Monday, 1 August 2011

Henry's return so why boo? -Go spend now Arsene -Winger linked

Morning Gooners.

Well yesterday wasn't much fun. And I'm not talking about the result because that really doesn't matter. I'm referring to the booing. Why go to a meaningless pre-season and boo? Why boo when a legend like Theirry Henry (who would have warn Red and White had it not been for FIFA rules) is on the pitch and should being applauded for everything he did for the club? Why boo when an unfortunate own goal was scored by a 20-year-old breaking his Grove cheery for the first team? It really doesn't make any sense to me.

What can those who did boo - and I was not one of them - hope to achieve? It's a pre-season game. About the players finding fitness, getting used to playing with our new signing and those being integrated into the starting 11 for their first season.

I have to say I was most disappointed it happened. There were thousands of children at the game yesterday, what example does it set them. Do Arsenal have to win every game? Are the other team not allowed to get lucky? Yes, it's disappointing we didn't win the game but for me we were lacking yet again in the final third and that really worries me.

When Robin van Persie and Gervinho were taken off we looked toothless. I don't know what has happened to Marouane Chamakh's form, but he looks devoid of confidence and a shadow of the player we saw in the opening four/five months of last season. I would suggest he would have trouble scoring an open goal, given the opportunity. And with Nicklas Bendtner trying to negotiate a move away - and no talk of a replacement coming in - we are looking to be even more dependent on van Persie to score our goals. What happens when he's out injured?

Another issue we have is the African Cup of Nations, coming up in January which no one seems to realise is on the horizon, especially with the planning of our squad. We could lose Gervinho, Chamakh, Frimpong, Song, possibly Traore if he excepts a call up for Senegal and if Eboue is around still he'll be in the Ivory Coast squad. There is a possibility Cameroon won't qualify - they need two wins in their final games plus other results to go there way - but knowing our lucky they'll probably get the required outcome and Song will be off.

So come January we're looking at a six week period when van Persie cannot be injured and if he is we're looking at Andrey Arshavin leading the line. And we know what happened the last time that happened. It was a very bleak winter.

I don't want to be all doom and gloom, but if the manager and Ivan Gazidis don't get busy in the transfer market in the next few weeks, we could be staring down the barrel of another barren season with little hope of winning a trophy. I'm convinced our first choice 11 can win lots of games this season but we still lack the depth in squad which would make us a force to win the title.

And Jack Wilshere agrees with me. He said:

"We are not a spending club but we still managed to stay up there with the top teams and we have to win things this year.
"Maybe if we had a few more faces we could really push on. If we get a few more players we can really challenge for the title.
"Around March and April we have to stay really strong. We are confident we can be up and around it then so we have to remain strong at that crucial time."
Wilshere's ankle injury he picked up yesterday doesn't seem to be too serious and the manager expects him to be available for the start of the season. If we do add Mata and Jagielka this week as widely predicted, that will bolster our squad. But for me, I still believe we need further additions.

There is talk that Barcelona - who lets remember really want Cesc Fabregas so much that they are willing to pay him less than he's on at Arseanl - want the Spaniard to pay part of his transfer fee to ensure the deal happens. Absolutely crazy.

Transfer link of the day comes via the Daily Mail who say we're interested in Wolves' Matt Jarvis.

Going back to the Emirates Cup weekend and there were positives to take from it. I thought both Kieran Gibbs and Armand Traore had good games and proved to the manager an internal candidate could solve his answers to who should replace Gael Clichy. Carl Jenkinson looked sturdy and Benik Afobe didn't look out of place. Gervinho does indeed look like he could be the buy of the summer and Tomas Rosicky put in a fine performance yesterday to suggest he's still got something to offer this team.

Defensively I thought Thomas Vermaelen and Laurent Koscielny are certain to be our first choice at the back - dependent on signings. Whilst Robin van Persie looks to be ready to continue where he left off last term.

There are certainly reasons to be positive. I just want the manager to make those signings which would really make us a force in the league next season. We can't have the excuses of previous seasons that our targets weren't available. Go spend the money Arsene, this really could be the last chance you have.

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