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Mid December musings

Team

This weekend’s game against Middlesborough is important and the Gunners need to play with the same steel they seem to reserve for the elite teams of the Premier League. It can be argued that our results against Middlesborough last season cost us the title. Last December we lost our first Premier League game of the season when we played Boro up north. In the spring time we only managed a draw when we clearly needed a win. That’s five points we dropped against Boro last season, five points which would have given us the title. This weekend’s game is a must win.

The news about Tomas Rosicky clearly means that Arsene Wenger must consider buying a winger. Theo Walcott is unavailable until late February, Samir Nasri appears to pick up a knock every three weeks, Emmanuel Eboue … well, we don’t know how much his confidence has been dented, and a bevy of youngsters are about all we have. While Wenger sometimes plays Diaby and Denilson on the outside, these are merely stopgap measures. The team desperately needs another player who can play out wide, preferably on both the left and the right. Suggestions? Last year the team was impressed with Tresor Mputu, but they never offered him a contract. There was also talk that Wenger was interested in Nikolai Dimitrov, a young Bulgarian winger. Neither would cost a huge amount, but they would bolster the lineup in the new year. And then there’s Arshavin … but we all know that Wenger’s too cheap.

Every day brings more talk of Arsenal pursuing Xabi Alonso, but I cannot see Liverpool letting him leave. If they sent him to Arsenal and he helped the Gunners overhaul them, Rafa Benitez would lose his job. Needless to say the same goes for Gareth Barry. In the coming weeks look for the same names to pop up on the gossip columns that appeared all summer long: Lorik Cana, Gokhan Inler, Manuel Veloso, Blaise Matuidi, Clement Chantome, Jonathan de Guzman, Alberto Aquilani, Torsten Frings, Stephane M’bia, Steven Defour, Michael Johnson, and Anthony Annan.

Do the Gunners need a holding midfielder? Yes. Will Wenger buy one? I hope so. So far this season’s experiment with Denilson has not been a success. I like Denilson, but he is not physical, not a great defensive midfielder, and his play seems to have brought out the worst in Cesc Fabregas. Alex Song is more physical, a better defender, but not as fast or tenacious. Compare Flamini to both Song and Denilson and you can see what the Gunners have been missing this season. A pit bull. Flamini played with passion, with a snarl, and with an energy they’ve lacked this season.

I don’t think Wenger will buy a central defender as many fans want him to. He’ll only buy one if Gallas leaves, otherwise I think he’s happy with Gallas, Djourou, Silvestre, and Toure. Will Gallas leave? No idea. Wenger would clearly like him to stay till the end of the season rather than have to bring someone else into the squad. Emmanuel Eboue was the subject of a recent rumour as well. Given what happened last weekend one cannot blame him for wanting to move, but Wenger needs him to provide cover at the wing and at right back. I suspect he’ll leave next summer. There has also been a rumour about Kolo Toure leaving for Newcastle. Again, Wenger will want to keep Toure, probably to replace Gallas when he leaves next summer. The other rumour concerns Niklas Bendtner leaving for Russia. With the impending arrival of Eduardo Da Silva and Bendtner’s lack of precision in front of goal, the rumour runs that Bendtner will head to the protective embrace of Michael Laudrup in Russia. Will Wenger weaken his bench and sell his only backup striker with size? Probably not.

The perfect Christmas season would be Arsenal ending the month on a six game winning streak. Will they keep their focus and play against Boro or Portsmouth the way they played against Chelsea and Manchester United? Have they matured through the crisis? Can they at least hang in there until Wenger buys someone new? Will Wenger buy someone new? If there is something new about the Gunners this season it’s the uncertainty surrounding the team. No longer can we take the Gunner’s bright and confident performances for granted. Too often this team has struggled and battled to play up to the level we’ve expected in the past. If they can find a level of consistency maybe they can challenge for the title. If they cannot, the rest of the season will be a rollercoaster ride.

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RickyGee
RickyGee
11 years ago

I would look at some of the Cluj boys, seen them in 2-3 games now and they look very technical, comfortable on the ball and would certainly have the right attitude. The name has slipped my mind but the lft winger was very Hleb like but very direct at the same time and caused a host of problems for Chelsea

LB
LB
11 years ago

Agree there were some interesting players in the Cluj team. Just have not seen enough of them. Who knows?

There’s mention of Yohan Cabaye (hope I got the name right) from France today. I don’t know him at all but it seems he’s a defensive midfielder.

jrock
jrock
11 years ago

Good article, right on every account. If Gallas does go in January, and leaves for Juventus as some have speculated, why not try and make it a swap deal? Gallas for Giovinco or for Sissoko? Giovinco can play on the wing, and Sissoko is not a bad option for a holding midfielder and he has premiership experience. Thoughts?

Arsene Wenger' Biggest Critic and (Friend)
Arsene Wenger' Biggest Critic and (Friend)
11 years ago

Some of these articles look to bring readers by constantly speculating and nominating who we should sign. This article has no real basis and is doing just that especially as it seems he has not seen Cluj play very often. Also why do we need a winger or a DM? What is your exact reason because we might just go and end up buying someone who is no better or worse because we don’t know what is the problem in the first place. Song is getting better and the match against Wigan we would have lost normally this season but… Read more »

MIKE
MIKE
11 years ago

WENGER PLEASE BUY SEEDORF HE S WILLING TO COME TO PREMIERLEAGUE
HE S THE DEFINITE ALMIGHTY ANSWER TO INJURIES
LACK OF EXPERIENCE
AND IS AVAILABLE FOR CHAMPIONS LEAGUE IF I M NOT MISTAKEN?

SEEDORF GET A TICKET AND COME TO EMIRATES
YOUR THE WINGER WE NEED AND YOUR SENSE OF CREATIVITY IS RIGHT IN THE PHILOSOPHY OF GOONERS..
WITH YOU I KNOW WE’LL GET THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE,
I THINK YOUR THE LAST PIECE MISSING FOR ARSENAL

WENGER GET YOUR CHEQUE BOOK AND BUY THE MAN WHO HAS THE VICTORY IN HIS VEINS…
KEEP IT POSITIVE

LETS BUY CLARENCE SEEDORF

Brett
Brett
11 years ago

good article mate!

jrock
jrock
11 years ago

Arsene Wenger’ Biggest Critic and (Friend), did you read the article? Every perceived weakness in the squad is backed up with observations of the club’s play this season and factual injury news. A DM is needed because neither Song nor Denilson are quick or defensive enough to allow Cesc to get up field and dictate the offense. A winger is needed because Rosicky is out until March, if not longer, and Walcott is 18 and is out until February. Nasri is a good choice for the wing, but he is the only semi-healthy/relatively experienced winger we have. It’s pretty obvious… Read more »

mattn89
mattn89
11 years ago

Why the hell is bendtner still on? he’s been absolutely terrible, not creating anything and unwilling to work for the team. My patience is running out. Simpson is better in my honest opinion. Ramsey was our best player, it’s beyond me that he went off while bendtner stayed on. f*ckin hell

soccer fan base
11 years ago

I will not mind to see Eboue though he is improving in midfield but he is no genius. Bendnter should not be sold but given out free cos he ( could be me) is that bad. Did any one see Gallas tonight? He is as usual useless and even bad mouthed. I am ok with Denilson but as some one said Seedorf will be good for us, he has the experience and would not disturb Denilson’s and Song’s development since he only has about 3 years more to play. Goalkeeping department also needs a serious reinforcement. Almunia is becoming too… Read more »

Utk
Utk
11 years ago

Michael do us a favor and just tell us who u think Wenger will buy since u dont think he will buy anyone then why write the article at all.. rubbish is what u have written we need 1 maybe 2 players more not more than that…

Arsene Wenger' Biggest Critic and (Friend)
Arsene Wenger' Biggest Critic and (Friend)
11 years ago

But what kind of winger should Arsenal sign. By the sounds of it he doesn’t know much about Dmitriev or anyone else for that matter, he just wants a signing and he could be a piece of crap. Also I can understand about the DM but what else apart from stating Flamini’s attributes are we missing? Positional and tactical sense is a must. Tenacious yes but how much; another Flamini doesn’t grow on trees.

TheArsenalBoy
TheArsenalBoy
11 years ago

afalley from psv said he could leave in January, so there is the width problem. We also have barazite coming back from derby where he was played right wing and did really well. We need a midfielder, hands down. I would personally like to see veloso or yaya but I doubt we will get either. And another center back or keeper would be fine. Almunia is rubbish and fabianski isn’t ready yet.

TonyS
TonyS
11 years ago

Sorry I think we all know in our hearts Wenger is signing nobody.

C’mon you know its true.

chris
chris
11 years ago

agreed…we wont sign anybody this january, wenger will say that having eduardo back is like a new signing and that rosicky will be back in another month after january or whatever. if he buys anyone it will be another player under 20 easily from some small french club or something. the ONLY way the porto team selection will be justified is if we beat boro on saturday….

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