Thursday, 31 January 2013

Wenger to conjure up Villa signing? -Manager to make two panic buys

Morrning Gooners.

Is it just me or have I witnessed what I saw at the Grove last night somewhere before?
To me it seems just as you think this Arsenal team have turned a corner they do a three-point-turn and repeat the mistake they've previously made.

Yet again the team started poorly and another Bacary Sagna mistake lead to us conceding the first goal. The defending was calamitous. A Sunday league team would be embarassed if they did what the Arsenal defence did.

Szczesny did save Sturridge's shot but Ramsey was robbed by Gerrard while trying to be too clever. The ball fell to Suarez whose shot was defelected off one of our players and in. And it seemed that every time Liverpool attacked they had a chance to add to their lead.

I don't know what has happened to Sagna. He's not been he same player as we had last season and his mistakes are becoming more and more costly.  I really think that Carl Jenkinson should be drafted into the team and allowed a run of games now.

While Liverpool looked very  dangerous on the break - and probably had more of the clear cut chances - we were still making opportunities for ourselves down the Clock End. Walcott, Ramsey and Giroud with the pick of the chances. But at the break we somehow managed to be just a goal down when Liverpool could have been out of sight.

The second half was so different. It was as though the players had flicked a switch and the real Arsenal had emerged from the home dressing room. We were much more stable defensively and were camped in he Liverpool half. It was taking the chance when it mattered that we again failed to do. And then Jordan Henderson tore our defence apart...

Now how often will you read that? The defending again was shocking. And the goal was completely avoidable. We had being having our best spell of the match and somehow manage to shoot ourselves in the foot. Liverpool were two up with a third of the game to play.

Cue Olivier Giroud. The Frenchman scored a header from a Jack Wilshere free kick. And then minutes later Theo Walcott powered home a shot from inside the box.

I thought Santi Cazorla had an excellent second half. He really way pulling this Liverpool team apart aided by Jack Wilshere and Giroud.

Aaron Ramsey was again superb in the middle of the park and Theo Walcott provided us with the clinical finish we have become accustomed to seeing him produce. Lucas Podolski again looked dangerous when he had the bit between his teeth.

The major disappointment of the evening - apart from not taking all three points - was the injury to one of our best players this season Kieran Gibbs. The manager said post match the full back will miss the next three weeks with a thigh strain. That will rule him out of the home leg of our Champions League game with Bayern Munich. Andre Santos looks set to fill in and I'm not sure quite how I feel about that right now.

There is talk of us going out to sign a left back. I can't see that happening myself, considering we were in a worse position this time last year with our full backs and no one new was signed.

The bigger picture though is that five points out of a possible 15 in January is not good enough for Arsenal, especially when three of those games have been at home.

The manager knew what the fixture list was like before the transfer window opened. He could have strengthened the squad to allow for the extra quality he craves. Instead we're now at the end of the window having made our squad weaker with the departures of Johan Djourou and Marouane Chamakh, with Andrey Arshavin more than likely to follow them before the Russian transfer window closes next month.

I believe the manager when he says that January isn't a time when quality players want to move clubs. But there is always an answer to that, throw a bit of money at the problem. I think the most frustrating thing is that we've done nothing while teams around us have done deals.

There are still hours remaining before the window closes and still chance for the manager to sign players. But I'm not convinced that will happen. If it does it will be a very nice surprise.

If we make no new additions before 11pm today, the squad will have to fight very hard for fourth place. This will be exceptionally tough. But miricles can happen.

That's it for today. Back with more - and to hopefully talk about a new signing(s) - tomorrow.

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