Arsenal were not firing on all cylinders on Sunday, as West Ham handed the Gunners a shock 2-0 defeat at Emirates Stadium. While much of the blame for the loss was put straight on newly-acquired goalkeeper Petr Cech (due to errors on both goals), Arsenal did not look like the team that only lost three previous matches during the 2015 calendar year.
The usual intricate passing and smooth touches were just not there for the north London team on the day. Arsenal appeared to lack confidence from the start of the match, as many passes went astray. While nerves seem to strike the habitually calm club, most would assume the Gunners would hit the ground running before it was too late. That never happened.
Although Cech’s Premier League debut in an Arsenal kit certainly did not go to plan, there was also very little created up front for the team either. Olivier Giroud started the match as the center forward for the Gunners, and while some pundits thought Theo Walcott would get the nod up front, Giroud has proven before that he can score goals for his club. The France international was forced out wide on numerous occasions in the match however, a place where the lead-footed 6’4” striker should rarely be.
With Arsenal down in the match, manager Arsene Wenger brought on both Walcott and superstar Alexis Sanchez, who just returned to training last week after leading Chile to the Copa America title, but it was too late and the Gunners suffered the disappointing defeat.
Giroud, Walcott and Alexis are a very solid front three for a UEFA Champions League caliber club, make no mistake about it; however, many would agree that Arsenal need a world-class center forward for the club to seriously mount a Premier League title challenge this season.
Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema has been linked with the Gunners for what seems like years now, but nothing has yet to materialize. The Spanish giants claim that they wish to hold on to their French forward, but rumors have been swirling that Los Blancos would listen to serious offers for Benzema, If in fact this statement is true, Wenger needs to do everything in his power to sign the 27-year-old star.
The Arsenal manager addressed the possibility of incoming transfer following the defeat on Sunday. “When you’re a pro footballer, you have to face your responsibilities and not always look at something else,” said Wenger. “Today we have to look at ourselves and think we were not good enough and not to think that these kinds of things are solutions for us. Again, I can only repeat what I already said. If an exceptional solution turns up, we’ll do it. But after a defeat like that, it’s important not always to think we take a solution from outside.”
SEE MORE: Read Arsenal’s 2015/16 season preview.
While Wenger’s take on how automatically bringing in a player would affect his team’s psyche may be correct, an acquisition of a player such as Benzema would surely boost moral for the majority of the club (not to mention the fans). Benzema, or a similar player, would give this Arsenal team a certain bite up front that they can lack at times.
Nevertheless, the defeat to West Ham occurred on August 9th and the Premier League season does not end until May 15th, some nine months from now. With just over three weeks of the transfer window still remaining and 37 more Premier League matches left on the schedule, perhaps Arsenal fans should get reacquainted with the story “Chicken Little.”
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