Sunday, January 10, 2010

Arsene needs to buy if we want to win a trophy this season.

This is clearly Arsenal's best opportunity to win the league in several years.

United are clearly stuttering, not just due to the loss of Ronaldo, as any team would do, but also as they have no defensive stability whatsoever. Their league title last season was built on an almost impregnable defence, which almost everyone seems to have overlooked due to Ronaldo's departure.

As for Chelski, they have also stuttered in December and, assuming the ACoN continues after the dreadful events last week, they will suffer hugely from the loss of Dogbag, Essien, Mikel and Kalou.

So, considering we are the form team in the league, we need to exploit the indifferent form of our competitors. I agree with Wenger that a much lower points will be needed to win this league this season in comparison to those of the last few years. And, if we can hold it together when we play chels, United, and 'pool in a row at the end of Jan/start of Feb, we have a relatively kind run-in after that.

All this begs the question: do we need any new players? At the end of November, I think a resounding 'yes' would have been the answer; at the end of December, the reply might have been more mixed.

I think yes.

Firstly, in goals. I've been saying this for two-three years now, but Almunia simply isn't good enough, and he will never be good enough. The uncertainty he breeds in defence is paralysing the players in front of him, and making Vermaelen and Gallas often look like worse players than they are. Almunia doesn't know when to stay or when to come to crosses, he bizzarely punches the ball when he can often catch it, and when he does get the ball in his hand he's taken to booting it up field towards our towering centre-forward, Andrei Arshavin. Either give Fabianski a go, or buy a new keeper Arsene, it's as simple as that. Almunia, aside from a penalty save against Hull, has cost us far too many goals, and points this season. The fact that there are almost 12 other keepers in the Prem I would take and play instead of him says a lot.

Secondly, a defensive midfielder who can cover in defence. If Senderos is not to ever play for us again, we cannot have only Silvestre as back-up. The idea to bring back Campbell is considerably half-baked, but may just about work out for half a season. Ideally, I'd like a player who can play in both midfield and defence - like Song - especially given what looks like a recurrence of Denilson's back injury on Saturday. If not, Eastmond is the only defensive midfielder we currently have in the squad.

Should we buy a forward? Maybe. Arshavin is being squandered in a central role - especially with Nasri often deciding not to pass to him when he has the opportunity. Eduardo doesn't seem to be able to play as the lone-man up-top, and Bendtner is often shoved out to the sides when he plays. It would be very like Arsene to buy another forward when I think it is our defensive play which is letting us down at the mo, but we'll have to wait and see.

Overall, I just think that a signing could give us the lift that the club needs to push us on towards some silverware. Whilst the signing didn't ultimately work out, the purchase of Reyes in '04 gave the team the lift it needed, I think, to ensure the title that season. Going through the whole of this month w/o a new signing is a huge risk, especially given the huge cash reserves we have atm.

We'll have to wait, as always, but in what will be a tight title race, one or two extra bodies might just give us the edge we need.