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Arsenal Desperate For The Transfer Window

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Another promoted side, another embarrassing defeat for the Gunners and the north London side look like they have taken a step back after being out muscled at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday. Back are the bad old days for Gunners fans when they were pushed off the park by the likes of Bolton and Blackburn. Whilst they managed to overcome those teams this season it was same old same old for Arsene Wenger’s men as they were well truly beaten by a side that are one of the favourites to go down.

With Manchester United travelling to north London on Saturday the young guns look to be well and truly out of their depth in terms of a title challenge. There are even fears that they may not make it into the Champions League next season if their current form continues. The football odds now place Arsenal at 20/1 to win the Premier League and with a difficult month to come those odds may be even longer by the time we head into December.

The Gunners face Man Utd, Chelsea and Aston Villa in November with Man City away not an easy match either. Despite Wenger’s faith in his young squad it seems glaringly obvious to everyone that Arsenal need a) a midfield general and b) a leader. Perhaps the French manager is now praying that the transfer window will open early so he can draft in the players he needs but something tells me he will stick with what he has got.

Wenger’s gamble to stick with his current squad will be nothing short of a massive gamble because there is no doubt that Arsenal could attract any number of quality players. Whilst Wenger’s faith in his young squad is admirable patience is begging to wear thin around the Emirates with the ‘transition’ period from the last title winning squad to the next one taking longer than the fans may have expected. A trophy of some kind will be a necessity this season, although as the Premier League odds suggest they are going to be at least fourth in the pecking order for the FA and Carling Cup, being even further down the ladder when it comes to the Champions League.

This Saturday’s game against the reigning Premier League champions will be a good measuring stick of how far Arsenal still have to go before they can be considered title contenders. Whilst you can not totally write of the Gunners for the weekend, and an expected win in mid week against Fenerbache will certainly help boost confidence levels, it’s hard to see how they will overcome Sir Alex Ferguson’s team. For the time being Arsenal will be an exciting team to watch and when they turn it on a brilliant footballing side but for the time being Wenger’s men will have to watch on as the other three of the big four divide up the trophies.

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  1. Stevo

    November 4, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    Fabregas should be the captain. After an impressive showing last year and in Euro 2008 this summer, it is clear that he is ready to step up and be the skipper of this young side. He is the future of Arsenal, and Wenger needs to let him lead the team.

    I completely disagree that this weekends fixture with ManU will be a good measure of what Arsenal is capable of. Arsenal are extremely banged up at the moment, so this is a terrible time to be playing Ronaldo and his boys. You have to let Arsenal get healthy before you can say what type of team they are going to be. Rosicky hasnt even seen the field yet this term, and he is an outstanding playmaker and finisher.

    I think letting senderos go over the summer was a mistake. He was the brute that Arsenal needed to toughen up the defense, although he made a number of bone headed plays. If Arsenal can get through the very difficult month that lies ahead still floating in the top 5 or 6 spots of the table, they have just as much a chance to challenge for the league as anyone. Adebyor is a great forward who goes after headers agressively, and when you combo that with Van Persie's foot skills with the ball, they make a great strike force up top. Nasri and Walcott need to play the wings, there's no question about that.

  2. jm

    November 3, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    I think it is right that Arsenal need a midfield general. It does not necessarily need to be someone who fits the traditional mold and is able to physically dominate the midfield. Yet, what a solid DM can give to the side is to allow Fabregas to play further upfield. Diaby looks like Vieira, but I think he is a better player when he is allowed to roam upfield, rather than bossing the midfield. Denilson plays a bit too much like Cesc and neither are able to really fill that role. A player in that role might also take some of the pressure off the DC's.

    I think the need for a leader is a bit overstated. It's been the focus of a lot of the best Arsenal blogs lately, including most of the ones I respect most. I fear that Arsenal fans like myself are pinning our hopes for a quick fix on an intangible quality. I agree that Gallas doesn't *seem* like an adequate leader for the side (I'll only ever say “seem” since we don't really know what goes on behind closed doors). Better leadership might help a bit, but I think the problems are more readily identifiable things on the pitch.

    Besides a better DM, we could really use a commanding central defender. Sagna and Clichy are excellent full backs, and they fit their attacking role in Arsenal's system perfectly (their attacking role, however, makes the DM even more important). Toure and Gallas are both quality centerbacks, but the partnership isn't there. I'm just joining a veritable chorus on this one, but I think we need a central defender better able to contest for balls in the air, leaving Gallas or Toure to clean up.

    With a stronger spine, this team would be vastly improved. The quality is there from a team just four points off the title pace last season. With Nasri and Walcott getting the bulk of the playing time (I am baffled by Arsene's decision to keep them on the bench vs Stoke), this is a team that can and does score goals. What they need is consistency – and I think the inconsistent results have a lot more to do with defensive weakness up the center of the pitch rather than leadership.

  3. Andrew Boyd Smith

    November 3, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    Hull,fulham and Stoke. Arsenal shd have got a minimum of at least six don't find d mu,Chelsea or Pool messing up with the likes of thes teams.That shows the mentality of the gunners. They think by just turning up three points will be in the bag.I think the epl is more competitive now compared to the early and mid 90s when the red faced was dominant save for Aw.
    When you look at the footbal played by the leading teams they do not string many pasees to get a goal. I think AW has instructed to indulge in at least twice the number of passses. Statistics will bear me out. The gunners have more possession and more shots at goal than other teams.This is where the stroy ends.
    The gunners have to take a hugher % of shots to score compared to other teams. What this means is the gunners type of play gives the opposition defenders to regroup and frustrate them.The other teams ina sweeping move will catch the defenders nad score in a flash.
    This,from my point of view,is the diference.I know i am layman and can't be doing AW's job. To illustrate by analogy. A professor could not solve a grade 2 problem. Why? he can't see the basic and goes into abstract theory to solve a problem.

  4. Josh Pedley

    November 3, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    Not sure about the midfield general. Last year Flamini was outstanding and he is hardly a destroyer. Fabregas , Hleb, Flamini and Rosicky were all great friends and that definitely helped them on the pitch. Cesc needs time to strike up an understanding with Denilson or Diaby, who in my opinion should be played in the centre. I was at the Stoke game on Saturday and it was a tough game. Arsenal were terrible and theres no way around that. But, Wenger got it wrong by not starting Walcott or Nasri as there was no-one who could go past a player, which meant they were always playing in front of Stoke and the conditions were against Arsenal, as unless you visit Stoke's ground, you cannot appreciate just how windy it is.

  5. Simon Burke.

    November 3, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    Knowing Wenger he may not sign even then – he is very stubborn and I think now blinded by his own vision. I hope I am wrong but Arsenal are the team they should have been last year but who last year overacheived.

    This year we have been found out and need a proper defence, a midfield general (as said above) and possibly a striker who will fight for everything, Adebayor does not and wanted to leave anyway.

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