Today marks an important day in the history of Arsenal Football Club. A day in which they can CHOOSE to go forward and continue the great achievements of the club or they can CHOOSE to let it fall apart. Our activity in the transfer market will dictate our immediate future.
Yesterday’s result was directly related to Arsenal’s reluctance to spend any money in the transfer window (so far). We have had to rely in three league debutants in order to compete against a team which have invested in lots and lots of money. I know lots of people are going to point to the fact that we have many injuries and suspensions and also that they never looked like scoring when we had 11 men. This may be true but the result still hinges on our transfer policy. We came into this match knowing the problems with plenty of time to tie up the transfers for anyone needed. That was not done and as a result we had to rely on inexperience and force them all to play without the right amount of time to accommodate them. This is no reflection on them as to be honest the three of them all had fairly good games. It was the sending off that changed the game and that was inexperience all over.
I feel a bit disappointed because even at 11 vs. 11 we never really looked like scoring. It is only at 10 men we felt like conceding though, in no small way down to the incredible Vermaelan. He was genuinely world class yesterday. He handled the very real threat of Andy Carrol all game and with apparent ease. This was a great performance. The other part to looking solid at the back was down to the commanding performance of Szczesny. He was in magnificent form and if it wasn’t for the two mentioned it may well have been carnage.
Also great to see was the support given to the team, even Nasri. We all have very strong opinions on the man but unfortunately it was clear with him playing yesterday, he was our most creative player and the one that looked most likely to make something happen. This was highlighted with a 60 yard run and a good shot narrowly missing. There are many fans thinking he was in the shop window but it would have been easy for him to avoid getting stuck in, in fear of getting injured. We are clearly lacking for players in the middle and are in serious need of reinforcements.
We have got another important week coming up with crucial fixtures and a worsening injury and suspension crisis. With Koscienly’s injury we are looking at a 19 year old or a player as good as my Nan. Squilaci’s name was fearfully mentioned by many supporters around the ground yesterday when Koscienly got injured. It says something that fans were relieved that an untested 19 year old came on in his stead.
So where do we go from here? A week until United with a growing list of injuries? Do we piss and moan or do we get on with it. I for one am not overly excited about the prospect of going to Old Trafford with our squad as it is: Koscienly, Djorou, Gibbs, Diaby, Eastmond Song, Frimpong, Wilshire, Rosicky, Gervinho, all unlikely to feature. That does not include Nasri, who may or may not be out of the club by then. So that is 10 or 11 players missing from a squad so thin it has Posh Spice starting a new diet of starvation due to her competitive and jealous nature.
With that many players out and with the majority of our squad players, sorry deadwood sold, we are looking at lots of young, inexperienced players, yet again. It is not a great prospect so far.
So where do we go from here? Spend, spend and spend! I apologise for the grotesque approach in solving the “Arsenal crisis” but there is no other way around it. We need 1 creative player and another 4 or 5 decent squad players. The likes of Scott Parker have been mentioned and to be honest would he have got himself sent off yesterday or would he have been able to provide the experienced head that we needed to get us through? I really do like Frimpong, and that is not a reflection on his performance as I thought he was one of the highlights but the truth is a Parker would serve us well. He is not “Super Quality” but to be honest he has enough quality to make himself a useful Arsenal player.
With anywhere between £75m and £100m depending on further sales we are in a position where we can buy just about anyone. I know I have said it before but we could literally scrap our wage structure and buy 2 or 3 “super quality”, world class players which would give the fans and squad a huge lift. I am also aware that there is more chance in Joey Barton being voted Sports Personality of the year than us making any marquee signings. Regardless I would be happy with 4 players with lots of experience who can come in and do a job. That much will in many ways lift the spirits of fans anyway. I know we have 7 players unavailable and it is easy to overreact but the problem is we have been in this position before. We seem to have an unparalleled record of injuries at this level and as such need a squad that can cater for the eventuality that we will have a team worth of players on the sidelines.
I previously mentioned that Nasri may or may not have been sold by this time next week and that is because for all intents and purposes the transfer is off, even if it is just for the moment. It seems that the grubby little agent, who in all likelihood caused most of the problems, has insisted on some form of fees not even City are happy to pay. This is apparently non-negotiable as they feel they are already paying over the odds. So it will be interesting to see what happens there. It is my understanding that if the fee remains they want Arsenal to pay for it out of the transfer fee. Could be a blessing in disguise after watching us yesterday but we will see.
Also of interest, but lack of any real truth in all likelihood is the mooted transfer of Kaka on a one year loan deal. According to The People (nuff said) we are looking for a marquee signing to dispel the discontent of the fans. In other news Arsene Wenger will not buy a centre back because:
"I think Koscielny and Vermaelen are a fantastic pair of centre backs but it's very difficult as well because if you buy another centre back and then someone gets injured I have to buy another one. You cannot do that every time you have an injured player."
I think he is missing the point slightly so I am just going to hope he is being cryptic and reinforcements are imminent. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be any on the horizon as much as I’d like to say there are. We will have to be patient and just hope beyond hope that he does something before the weekend. 1 point from the first three games is not the start to quash the pressure.
Anyway, I am off to watch Sunday Supplement to see what I am sure is going to be an Arsene/Arsenal bashing. :(
Enjoy the day and try not to be too depressed.