavy a weight on the shoulders of Ramsey and Wilshire for the season. You have to realise there will be a lot more pressure on the two without one of these other players next to them and I know it was one performance but Ramsey didn't look overly comfortable in this role.

It is from this performance that you understand Wenger’s hesitance to accept good money from City for Nasri if Cesc leaves as well. I have said for the past few days that it is clear to me that both their exits will only have one replacement. Maybe with this in mind it is worth the £35m it will cost to keep him another season.

I felt Gibbs played very well and provided a much better final product then his predecessor. This was promising as was his general performance. I am aware he looked culpable for their first goal but I just feel it was some good work from the player that got him past as much as it was defensive naivety from Gibbs. This can happen at times but it was certainly poor defending from the Verminator who found himself the wrong side at a crucial moment. The second goal was equally poor defending from a person I fear may have his days numbered at the club, not because he is as awful as he is but the fact that he is the new target for Arsenal fans this season. With apparently no Eboue, Nicklas or Denilson he is going to get some real stick this season.

The only other positive was the reminder of RVP’s goal threat. He was out of the game for long periods but he just oozed class with every little touch. He is in my opinion one of the best in the world and I just hope he can demonstrate that this season if he can remain fit.

It is another night to forget but again just a friendly. Let’s hope this can act as a stimulus for Wenger/Ivan to get some much needed signings to strengthen the team immediately. We cannot realistically expect the squad players of last year to step up and suddenly be considered world beaters. They will have a more important role to play but if they weren’t good enough in a season where we imploded how can they be considered good enough to win the league now. I dread to think how the season will unfold if outgoing players aren’t replaced.

At this stage all we are asking for is the replacement of outgoing talent to be replaced with real talent. That would take us to a situation where it is like for like. That is still not good enough to win the league. That will just take us on par with last season.

If Cesc/Nasri leave we need another four signings this week. It is safe to say this will NOT happen. We need two creative players to replace them, another defender and ideally a great striker to compete with RVP/fill in for his inevitable injury. I am sure that these players are not forthcoming and at a best can only see Mata and maybe a defender. That would leave us very short and certainly a step backwards. I understand it is hard to fill the shoes of Cesc and to find the right players to bring in but hearing Wenger speak on the issue does make me cringe. He talks of it like mission impossible, failing to realise other clubs have been very active in the market and have been able to get their business done in a timely manner.

I hate to sound like a broken record and sound as negative as I have the past few days but there is little choice. I haven’t got faith in us adequately replacing the potential outgoing players never mind actually strengthening the team.

Hopefully Monday will bring some good news for us.

Until then!


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