We all have off-days. If we play sports, we have off-days and occasional injuries. If we’re Arsenal we have off-days, occasional injuries, and the opportunity to win a lot of trophies if we use the transfer window well. If not? Well, it’s not as up in the air as last year felt at this time, but it’s still up in the air… with no one to head it in, lay it off, or tumble in after it with ugly determination.
Which almost brings me to my point: you can hate Arsenal for any number of personal reasons, but if you’re a fan of football, you watch them regardless because they epitomize “The Beautiful Game.” Most of the time. Almost all the time. But what about those off-days? And worse yet, what about when they’re compounded by injuries and a sorely missed Alex Song? Anyone witnessing the arctic display at The Emirates Saturday had to be asking some questions: How many times can you thread one of those gorgeous passes in the final third right to the grateful feet of an Everton defender? How easy was it for anyone wearing blue on the right side- let alone the debutante Donovan- to break down an Arsenal defense sabotaged by Traore’s horrific displays? Yes, of course they had their “Gunners Moments.” They always do. That’s why we watch them. But again; off day.
Which brings me to my point. If they don’t pick up a sizeable, physical presence to solidify the attack, this season is a guess for the Gunners at best. And most would guess Chelsea. However, if they can pick up a largish somebody who’s good with their back to the goal, laying off assists to the ridiculous amount of quality they will be surrounded by, well, the trophies are theirs for the taking. But they need somebody on the front line who has a realistic chance at winning headers. Somebody who is good in the air on those days when the beautiful game isn’t firing on all cylinders. Days when ho-hum crosses and long balls are the only way they can break down a defense. And with Clichy close to fit, we should expect those overlapping runs and crosses to be coming from both sides soon enough. They need a Crouch. They need an Emile Heskey or Kevin Davies to round-out an attack that has been forced to rely on deft movement to pass or walk the ball into the net.
You might say, “Well what do you think Bendtner is? He’s close to fit.” And I’d have to say, meh. Sure. He hasn’t proven much of anything besides inconsistency yet. He very well could be that guy in the future. But bear with me if you’re disagreeing still. Imagine if they did have Crouch. Now. Are they lacking anything else once Clichy and Song are back? Sure the world always misses Fabregas, and we love watching Theo ignite the afterburners, but they have so much quality everywhere on the pitch, that really, all they need is a big attacker.
And the trophies will rain down upon them for years.
Seems I’m not the only one who thinks so.
Here’s to off-days. Without them, necessity might never reveal itself.