Arsene Wenger will be hoping for a few things when Arsenal head south to face the Premier League new boys AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Sunday. A first win in five EPL games will be top of the Frenchman’s list of course, but after that he will be desperate for an end to all the talk and taunting from the football media and rival fans about the striker crisis at Arsenal.
One way of doing that would be for us to score a few goals and with Mesut Ozil in the sort of form that saw him set a Premier League record for the season of creating 10 chances on one game, the likes of Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott should have plenty of opportunity to ease the pressure on the manager.
But if the Gunners fail to find the target again, there is one more thing that the prof will be praying for and that is for the new Bournemouth front man Benik Afobe to also draw a blank. After Wenger let the Arsenal academy graduate leave for good after various loan spells around the country, Afobe has been banging in goals for fun and on Sunday will face his former club for the first time.
The Bournemouth forward is reported in The Mirror as saying that he bears the club and our manager no ill will, but that he will still be looking to pile the pressure on Wenger.
Afobe said, ““I’ve got a job to do for my new club on Sunday and there will be no friends out there.
“But I don’t hold any grudges – I’ve already scored three goals in my last three games, so I’ve got nothing to prove to Arsenal.
“It was their decision to sell me and I’ve moved on. It’s been years now – I would have liked to have got my chance there, but it didn’t happen.
“I’ve got nothing bad to say about Arsenal. I’m here in the Premier League now, scoring winning goals for Bournemouth, so I just want to enjoy and keep improving.
“Arsenal were a massive influence on me because I was there from the age of about six, they helped me to progress as a footballer and I’ve got a lot of reasons to thank them.”
Wenger’s decision not to at least give the lad a chance to flourish in the first team was a little odd because he had a great record at underage level and is proving himself now. It will look even worse if Afobe scores on Sunday while Wenger’s chose ones fail in front of goal once more.