NEW SEASON, NEW PLAYERS, SAME OLD PROBLEMS by Uche
It is a strange one, isn’t it? Arsenal has supposedly upgraded its squad through our new signings but you wouldn’t know it. First, we signed Shad Forsythe, a well-respected fitness guru that worked with the German national team and yet within a space of four days, we have already recorded three injuries to Kieran Gibbs, Yaya Sanogo and Mikel Arteta. Wow! It feels just like the old Arsenal. And then we signed Alexis Sanchez, Mathieu Debuchy, David Ospina and Calum Chambers while welcoming back a much improved Joel Campbell from his three year loan. That makes it five new faces that have joined our squad and yet watching Arsenal labor through a cringe worthy draw against a very organized Besiktas side, you wouldn’t know our squad is five players richer than it was last season.
Nothing has changed. Olivier Giroud is still his old self. Slow, out of position, lacking composure and offering nothing to trouble the opposition. Same old Arsenal. Santi Carzola is still being played as a winger who never stays at wings, even with the Ox and Campbell on the bench. Same old Arsenal. We have no pace, no width and no element of surprise. A few weeks ago, Arsene Wenger was boasting of having so much attacking talent at his disposal but if you watched the game against Besiktas on Tuesday night, you wouldn’t know it. Wenger played the same knackered team he fielded against Crystal Palace just three days ago. What about the squad? We have good players and many options in attack yet some players are getting overplayed while others cannot get game time. Monreal and Flamini only got games because Gibbs and Arteta are injured. Looks like only an injury to about half of our squad is what it is going to take for Wenger to finally give Joel Campbell a chance. For his world cup heroics and more, Joel deserves his chance. He cannot be worse than Giroud! Or is this about hierarchy and not merit?
In fifteen minutes, Alex Oxlade Chamberlain did more than Olivier Giroud ever did in the entire ninety minutes that he played. To imagine that we have that kind of offensive power on the bench and yet Wenger just stuck with the same uncoordinated and malfunctioning forward line is beyond me. Joel Campbell, Tomas Rosicky, Alex Chamberlain and Mathieu Flamini were all fresh. They should have started the Besiktas game and if Wenger does not consider them good enough, then what the hell are they doing in Arsenal? We have no width and our midfield is saturated with four numbers tens in Carzola, Wilshere, Ramsey and Arteta. Wenger might as well convert Ozil and Rosicky into defenders so that he will be the first manager in history to field six attacking midfielders all at the same time.
Yes Sanchez did work his socks off and bombed down the right flank when he had the chance but, he had absolutely no support. Forgive me for not knowing how to contain my disgust at Wenger’s selection policy but I see so much talent in this team being wasted by our manager. Does it make sense to starve in your own house when you have so much food in your kitchen? We just spent over thirty million pounds on a world class attacker but you wouldn’t know it. Imagine a front line of Campbell, Sanchez and Ox? We have already tried something similar in preseason against Benfica to devastating effect. That game ended in 5-1. The only difference between that front line and the one we need now is that Sanchez will replace Sanogo upfront and why wouldn’t it work? Sanchez is better than Sanogo! But the boss won’t try it so we remain starved off width, pace, movement, trickery and goals. The upcoming Everton game really has me worried because they exploited these weaknesses sufficiently the last time we played them.
We have a bloody good squad and it also does not matter who we buy in this transfer window if Arsene Wenger decides not to make full use of the talent at his disposal. A new season has started with new players being brought in. But the same old problems persist. This is not good. Preseason is over. Enough of the failed experiments. Peace.