So far this season, Arsene Wenger’s side looks to be in good shape, despite his inactivity on the transfer market at deadline day.
The departures of Alex Song and Robin van Persie sparked rumors among supporters of Wenger having a hidden agenda, which he was going to execute on final day of the transfer window.
As fans waited patiently, there was no sign of Wenger snapping up another man to strengthen the team, who have lost as much as they have gained.
Wenger struck early on the transfer market, snapping up three instrumental players in Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Santi Carzola, players that were supposedly purchased with the funds from the loss of van Persie and Song.
But where was Wenger on the dying days of the transfer window?
Wenger needs another forceful striker if Arsenal want to transition from a side that has to look back seven years in order to remember premiership victory, to a side that is really in contention this season for the league cup.
The loss of van Persie is undoubtedly a huge blow to the Gunners. Last season van Persie scored 30 goals, and placed as the top scorer in the Premier League, just ahead of Wayne Rooney.
However, if Podolski or Giroud get injured, who do we look to?
Arsenal does not posses another resolute striker, and Podolski and Giroud can’t afford to produce unsteady performances. So far, Giroud has been inconsistent and has been still unable to produce a goal for Wenger’s side.
Both Podolski and Giroud bear the weight of expectations on their shoulders. Initially, Giroud was purchased as a back up for van Persie, but since his departure, the Frenchman has been forced into the limelight.
Maybe Giroud needs time, and if Wenger had signed an extra veteran forward, Giroud could have taken his time to adjust at his own pace. Right now, Giroud does not have a choice. The clock is ticking and his right boot needs polishing.
In addition, Wenger failed to replace Song.
As a Gunner, Song’s greatest quality on the pitch was his rare ability to multitask successfully.
Wenger likes to sign players who are comfortable playing in several different roles, possessing an array of strengths.
Alex Song was one of those players.
Defensively, Song is a force to be reckoned with.
He protects the back four from danger, but is also a presence while attacking. Song likes to break up the opponent’s advances, and creates space for his teammates. He was the driving force behind many of Arsenal’s counterattacks, a position Wenger will struggle to fill with his current squad.
It was only a year ago that there were talks of Wenger signing a back up for Song. One year has passed, and Wenger has failed to replace him.
Mikel Arteta and Abou Diaby are the best options for Wenger, and Arteta is arguably the most comfortable sitting back in a defensive position.
Diaby, along with Arteta have enjoyed an influential start to the season. They played in holding positions for Arsenal in the match against Liverpool, while Arteta proved his ability to stay calm under pressure against Montpellier.
Arsenal were lucky to hang on against Montpellier, as they looking extremely shaky in the second half. Diaby was unreliable, and as a whole, the team put on a sloppy display, creating minimal chances in the second half.
Although Arsenal has a young team, which Wenger will unquestionably develop to the best of his ability, there is a huge hole up front. Van Persie stole 30 goals from the opposition last season in that position.
Will Giroud even score half of that in the striker’s position?
Only time will tell, and even though Arsenal have put on a strong display so far this season, they have yet to face the big guns.
I hope they prove me wrong, but against the better teams I think they will fall short again. I am not alone here - I think most of the Arsenal fans would agree with me. To actually think you are going to play Barcelona or Real Madrid off the pitch...I don't think this team are good enough to do that.
Wenger surely knows what he is doing though, right?
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