- Written by Jimmy Gossard
Clubs typically use the January Transfer Window as a time to supplement a side with the potential to win a trophy. Other clubs use it as a time to add quality as they look to stave off relegation. There are other clubs who use the period as a time to jettison unneeded squad players for a profit.
Arsenal uses it for none of the above.
Last week the manager had this to say about the transfer period: “It’s harder to do deals in January because, if you’re buying a player who is available because he isn’t playing, then in the Premier League the level is so high now it takes that player three, four months to adjust.”
That’s far from what Arsenal supporters were hoping to hear from the boss this January. But now, after losing three league games in a row, Arsene Wenger has to take a serious look at adding to the squad while he can.
Does Wenger not believe that January signings will help? Does he rely too much on injured players getting healthy? Is the truth really that the board will not allow the manager to add to the squad? All questions that need answered for the immediate and long-term success of the club.
Quite frankly, the benefit of the doubt has been extended far too long at this point.
- Written by Jimmy Gossard
Despite the initial excitement and success, lately Arshavin’s effort has been brought into question. He has often looked lazy on the pitch and has not had the major impact of his signing promised at Arsenal. This campaign, he has often been lost in matches, leaving little in the way of impact in his wake.
Out of Position
One of the major concerns about Arshavin has been whether or not he’s been deployed in the right position by Arsene Wenger. It’s been noted by several pundits (including Arsenal Latest’s own Anand Saha and Scott Richardson) that Arshavin has been a much more productive player in his career when he plays a more central playmaking role. Playing on the wing of the front three may not best suit his talents.
Arshavin has excellent dribbling skills. And as such, he likes to show them off. Playing on the wing, this means he is usually cutting inside the defender and looking for his shot. Playing out too wide makes it harder for him to use this skill, as the boundary acts as a pseudo defender. However, if he plays to close to the middle, he is throwing off the spacing of the 4-3-3 formation and bringing more defenders toward the middle, where Robin Van Persie is usually looking for more space to operate.
Arshavin is not a winger. I’d argue he’d be better utilized in a 4-3-1-2 formation, as a playmaker in front of two forwards. It cannot be argued that when he has played more freely in the middle for the Russian National team and Zenit that he was more productive in that role.
- Written by Alex Johnston
When Thierry Henry received Alex Song’s pass behind the Leeds defence, for a split second I was transported back to being a 12 year old and idolising the seemingly God-like figure we had leading our front line. Bergkamp was the reason I started supporting Arsenal, Henry was the reason they’re in my heart now. When he slotted the ball into the far corner in his typical side-footed fashion I don’t know one Arsenal fan who could hold back the raw emotion that exploded and I lost the struggle to hold back a tear when he embraced Wenger; for all that Le Prof has gone through this season, he deserved that moment just as much. Since that moment however, there have been criticisms creeping out that are carrying a lot of weight, they cannot be glossed over by pointing to sentiment.
- Written by Brian Covert
Here’s a tip for all Gooners wanting to know what Arsenal will do this January transfer window: put down the sports pages and start reading the business section of your favourite newspaper/website/etc.
There you’ll find all sorts of doom and gloom about the economic future of the Eurozone. Just today The Guardian business section led with the headline “World Economic Forum warns of economic toil and social upheaval” while Reuters had a story proclaiming “Worst still ahead for Eurozone, but it will survive.”
Don’t think for a minute these headlines don’t factor into every decision the Arsenal boardroom, especially our hawkish manager Arsene Wenger and Master’s Degree in Economics from Universite de Strasbourg, makes when it comes to our beloved club.
In fact, Wenger all but admitted this when asked about his thoughts on forecasted crisis bearing down:
"I am convinced that Europe will go into a huge financial crisis within the next three weeks, or three months, and maybe that will put everything into perspective again," Wenger told reporters on September. "Football is not untouchable. We live by people going to the stadiums and from [sponsors] advertising to people who buy products. All our income could be a little bit under threat in the next few months."
- Written by John Charalambous
I am sure most Gooners would be more than happy to welcome back one of our greatest ever players, all-time top goal-scorer and va-va-voom proponent. Yes, ladies and gents, Thierry Henry is back in town (pending MLS clearance). Last night Arsenal.com actually posted a photo of the Club legend in this season’s first-team kit, although this was removed post-haste. However, after the game with QPR we are faced with yet another defensive casualty - Thomas Vermaelen.
This latest injury means we have Kieran Gibbs, Carl Jenkinson, Bacary Sagna and Andre Santos all out injured (every full-back in our 1st team) as well as Vermaelen, who is arguably the most comfortable of our centre-backs in a full-back position.
Alas, fear not ye of little faith - the winter Transfer Window (note capital letters) is upon us, like an answer to our collective prayers. Arsene has already admitted that he wants to sign a defender in this window to provide cover.
"We lost Vermaelen for two or three weeks, so I have to look if I can find somebody [but] only a loan.
"It would be stupid for us to drop points because we don't have a left-back." [Arsene Wenger to BBC Football]
With most of our players due back toward the end of the month, a short-term loan deal might be best for all parties.
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