3 points? Check. Fitness gained? Check. Pulis’ Orc army defeated? Check.
Yes we all know the performance wasn’t magical nor were there any stand out performers going forward, but starting with a win to build momentum shouldn’t be underestimated. The atmosphere in the camp is likely to be bouncing after a late win so should carry us over in good stead for the Champions League qualifier. There is something that we had in common with Liverpool and Man City – didn’t play well but won. I fully believe that the performances will come and that the team will click a little better in the coming weeks, but until then it’s simply about getting over the line, getting the win, getting the points.
I just want to say a few things on Jack Wilshere’s performance yesterday. I think he had a fairly solid performance and didn’t spend too much time on the floor. He’s just lost that little bit of spark and confidence when he’s on the ball to drive us forward as a team. But that will come back when he has a run in the team. He’s likely to have a bit of time in the team with Mesut Ozil coming back to full fitness so there will be a few games that he can try and build his confidence back. It’s the best part of his game and I truly hope to see him springing counter attacks like he did for the lead up to Ramsey’s goal in the Community Shield Final. The only thing is I feel as though he’s under time pressure to make this happen than he’s ever been. The next 2/3 games are what could make Wenger’s mind up on any signings coming in as well as Wilshere’s place in the team. Fingers crossed that he can get that spark back for not only the team but to progress his career in the way that we’ve all hoped for.
So far as the new signings go, Le Boss has made a few indications in his recent interviews. It seems as though we’re waiting on getting through the qualifier before we spend any more money. I think that once potential players know whether we are in the Champions League or not things will become a little clearer for our season. I fully expect us to bring in Khedira/Carvalho/Rabiot and Manolas if we are going to mix it with the elite in Europe. There are noises being made about Eduardo Vargas on a loan deal for a year as well as Marco Reus. I’m not sure either of these deals will happen unless there are one or two that head out the door. If we get the DM we need then I still see Flamini staying despite being pushed down the pecking order even more as he can cover at full back, but if anyone goes it could be him. As I said I’m not sure he’ll leave but he seems the most likely. If we also get a Centre Forward, which would surprise me, that’s when we might see a loan move or even permanent departure for someone like Joel Campbell. You can never have too many players in a squad but it can cause regression on their progress as a player. While Giroud, Sanchez, Walcott and Podolski are all players we know what to expect from (kind of with Sanchez) players like Campbell and Sanogo need game time to improve so an addition I that area would mean a departure for sure. The only place we’re crying out for a signing desperately is at CB. One injury away from facing Lukaku & Co with Ignasi Miquel at the back, who I don’t think is quite ready yet. As frail as the back feels at the moment I still think we have more than enough to see off Besiktas tomorrow. The focus will be on away goals and I think we are good enough to get a couple of those to ensure next Wednesday remains as stress free as possible.
The fitness is getting there, the squad is almost complete, just one or two more tweaks could well ensure this season is not one filled with ‘what if’s’. It’s up to Wenger now but by this time next week, we should have a clearer vision of how far upward we may be travelling this season.
It’s Besiktas or bust for us this week…Come On You Gunners!!!