For Foxes Sake; Arsenal uninspired yet again


There comes a time where supporters of a football club get so frustrated with the current state of affairs, that they can no longer quantify or put into words the level of which they wish action was being taken – this is the state of affairs for Gooners the world over.  Another uninspired performance by Arsenal today at the King Power Stadium against a tough Leicester City outfit yet again proved to many that further action is needed.

Before I begin on my own personal tangents (none of which will end positively, mind you, and why should they?), let’s take to ye olde Twitter for some further supporter opinion and insight;

Now that we’ve cleared up public opinion, supporter and pundit alike, let’s look at some of the facts (and then I’ll get into my hopefully coherent ramblings)

"Current striker situation at Arsenal and their rivals Chelsea: Diego Costa, Loic Remy (confirmed today) Manchester City: Sergio Aguero, Stevan Jovetic, Edin Dzeko, Alvaro Negredo Liverpool: Mario Balotelli, Daniel Sturridge, Rickie Lambert Manchester United: Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie Everton: Romelu Lukaku, Samuel Eto’o Arsenal: Olivier Giroud, Yaya Sanogo Tottenham: Emmanuel Adebayor, Roberto Soldado, Harry Kane"

All it takes is one quick glance to see that Arsenal are severely lagging behind when it comes to quality at striker.  While Olivier Giroud had a fine season last season, there is a inconceivable lack of depth in quality behind him at the Emirates.

In Yaya Sanogo, Arsene Wenger calls on a player who not only was deemed not quality enough to be kept by AJ Auxerre, but cannot even get a starting role for the France U-21 side – still and yet, some how, Wenger feels he has the quality at Arsenal.   It may be ironic that, after today’s horror show (in particular from Sanogo himself), that Wenger has now done a reversal job, and claimed the club are being active;

"“We want to and are looking into that.  We’re very active” (source: Sky Sports Football)"

The sad truth however, is that it never should have come to this.  Arsenal still have Lukas Podolski on the books, as well as Joel Campbell, two players who have experience in starting roles at striker, yet Wenger’s habit of keeping blind faith in the wrong player is currently costing the club.

With his admitting that we are now actively looking to bring someone in so close to the closing of the window, that will drive the price up for anyone we target, as clubs will want over top dollar if they are to part ways so late – well done indeed, Arsene.

Say what you will about Piers Morgan, but there are times where he actually does hit the nail on the head in matters pertaining to Arsenal; this time is one of them, which leads me into my own personal ranting.

For starters, there is something to be said about how difficult it is to integrate someone of the quality of Alexis Sanchez into the squad.  Many times already this season, you can see that he feels the need to go at it alone than trust his teammates – while that could be potentially worrying, it’s still early days, and he has now scored in his last two matches for us, so that’s got to be a positive sign surely.

Alexis Sanchez has done well to get on the scoreboard in the last two matches, but his integration into the squad has run into plenty of stumbling blocks (image courtesy of Arsenal’s official Facebook page)

What is not positive however, how we are using our most prized assets.  Not only is Sanchez playing as a right midfielder in a four-man midfield (in a ridiculous 4-1-4-1), but Mesut Ozil has now been pushed into the left midfielder role to accommodate Santi Cazorla – does this not smack of complete idiocy to anyone else but me?

Honestly, this is classic Wenger; he buys players, and rather than going to the tactics board to figure out how to best utilize their strengths to maximize our efficiency and play on the pitch, he instead tries to fit a bunch of square pegs in round holes that will never take.  We have all said it before time and time again, that Wenger’s pragmatic and stubborn approach to football will cost the club.

Not only has his stubbornness in the market put us in a large pickle late on, but his insistence on using players blatantly out of position, and then wondering why we are not getting results, is truly baffling to say the least.

The truth of the matter is, when you have a manager who is such a stubborn pragmatist, it’s hard to envision any type of change.  Why was Sanogo relied on? Because Wenger goes back in his head to remind himself of all his success stories of taking young players and creating starts out of them, but the fact remains that the current landscape of Premier League dictates that if you want to win trophies, you have to spend to compete with your rivals.  In the matter of the striker situation, this is clearly the case.

Arsenal have yet to see the best of Mesut Ozil, but that is not his fault. The scenario could play out with Alexis Sanchez if Arsene Wenger does not wise up (image courtesy of Arsenal’s official Facebook page)

As for the likes of what the purchases of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez mean, in the long run, their brilliant ability as players will risk falling by the way side as they play for a manager that is so busy trying to make things go precisely his way, that he could well sacrifice their effectiveness on the pitch to do it – Ozil’s overall form is a testament to that notion; he’s been good, but he has not been to the level that so many expected, and that falls on Arsenal’s uninspired ways under an aging wanna-be tactician.

Truthfully, the excellent work that Wenger has actually put into this transfer window may all fall by the way side if he does not break with tradition and spend further to solve the problems.  We desperately need center-back cover, we have needed a top class holding midfielder for years, and we need a first-rate striker rather than relying on playing people out of position.

While I realize that I have not gone into my opinions of the match, was there really any point to do so? Every Gooner on the face of the planet that watched the match today saw exactly what happened and why it happened – it’s the same story we’ve been going back to for years, and any sort of opinions on the match from me will just be a bit of redundancy.  The true talking point, is what the issues are now at current, and how does Wenger fix them, if he does at all.