Malaysian Gunner Ooi Kin Fai expresses his belief that his beloved Arsenal Football Club needs to supplement their squad
Here we are on the last day of 2012. For many, this represents the end of one particular cycle and it’s time to reflect on 365 days that went by. For a club in the Premier League (or any other leagues in Europe for that matter), this is only the halfway stage and there’s plenty more to come on the other side of today. For tomorrow represents the start of a new transfer window, a 31 one day period in which clubs can look to replenish their squad and/or to get rid of the unwanted.
For my beloved Arsenal Football Club, the need to supplement the squad, hasn’t change. This, despite us achieving another win in the weekend against Newcastle, the first time we’ve won 4 games on the trot in the league campaign this season. That match itself have enough points for an entire article on its own, just by describing the goals. On one hand, the team showed plenty of character not to be bothered by how Newcastle came back three times to draw level. On the other hand, the defensive frailties and how we did not managed to hold on to our leads very well, is slightly disconcerting.
The goals are raining in at the moment, 15 in the last 4 league games. Yet, that doesn’t detract from the fact that we only have Olivier Giroud as the one genuine striker. Yes, Theo Walcott has played in that role in the past few games and has achieved relative success. However, in the longer term, I still believe that the usual wide right position is one that suits him the best. He desires the central striking role but just like every other player, he will have to fight it out, if the management goes ahead and decide to bring in another striker.
For the last few seasons, there have been far too many players who are too comfortable with their place in the team. Players who know that they can be low on form but will still get selected because of the lack of competition, competition from capable players whom the manager can depend on. Thus, I’m in favour of bringing in first team starter material even if it does upset some of the other players in the dressing room. Players should never take a decision to make a new signing in their position as something of a deterrent. They should always take it as a challenge and find the means to improve themselves to the next level and retake their spots back.
Another position which I hope the manager will invest some time to find alternatives, is the midfield one. The best case scenario would be to find a player who is capable in both the attacking and defensive functions but those are a dime in a million. Given a choice, a creative force would be the top of my list. Santi Cazorla has been the fulcrum in the creative department and when he struggle, we tend to look like a side very low on ideas. That said, it was encouraging to see the team find so many goals in the last game, when Cazorla did not have the best of nights.
Having another creative midfielder would mean taking off some weight of responsibility from the shoulders of Cazorla. They could be paired up together in the same side or be called upon when the other isn’t having the best of games. It would also help to negate the tactics of opposition who sometimes found that they could limit our penetrative influence by shackling Cazorla. The other way would be to find a central midfielder who is slightly more defensive and that allows the magnificent Jack Wilshere to take up a position further forward.
Of course, the flaws in the team don’t end with just those 2 positions. If Arsene Wenger was to ripe a few more page of the chequebook, it would make a lot of Arsenal fans happy. Interesting month coming up ahead. Don’t take every rumour to be true. You’ve been warned.
Have a Happy New Year.