There is absolutely no doubt that the reason Arsenal are nowhere near the top four right now is because of the comical defending by our ageing first choice back three, and also because of more errors by our inexperienced backups when Monreal, Koscielny and/or Mustafi were out injured. Not to mention the occasional mistake by Petr can’t-save-a-penalty Cech as well…
Our ‘goals conceded’ column is beyond a joke, especially away from home, so I was extremely surprised that Arsene didn’t try his hardest to bring in a super-experienced top class Premier League defender in January. It was revealed that we tried hard to get Jonny Evans during the summer, and it seemed nailed-on to me that Arsenal would go even harder for him in January considering how badly he has been needed so far. Even the bookies made us very short odds to bring in the West Brom captain after Alan Pardew made it clear he was prepared to sell to draw in funds for a badly-needed striker. Pardew also continually made it clear that the later the bid came in, the least likely they were to be able to get in a replacement.
But as usual Arsenal ignored Pardew and Arsenal left our bid until the very last minute, which was a classic case of too little too late. This is what the Mirror reported of an interview with the Baggies manager….
Arsenal were interested in Evans,30, but Pardew explained their offer – believed to be around £12m – was instantly dismissed.
Pardew said: “It wasn’t for a lack of warning to the clubs like Arsenal.
“I sat here every week saying there was no point coming in late unless it was going to knock us off our chair.
“It was no-where near that. They got the response they were expecting with that bid.
“Jonny is an important, great player and part of the spine of the team.”
So why did Arsenal go in too late and too cheap? We needed Evans at the beginning of the window! In January we won just one of our four Premier League games, with Wenger loudly complaining about our defensive mistakes after our defeats to Bournemouth and (cringe!) Swansea. So why didn’t he address that problem as our very first priority?