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Arsenal Still Need Depth In Attack to Compete For Trophies

Jose Mourinho’s streak of staying unbeaten against the man he once famously described as a voyeur continued Monday night as a 0-0 stalemate occurred at the Emirates Stadium.

The contrast of how both teams play along with the rain affecting the pitch was further evidence to display that if Arsène Wenger truly cares about winning the Premier League again, then an elite striker needs to be purchased either during the January transfer window or in the summer.

Mourinho chose a more defensive squad by having midfielders Frank Lampard, John Obi Mikel and Ramires together in his midfield. When Arsenal had possession in the final third, they struggled to create chances due to Chelsea clogging lanes to prevent through-balls and not allowing the Gunners to create their triangles by having as many as eight players around the box. Mourinho has always played Arsenal the same way; by using pragmatic football, rescinding possession, and counterattacking quickly to create opportunities. There is no need to change the strategy if it has been successful through 10 matches in nine years. Wenger on the other hand is too intelligent to ignore this oversight but refuses to tactically change his approach against the Portuguese manager.

Olivier Giroud had two opportunities late in the match to put his side up but failed miserably and looked the opposite of Chelsea legend and current Galatasaray striker Didier Drogba. Drogba was the Achilles heel of Arsenal by scoring 13 times in 14 matches against the North London rivals but Giroud wasted a chance in the 79th minute from a great pass from Aaron Ramsey. Further along in the 86th minute, a cross from Kieran Gibbs was also misplaced by the Frenchman and resulted in a corner kick. Against a Mourinho-led Chelsea, Arsenal do not get multiple times to score. And in those chances, a high quality player is supposed to finish. This is what is currently lacking from the Gunners and why they have struggled even more to compete for trophies since Thierry Henry departed to Barcelona in 2007. Giroud is by no means a bad player. In fact he is very good, scoring seven goals and assisting four more in 17 appearances this year in the Premier League, but he lacks the quality to be a match-winner and is depended on too much by his side due to a lack of talent at his position.

Wenger claims that Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski being healthy again can cure the issue, but in his 4-2-3-1 formation, they lack the size and strength to play alone up top. In the summer when speculation spread on Arsenal bidding £40,000,001 for Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, Giroud talked to the Daily Mirror about the ambition of the squad. “The club has to show the fans that we want it. Me and my teammates, we need it as well. It’s all about the team. It will be a really positive thing if we have a new striker.”

Since his suspension, Suarez has scored 19 goals and has five assists in only 12 appearances in the Premier League while receiving a new deal worth £200,000 a week. Arsenal never got a top class striker (Yaya Sanogo does not fall into this category) and it has remained a hindrance to their team goals. With the window opening up next week, Wenger should be more serious about inquiring for a top shelf striker or the cycle of losing your best players due to team success and a higher salary will continue to occur.

Editor’s note: For the latest Gunners news, analysis and opinion, visit the Arsenal team page.

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  1. abdirahman

    December 24, 2013 at 5:08 am

    Congratulations to liverbool champions of christmas! No one thought it at the start of the season. Each of the last four seasons the team that were top in christmas went on and win the league. I.e Chelsea 2009/2010. M.united 2010/2011. 2011/2012. M.united 2012/2013. But remember the last team failed to win the league and were top christmas are “liverbool” them selves in 2008/2009 season. Will the history repeat it self?

    • Mufc77

      December 24, 2013 at 10:04 am


    • Jim

      December 24, 2013 at 2:22 pm

      No. Rafa is gone. And so are the FACTS 🙂 .

  2. Mufc77

    December 23, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    Once again today’s result just goes to show how quickly things can change in the league. From being 13 points ahead of Utd to now only 7 points in about 2 weeks.

    It’s Liverpool’s turn now to feel the pressure of the chasing pack and with games against City and Chelsea next you wouldn’t bet against them dropping 4-5 points. I’d still be quietly confident if we are within 5-6 points of the top going into the second half of the season especially if we can get our starters fit again.

  3. Al Jean

    December 23, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    Regardless what people may think, that drew was good for Arsenal than for Chelsea. If Arsenal lost today they will go from first to fourth, that would be really bad there moral, at least are join leaders with Liverpool which they could tke it back on Boxing Day.

  4. Al Jean

    December 23, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    They drew, not lost.

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