January 14, 2016

Filling The Gap

By Michael Clements

Flamini has done fine in Francis Coquelin's absence, but fine is about as good as it was going to get with the loyal Frenchman filling in at the defensive midfield position. We needed a defensive midfielder even when Coquelin got his first real run of games, then we realized Coquelin was that player and the priority position was all but forgotten. Of course, the worry was always what we would do if Coquelin got hurt, with Arteta just not able to genuinely compete at the top level anymore and Flamini being limited in what he could offer. Well, Coquelin did get hurt, and for a considerable amount of time. 

While many were (still) calling for a World Class striker (more on that later) it was clear that was the main area of focus in the January transfer window. Mohamed Elneny signed for £5million on Thursday and you can't help but nod your head in agreement with the move. Let's be honest, £5million really doesn't buy you much in this current market and will be even more obsolete once the English clubs get their TV money next season. So, the pressure is really off for the young, 23 year old Egyptian, the burden of that big price tag won't be an issue like it is with many big money signings. While we certainly don't want to get ahead of ourselves, how can we go wrong at that price? 

As far as signing a 'World Class' striker in this window, it really seems unnecessary to me. Giroud has always had my support and I find it hard to understand the relentless doubt surrounding him. He's got everything we ask for as Arsenal fans, and historically we don't ask for much, just a hard working, passionate player with enough skill to get us a wee bit excited. So far so good for the Frenchman. He's also on a taring run at the moment, impressing even the most anti-Arsenal of the media and is one of the biggest Gooners this team has seen in a while. He bloody loves this club. 

If anything, Arsenal fans would generally worship a player with his commitment and drive, but it's strange to see such a desire to replace or improve upon such a quality player with maybe even more potential than we realize. 

So I won't be disappointed when we fail to sign another striker this January. We've got one of the most in form strikers in Europe at the moment with others vying for his spot, a situation we're not used to at the Emirates of late. I always want to see more player depth at Arsenal, but no single position screams weakness to me right now. Our defense has been inconsistent, but with Gabriel waiting in the wings, who are we going to sign and who does he replace? 

We're now fighting for the League title (as well as the 'Cup' and the Champions League, according to Elneny), so scrutiny of our squad is going to become more commonplace in discussions amongst Arsenal fans, but let's remember to take a step back every once in a while and remember how good we've got it right now.

Up The Arsenal!