Thursday, January 29, 2009

Arsenal Needs More Than Just Arshavin

Morning all. We had a pretty big match yesterday against Everton, and after going the inevitable goal down, Robin van Persie managed to equalize. And I have to say, it was a fucking fantastic goal. The problem is that we gave up a goal before that and had almost no attacking presence until that goal in the 92nd minute.

As I was watching the game I tried to picture how Andrei Arshavin would help us during the match. I decided that he would have probably taken Denilson or Diaby's role, either in the center attacking role or on the right wing. Denilson wasn't especially good, but he is no right winger and when he's in his natural position in the middle I do think he's pretty good. Diaby wasn't very good either, but he did at least make the assist on the one goal we scored. Could he add something where those two couldn't? I think yes, he could. The thing is, we have players already that play in the central midfield attacking role and on the right wing, named Cesc and Theo. I still can't see, when everyone is healthy, where we are going to play Arshavin. I haven't really found a good answer from anyone and it's hard to see where he fits into a healthy lineup. Mind you, Arsenal seems to almost never have a fully healthy lineup, but I just worry about what the implications of his signing could be. Theo's contract is up in the summer and if we didn't renew him because we signed Arshavin I'd be pretty upset about it.

I've mentioned all those points before though, about him not really having a natural place in the squad when Cesc and Theo are healthy (and there's also Rosicky, who should be back soon), but the real problem is still in defense. The goal Everton scored was not spectacular, they didn't break the defense down with skillful passing or immense skill; they just crossed into the box and Tim Cahill (one of only two or three players that you would worry about scoring on Everton) headed it in over Clichy. I love Clichy but one thing you can certainly say is that he is not the tallest defender in the world. Baines had way too much time to cross the ball and had nobody even attempting to come close him down. It's like someone giving Ray Allen an open three pointer in the corner, it's going in. Same way here, if you give a professional at a top flight club that much time then he is going to hurt you. Just poor defending all the way around and that seems to be the theme of our matches this year. Clichy hasn't had a good year, Toure/Gallas haven't been good, Silvestre is just terrible, and only Djourou has really looked decent and shown his potential.

Does Arsene really not think we need a new defender? No, he knows we need one, because he said we needed a "powerful defender" just last summer, when we were all saying the same thing. Silvestre cannot have been who he had in mind to fill that role. I can't imagine what is possibly going on in his head but anyone who has watched Arsenal this year would see that we have a number of deficiencies that Andrey Arshavin will not fix by himself no matter how well he does.

Aston Villa continue to win, with all the luck of a team having horse shoes stuck up their asses and leprachauns in their dressing room. We can't afford, in the current economic state, to not qualify for the Champions League, and at this rate it won't happen. We're developing the Highbury Square flats, we're paying off the new stadium, we have fairly high player salaries to pay, and the Champions League provides a lot of revenue towards those expenses. Surely Arsene Wenger, the economist, can see that some investment now will prove to be a good expenditure down the road.

I just worry about the potential problems the club could face if we don't get better soon. Yes, we are on an unbeaten run, but there are a lot of draws in that run against some teams we should probably beat and need to beat if we want to be where we want to be at the end of the year. I know it's unlikely, but I'm still holding out for a couple of new signings in the next week.

And last but not least for the day, The ArseNole turned 1 1/2 years old this week and I'm in a very thankful mood today, so I'd just like to thank everyone that reads or has ever read the site and I especially thank those that keep coming back, like Mike, Joaquin, GPS Justin, Theresa Smith, Danking, Andre, Conolly's Agent, Jamesgillesp, and all the others who have stayed with me through all this time. I can't thank you guys enough. If you're ever in Jacksonville (or in Mike's case if I'm in Tally) then there's a beer for you on me. Cheers all.

Oh by the way! I might actually do a podcast tomorrow...if I come up with some good material. If you could please send in your emails with anything you want me to talk about on there or anything funny or anything at all, then it would be much appreciated! Thanks! ArseNole{at}


Anonymous said...

Having worked all over the world, putting together high performance teams consisting of people from different cultures, I have concluded that our beloved team is suffering from a lack of diversity.

I am not being raciest, but it appears that the team is suffering from an African based work ethic.

We need more diversity in the team if we are going to challenge for honours.

Sharkey said...

@ Anonymous

Would that be the same African based work ethic seen in players like Vieira and Essien..??

All that 'world wide travel and experience' and you're still as ignorant as you've shown here. You'd really turn down Essien if he was offered to us for £10m..??

If you want an all white Arsenal team just fucking well say so

ArseNole said...

If only Essien was offered to us for 10 million...that'd be heaven!

Mike said...

Congratulations on a year and a half of blogging! Keep up the good work.