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The Title is still up for grabs and transfers ???

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I cannot believe it. Back in early December I was asserting that the Gunners needed to win everything in December in order to keep pace with the leaders … and they didn’t. Draws with Middlesboro, Liverpool, and Villa were amongst the results that also included  wins against Chelsea and Portsmouth. But wouldn’t you know it, we’re still in with a chance to win the title. Our saving grace has been the poor form of Liverpool and Chelsea, both of whom will rue the opportunities they had to put some space between themselves and Arsenal (as well as ManU). The big question is whether we’re going to take advantage of this opportunity or whether we’re going to stub our toes against one of the leagues minnows.

Our last two PL victories have been ugly wins, but they’ve been wins. However, there was a serious lack of creativity against Bolton, a team which never really tried to pressure our midfielders the way a better side would’ve. We were allowed to set up camp in their half and push the ball around outside of the box and only challenged when we attempted to come inside. Diaby, Denilson, Eboue, and Nasri appeared unable to pry the defence open and few chances were created. Once Wenger removed Diaby and Eboue and brought on two extra strikers were we able to create a few more chances and the winning goal. It was the second time we scored late to grab the three points, but they really need to raise their game if they hope to take the title. Watching Manchester United hammer Chelsea one could see that the Gunners have a long way to go in order to become a champion. Manchester played with a confidence and directness that the Gunners lack right now. We really should’ve pummelled Bolton and scored three or four goals, which is why we still need to buy someone who can give the midfield a boost.

For me Diaby has been the biggest disappointment. Cesc Fabregas’s injury is the biggest opportunity he’s had to show Wenger just how good he can be in running the midfield. I always felt he had the potential to play Cesc’s position … and I was wrong. Diaby’s passing is not precise enough, he lingers too long on the ball, and he likes to make cute moves which seldom come off. I really think Wenger will sell him at the end of the season if he doesn’t turn things around.

As for the rest, Almunia does not inspire me with confidence. Sagna is starting to find his form  and he’s playing a lot better as of late. Clichy is still pretty solid. Djourou is becoming more and more confident. Gallas appears to make at least one error a game (sort of like Senderos!), Toure’s miraculous recovery might also see him turn his season around. Denilson works hard but is still too lightweight. Song has improved, but his passing needs to improve. Eboue is starting to get back to form, but his form was problematic as of last year. Nasri shows flashes of potential, but I still think he’s not that comfortable out on the left wing. Adebayor has yet to reach the form he had last season and doesn’t work as hard as he did either. Van Persie is starting to come around and has been playing well as of late. If he could just get his shots on target more often. Bendtner gets involved and has scored a couple just recently. Maybe the imminent return of Eduardo is spurring him on to preserve his playing time.

I still believe Wenger will buy a holding midfielder. Battaglia of Boca Juniors is the latest name to be linked to Arsenal. I haven’t seen him play so I have no opinion on him other than it’s the position we need to fill most of all. Whether we buy him or M’bia, or Defour, or Matuidi, or Annan, or whomever, I hope the deal happens soon. As for a more creative midfielder like Arshavin, our recent performances show us to be in need of someone who can break down a defence. Unfortunately we cannot seem to conclude a deal quickly and cleanly. The Arshavin saga appears to be set to drag out another couple of weeks, leaving Arsenal fans to die a thousand deaths as they follow the story blow by blow.

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brdgunner
brdgunner
13 years ago

Very insightful article. I agree with all player analysis. Although I would like Diaby to have a few more games. As for UTD, they are the team to beat of course. However, they have not scored a lot lately,and Chelsea were awful.
We have UTD to play & are 9 points behind if they win there games in hand. I think we can catch them, its unlikely but possible. COME ON THE GUNNERS

king_dude
king_dude
13 years ago

Arshavin wont sign now!! its takin the p*ss

John
John
13 years ago

Hi i like diaby he has played well in CM especially against portsmouth but is main problem is passing. He can do everything else apart from pass. If he can improve his passing we will have a world class player on our hands. Also Gooner Chris any news on arsenal buying semir stilic?

NorthBankLegend
13 years ago

if the title is not still up for grabs, what is guaranteed is that we are in with a shout for 2nd or 3rd place.
Chelsea are on self-destruct and Liverpool are starting to feel the pressure.
Could 2008/09 be simillar to 1997/98 when we crept up slowly and put together a run of 12 wins on the spin?

jrockdc
jrockdc
13 years ago

Good article. If people are still trying to figure out why we are not doing that well this season, just look at the review of players above. Out of the 11 starters touched upon, less than half appear to be talented enough or give a shit. Diaby to me is simply not good enough. He looks lazy and is slow on the ball. He’s better suited to play in Italy. I would say that Denilson and Song are not good enough either, but I never viewed them as viable starters. Adebayor is looking less bothered these days, and Eboue, well,… Read more »

Alex
Alex
13 years ago

I agree, if we go on some kind of massive unbeaten run, buy Arshavin plus a DM and we don’t suffer anymore major injuries then yeah we can be back in the title race. ManU have started to get injury troubles with Ferdinand and Evra, a couple of more in the forward areas and lets see how good they really are. Chelsea don’t seem to have the fight for a title race. Liverpool are to heavyly reliant on Alonso and Gerrard in midfield…if they get injured for a while they will start slipping. Plus I’m annoyed with various people saying… Read more »

The Brain
13 years ago

It’s not just the fact that Wenger put on two more strikers that won the game. They were more direct, took on the defenders better with more risks and provided better support. I am pretty sure we will get Arshavin. Maybe for £15 mill. We need creativity however when everyone is back creativity won’t be a big problem. Arshavin will bring directness and dynamism, the ability to kill teams off. Denilson will improve and so will Diaby. Look at Djourou now and where he was before. Even Senderos who everyone thought would answer our problems. Finally, Almunia is needed more… Read more »

Martijn Stolze
Martijn Stolze
13 years ago

What’s with the rumours that ARshavin coul be having a physical tomorrow?

Maciek
Maciek
13 years ago

I’m sorry guys. I respect Your view and opinions but we will be lucky to finish 4th. We are just an average team without Fabregas,Rosicky, Theo and Falamini. We have conceded more than 20 goals so far, we don’t have any proper cdm, yet everyone points here that we have very good chance to win the Premier League.Villa are really strong and they just don’t seem to be dropping points.Arshavin deal now is unlikely as we don’t want to pay more than 12 milion pounds. We have the highest ticket prices in the whole Universe, yet we still can’t pay… Read more »

al cunta
al cunta
13 years ago

Maciek – you are doom and gloom. You judge a team on their current form not the 30 games we have played so far. Arshavin will sign. We are unbeaten in 7 games. RvP is on form and we have Eduardo coming back. Please keep your negativity to yourself.

Samir
13 years ago

Maciek, how do you know he won’t pay more than 12Million, Your just as stubborn as Wenger saying we’re going to finish outside the top 6.

Gooner
Gooner
13 years ago

Almunia just plain doesn’t communicate with the defense. I’ve lost count the amount of times either Sagna, Gallas, or whomever has noticeably made the “why didn’t you shout for it?” gesture.

I’d really like to see Fabianski start threatening him for a place. He’s just as good and probably has more experience than Almunia has spent in goal over his entire career. As far as I’m aware his career as a goalkeeper has been decidedly short. It might give the proverbial slap to the face that Almunia needs.

ddd
ddd
13 years ago

Good article…Brain I totally agree with u !

MistaKen
MistaKen
13 years ago

Why has no one else bid for Arshvine if he is only worth 12 – 15 million. Do they know something we dont?

jeffers
jeffers
13 years ago

gooner..do me a favour. fabianski is nowhere near ready. have you just got carried away by 2 good carling cup wins?? if he was in the 1st team now he’d last 4 games max before getting the song treatment. almunia is the least of our worries. i can’t think of many goals this season that can be put down to him. he’s not the best in the world, but he’s solid enough.

amos
amos
13 years ago

On Wilkepeida it has been confirmed that arshavin will move to arsenal on the 20 january

Neil
Neil
13 years ago

Amos – you DO realize anyone can edit Wikipedia, correct?

Arshavin is having his medical today!

chris
chris
13 years ago

inter apparantly want him now..even if they dont this will delay it for at least a few days because zenit are clearly money-grabbing c****. And lachter wants something like 5.5 million euros as part of the deal, its so hard dealing with sneaky russians!!

athlon
athlon
13 years ago

Neil! Is it serious?? Where do you know?

arsenal4ever
arsenal4ever
13 years ago

the rumour of Inter came from Daily Star!!! So it is a load of shit!! I am sure!! Deal will be done next week! I am sure!!

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-sport/article-23618861-details/article.do?ito=newsnow&

arsenal4ever
arsenal4ever
13 years ago

http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11661_4793865,00.html

will be next week an arsenal player!!!

Samir
13 years ago

An article in the Guardian had this to say today

In Russia, tabloid reports suggest that Andrei Arshavin is so desperate to leave Zenit St Petersburg that he’s prepared to pay a quarter of his own transfer fee if it means getting a move to Arsenal. With Zenit holding out for a £20m fee and Arsenal reluctant to pay more than £15m, the midfielder has volunteered to pay the difference to make his particular fantasy a reality.

chris
chris
13 years ago

if this is true, then i am even more happy to see him come to arsenal, we need more players that are desperate to show their qualities at arsenal

arsenal4ever
arsenal4ever
13 years ago

also on official site it is confirmed we are in negotiations

http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/wenger-hopeful-of-clinching-arshavin-deal

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