It amazing how reality presents itself so quickly as the season gets underway. I thought we were in great shape (apart from a defensive addition) going into the new season; Alexis Sanchez, Debuchy and Chambers added quality and a touch of depth to our squad and things looked like they might get exciting.
After Arsenal's 2-2 draw with Everton Saturday it seems like there is some work to do for the manager and his crew before the transfer window shuts on September 1st. Attacking options would be the least of my concerns, whereas defensive midfield and central defense are becoming more and more of a necessity at this point.
I love to see Chambers in the center of defense, and I think the boss found a really good player here, but we can't rely on him on a consistent basis when competing at the top level. The young Englishman looks more of a backup option if we were to bring in a quality center back and defensive mid. Flamini, having been brought in to pick up where Arteta left off before his injury, is beginning to look a bit out of his depth and I'm not sure we can rely on him to be our main/deputy defensive midfielder anymore. I love the little bastard and would love to see him remain at the club, but we need someone with more conviction in that role.
Most people flipped their lids after the Besiktas result saying we needed a striker, even going as far as saying they want Giroud gone. This seems a little extravagant and over reactive, but everyone's entitle to their opinion I suppose.
Giroud looked great today, which begs the question - why didn't he start against Everton?
He was clearly out of shape against Palace and in Turkey, so another start and perhaps 70 minutes would have done him the world of good I feel. I understand Wenger's move to try the Chilean up front instead, but if we throw a 5'7" guy in to play in a 6'4" guys position, surely we would have to alter the way we play a bit? Alexis is not a hold up player, he's a player who is lightening fast and can do a lot with the ball at his feet. Keep him on the wing so he can cut inside and use his speed or change to a 4-4-2.
OMG! He said it, he said the 4-4-2 thing!
Most of Wenger's success with Arsenal has come with a 4-4-2 formation, and while I completely understand the evolution of football, tactics and how teams need to adapt to counter threats in their respective divisions, I still feel like we need another option, another dimension. Granted, Arsene Wenger and changing tactics don't necessarily go together, but it's not completely unheard of, is it?
To see Giroud and Alexis up front, with Walcott/Chamberlain/Cazorla/Ozil on the wings, throw in a little Ramsey/Arteta action in the midfield and you're looking ok. With players like Chamberlain, Cazorla and Ozil on the wings, it means we've got wingers who like to come inside and support the midfield. I'm sure I'm completely wrong, but it's worth talking about.
I'm sure you noticed I didn't include Wilshere in there, and I'll save that rant for another blog, but he's really starting to frustrate me out there. If someone can point out to me something I'm missing as far as his contribution to the team, then please let me know. I think a decision whether the manager should keep picking him to start games is looming.
80 minutes of shite, and 10 minutes of classic Arsenal comeback football made today a little stressful, but hey, it's a point. A tremendous result for Everton, and a decent result for the Arsenal, all things considered.
Some sort of spark is needed, whether it's in the form of a couple of new players or a severe bollocking from the boss. Either way we can't continue to go out there and look like 6th place team. We are The Arsenal, and weave turned that corner already. Now is the time that we begin to scrap with the best of 'em and compete for the top trophies.
Come On You Gunners!!