The window is now shut and we’ve had a largely underwhelming one. I could write 20 paragraphs about my disgust with this situation and reveal my rage but honestly what is the point? I expected Arsene Wenger to disappoint despite forcing myself into a late glimmer of hope and that is what has happened.
Rather than moan I am going to assess our current options and assess how we can look a stronger and a more contrasting outfit to last season.
The areas I have been very unsatisfied with in the main XI has been right through the spine: GK, CB, CF
The goalkeeping situation is the only positive we can take from the window as Petr Cech has been brought in.
I’ve made my disliking for Per Mertesacker very public which those who are regular readers of my articles will be well aware of. Thankfully there looks like a solution may quickly be arising with the emergence of Gabriel Paulista. I’ve always been a big fan of the man since arriving but my biggest concern was with how suited he’d be to partnering Koscielny, who has a similar style of defending.
I would like us to avoid a repeat of the Vermaelen-Kos partnership. It does seem like Koscielny has relaxed his game a little and allowed Gabriel to break the line of defence a lot more. Laurent isn’t getting any younger so his combative style of defending must be eased but he’s so good in what he does I’m sure he’d adapt to a different style with ease. This partnership also allows us to press higher up the field.
Another massive concern is in the striker role. It’s been clear for a while now that we needed to upgrade on Giroud but it hasn’t happened and there’s not much we can do. What I’d like to see is Giroud replaced in the XI full-time as he’s proven not to be at the level we require for years now.
We need to identify who makes the team tick and who suits our most capable players (Alexis, Cazorla and Ozil). Welbeck had various moments last season where he combined well with all 3, as did Walcott during last season’s climax.
Theo is an intelligent player off-the-ball but lacks the physical presence and skill-set to be a long-term success in the CF role whilst Welbeck has all the physical attributes we require but lacks the intelligence both on and off the ball.Unfortunately he doesn’t have someone established at the club he can learn from to improve his game the same way Adebayor managed to do from Thierry Henry.
I do believe that Welbeck can surprise and deserves a long-lasting run in the position. What’s also important as mentioned above is he brings more from our key players. Danny gives Cazorla and Ozil the opportunity to pick out a productive pass beyond the opposing backline.
He also provides fluidity for Alexis Sanchez, who played well off him last season. They can interchange positions, press the backline and be deadly on the counter. The big hope is that his composure improves; finishing isn’t his problem as he’s scored some wonderful goals in the last 2 years but it’s the consistency of it which is currently slacking.
My favourite result last season was the Old Trafford win in the cup as opposed to everyone’s favourite at The Etihad. I think we executed an excellent game plan against a side we struggle against a lot more than we do Man City. Unlike The Etihad game our goals also came from open play.
The front 3 of Welbeck, Alexis and The Ox helped this to happen, very balanced all quick and have the ability to provide spontaneous moments. This would be great for Ozil who could thrive similarly to Silva who also has the tools ahead of him to shine at City with Sterling-Aguero-Navas all beyond him.
In conclusion I’d have to say I’m absolutely distraught about our transfer inactivity this summer and I’m very unhappy with Arsene Wenger but there’s very little we can do and I can’t pretend I’m capable of unfollowing or not caring about the club, we may as well consider what we have and try to find the best solutions for it.
One thing that will ease the pain of this window is if both Giroud and Mertesacker are displaced from the team, both make our spine slow and weak. I’m not a great fan of neither to be completely honest. Gabriel and Welbeck could well and truly feel (in Wenger’s favourite words) ‘like new signings’.
Let’s hope Welbeck’s injury isn’t too bad thus making this lengthy article a complete waste of both mine and your time. (Editors note – Subz he is due back in training soon and should be available by match after Stoke. Dave)