#halamadrid he said. And there ended our ‘pursuit’ of Real Madrid’s top front man. The so called #ITKs of the world soon started to deactivate their accounts and one such account even maintained it was Madrid’s way of hiking the price. Awfully strung along and I felt sick before kick off vs Pool. The thing is, you damn well know that the players will be following what’s going on to a degree and also know when the battle for such a signing is lost. Considering it took over 2 weeks for the player himself to come out and refute all speculation says to me that there was most definitely something in the pipeline. Whether it was, as some #ITKs, actually no forget that, they are not ‘in the know’ as has been fairly evident. These ‘clowns’, as Benzema put it, are suggesting that it was down to payment structures in the way Arsenal were going to pay the fee. It could also be the fact that Madrid looked fairly toothless in their opening game and that they very much need Benzema and have had a change of heart. Either way we’ve been ‘bantered’ right off on this one. Led down a merry road and ended up in Naples all over again. This was most definitely Higuain mark II. It is the last time I’ll be trusting an Italian journalist (not Tancredi this time!) who claims to have unquestionable sources. I think burying my head in the sand until the window closes is probably the best thing to do. Seems to work for Wenger anyhow.
Moving swiftly on. The weekends results didn’t really go for us bar the United game so it made our Monday nighter a more crucial one. Apart from having a goal disallowed, we chucked up an error strewn first half and should have been at least 2-0 down if it wasn’t for Cech. Some quite brilliant saves kept us in it no matter how hard we tried to concede. The best tweet I saw about this was that the man has been used to a bus in front of him, we seem to have put a bicycle there. With a punctured wheel. He really was, along with Coquelin, our best player on the night. That really tells you all you ought to know. That said the second half was all ours. They had a couple of half chances on the counter but both Alexis and Giroud had wonderful chances to put us ahead. It didn’t happen and one thing that became evident is that Theo Walcott isn’t the man that is the alternative to Giroud. Say whatever you will about our French front man, he creates space, opportunities and is on the end of the ball more often than not. Theo was so anonymous when he came on it was beyond worrying. The least he could have done was drop a few yards deeper to help the others apply pressure. Totally anonymous is the only way to describe it. Granted he only had 20 minutes but if the roles had been reversed you can be damn sure that Giroud would have made an impact. It also might have something to do with having a paceman trying to make an impact against a deep lying defence. Not really going to happen is it? We looked less dangerous only because we all knew that Giroud wasn’t in the box and Theo was.
The main conclusion to draw from all of the above is that we are one short. Not just number wise. But one world class forward short. Chelsea have their battering ram in Costa. City have the classiest of the lot in Aguero. We’re going to need to have something that holds up against the other two as both ourselves and United are a couple short of being able to really challenge. I really hope that Wenger feels the same way and that he dips into the pot of cash as without it I’m afraid it will be a battle for 2nd place and below. City have had a big test and passed it with flying colours. Chelsea have failed at their first tough challenge but they have thrown money at the problem and it’s already paying dividends, albeit indirectly. We had our first test on Monday and although we didn’t quite fail it we can’t be happy with coming away with a point in a C+ performance at best.
The final point to consider is planning from an Arsenal point of view. Granted we didn’t have our first choice defensive pairing yesterday and that may have unsettled us, but we’ve had many many weeks to complete our transfer business and we’re now 7 days away from being as we were. At the end of last season it was clear that whilst a world class keeper was a nice to have – a world class centre forward was what we are crying out for most. It’s in games like the one against Liverpool that we need something from nothing to be the difference and we just don’t have that through the middle. Alexis Sanchez is usually our go to man in that area but it’s a burden that needs to be halved with a signing. It takes the pressure off him and will allow him to perform to a higher standard, of that I’m sure.
Anyhow, Newcastle away next. Fingers crossed our away form continues to be more fruitful than our home form has been.
Have a great week people.
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