Tag Archives: Aston Villa

Not Spending Costs Arsenal

As the third Aston Villa goal went in, the chants began. ‘Spend some fucking money. Spend some fucking money.’ And how right the fans were. Arsenal’s 3-1 defeat against Aston Villa should not of happened. It should of been a comfortable start to the season. Three points on the board. A good start to the season. But it was not. A refusal by Arsene Wenger left Arsenal down to the bare bones and cost us 3 points.

Yes, Arsenal (and Arsene probably will) point to some ‘bad luck.’ A fairly poor referring performances. Where Arsenal players got booked and Villa continued to put in poor challenges which went unchallenged. Playing play om for Aston Villa, only to pull the play back after they’d had their advantage, whilst being quick to the whistle when Arsenal had been fouled yet had the ball. Arsenal can point to poor luck in injuries. The class of heads involving Gibbs and Benteke. Oxlade-Chamberlain hobbling off at half-time. And Sagna being left in a crumple heap by Beneteke (The new Kevin Davies?). Also Wenger might point to iit taking 2 penalties and a break away goal to beat us. That we hit the bar (they hit the post) and we missed a couple of one on ones (which they did too) but ultimately, the reason we sit bottom of the table is due to Arsene Wenger’s refusal to spend.

During pre-season, most Arsenal fans agreed. We needed a goalkeeper whou could challenge for the number one spot. We needed a squad centre back, as we only had 3. We needed a hard midfielder to stop teams cutting through us and help out Arteta. And we needed a striker who was better then Giroud – who despite his hard work, ability and devilishly good looks, will always be a back up striker for a top team.

And we sit here, after the first game of the season, with nothing but a young striker. Who whilst talented, is injury prone and not yet ready. And the only person to blame is Arsene Wenger.

Szczesny looked shakey. When he came out for the ball in the 1st half, Arsenal fans held there breath. Whilst he could do little about the goals, and was stuck between a rock and a hard place for the penalty he gave away, you have to wonder as to whether having Julio Cesar between the posts would of given the defence more confidence. Would it of meant they did not lunge into challenges?

As mentioned, losing 2 fullbacks is unlucky. And Koscielny’s red card left us severely exposed. However, playing Ramsay at centre back and bringing Podolski on to replace Sagna highlights the problem. When we lost Koscielny at 2-1 down, had we had a centre back, such as Mattias Ginter, on the bench, we could of solidified the defence whilst still attacking. Having no other centre back option left us open. And meant a 3rd Villa goal was more likely then an Arsenal equaliser.

Thirdly, the 1st goal conceded was a direct result of not having a midfield wall. As much as Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsay are brilliant midfielders, they are not defensively minded enough. They let runners go. And they don’t commit the ‘smart foul.’ The way Agbonlahor ran through us for their 1st penalty was testament to this. At no point did we look like stopping him. There is an old saying in football. Either the ball or the man go’s past you, but never both. Agbonlahor waltzed through us with the ball. Had Ettiene Capoue been in the Arsenal red today, rather then having signed for Tottenham. Things might of been different. No waltzing through. No 1st penalty. No Aston Villa goal. 3 points to The Arsenal.

Finally upfront. Olivier Giroud is a worker. He took his goal well. But he is not title challenging quality. Good squad player, yes. The main man. No. Whilst the signing of Luis Suarez would not of changed the game, due to him being suspended, it would of given the fans a much needed lift. Or had we had Stevan Jovetic in the squad, his creativity, his option, could’ve forced us forward. We had neither.

Today’s defeat is the direct result of not spending. The worry now is this defeat, and a defeat to Tottenham, could result in the supermarket sweep type spending we saw 2 years ago, where we end up wasting a lot of money on frankly average players. The problem is the signings should of already been done.

Julio Cesar, Mattias Ginter, Ettiene Capoue and Steven Jovetic should of all made their Arsenal debut today. Arsenal should of won today. Arsenal should be top of the league. Arsenal should of spent some of our fucking money.

They didn’t. And we now sit bottom of the table. And there is only one man to blame.

Keenos

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Arsenal Down to the Bare Bones

So tomorrow the season kicks off with Arsenal playing Aston Villa. But who is actually left to pull on an Arsenal shirt? After selling or releasing 22 players from both our first team squad and reserves squad and loaning out an additional 6, it leaves Arsenal with a 24 man squad.

Of these 24 men, according to physioroom.com, 11 are currently out injured and unavailable for 1st team action against Aston Villa. Even with my simple GCSE in maths, I can work out that this leaves us with 13 men available from out 1st team. Of this 13, two are Ju-Young Park and Nicklas Bendtner. It also contains 2 goalkeeper.s That leaves us with just 9 outfield players available from our first team squad.

So before the season has even started, we are down to the bare bones.

Now I would not be surprised if Theo Walcott, Bacary Sagna and Aaron Ramsay shake off their knocks and are fit to start tomorrow. However, worse case scenario and they do not, what are we actually left with?

With Sagna out, Carl Jenkinson will start at right back. Inside him will be Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertersacker. At left back Kieran Gibbs. A solid enough defence which, unless Benteke get’s one on one with Mertersacker, should be good enough to nullify Aston Villa. These 4 are our only fit defenders though. And anyone who has watched our under-21s in pre-season will know there is no one yet ready to step up. God forbid one of these pick up an injury. We will soon be recalling Johan Djourou back from his loan spell to play at right back!

Moving forward, it gets worrying. Of the 8 midfielders listed on our website, 5 are injured (Arteta, Ramsay, Rosicky, Diaby, Frimpong), and 1 (Cazorla) is unfit and has just been to Ecuador and bag for a pointless friendly with Spain. In an ideal world, he would not play.The world is not ideal. That leaves us with Jack Wilshere, and unfit Santi Cazorla and Ryo Miyaichi, who is actually a wing forward and has clearly been added to the ‘midfield’ tab just to make it look like more than what we have. So basically, if Ramsay does not get fit, we have 2 central mdifielders. What is likely is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will drop inside and play the role he has recently played for England against Scotland. But this will mean Cazorla and Wilshere playing deep. We will be bullied.

With Podolski and Giroud fit upfront, they will start. But that is where we now come up short. In all the players I have mentioned, we are now 1 short. So what are out options?

  • Pray that either Ramsay or Walcott get fit
  • Play Bendtner right wing
  • Play Gedion Zelalem, Thomas Eisfield or Kristoffer Olsson
  • Announce the signing of 3/4 players in the pre-match press conference today
  • Play Steve Bould

To be this short before a ball has been kicked is a result of our lack of transfer activity. Yes, we were correct in selling/releasing these players, as most were either ‘deadwood’ senior players, or youngsters who were never going to make it, but a lack of signings is costing us dear. Had we secured Etienne Capoue, Stevan Jovetic or Gonzalo Higuain, rather than spend 2 weeks chasing and unsettling Luis Suarez to no avail, we would not be in this situation.

If you have a pair of boots in your cupboard, bring them to the game. There is a very good chance you might get a spot on The Arsenal bench. Infact, I am surprised our board are not selling places on our bench to the highest bidder. What a money raiser that would be for them!

Dropped points against Aston Villa is a direct result of our poor transfer window.

Keenos