Things could have been better for Arsenal heading into their clash against West Bromwich on Saturday. Fast forward 24-hours, and all Arsenal fans have gone from feeling great about the side and their performances, to dragging Arsene Wenger’s name through the mud, yet again.
I’ve been one of the many who have defended Arsene Wenger over the many years he’s been in charge of the Gunners, but yet again, I can’t help but join the group of fans who are frustrated with Le Prof.
Year after year, Arsene Wenger, Silent Stan Kroenke & Ivan Gazidis have been frugal in the Transfer Window. Yes, they’ve signed the likes of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, but there’s no denying that the 3 Musketeers are penny pinchers. Proof of that has been Arsenal’s desperate need for a holding midfielder for quite some time.
There have been so many players that have helped fill in the void over the years, and fortunately, Francis Coquelin emerged out of nowhere. Who would have thought the young Frenchman was going to turn out to be the player he is today.
Although Coq has been fantastic since returning from his loan at Charlton, the truth is that we were still one injury away from being back to square one, and guess what… we’re now back to square one.
Saturday’s injury will force Mathieu Flamini to step up, and as we all know, Arsene Wenger is likely to try some different things. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him put Calum Chambers in that spot, as well as Aaron Ramsey, and any other healthy midfielder. Jack Wilshere? Rosicky? Anyone else?
Arsene Wenger needs to get through eight fixtures across two competitions before the January Transfer Window opens.
- Vs. D. Zagreb (UCL)
- @ Norwich
- Vs. Sunderland
- @ Olympiakos (UCL)
- @ Aston Villa
- Vs. Manchester City
- @ Southampton
- Vs. Bournemouth
There you have a fixture list that could be a lot worst, but the tone will be set on Tuesday, when the North London side welcomes Dinamo Zagreb to the Emirates in a must win match. Failure to grab all three points will essentially send Arsenal packing from the Champions League, which to be honest, could play a massive part in any transfers the club could have planned in January.
How many players are going to want to make the move to Arsenal in January if they are out of the Champions League? Also, now that Coq’s injury is well known, every player Arsenal is interested will have an inflated price tag.
This injury is basically something that was bound to happen sooner or later and Arsene Wenger will be well aware of that. I’m not sure they will be able to get away with not spending on a DM in January, but there’s another scenario which could see them nearly get away with it.
From the fixture list mentioned above, if we take a look at the six Premier League matches, four are against the bottom feeders of the league. Norwich, Sunderland, Aston Villa & Bournemouth are four of the bottom five in the league, and given Arsenal’s other weapons throughout the squad, losing Coquelin should not be an excuse to not claiming all three points.
Tuesday’s match against Dinamo Zagreb is very similar. Losing to the Croatian side away from home should never have happened, and the Gunners will have a chance to set things straight at home in a match where they should be on the front for majority of the 90 minutes.
The other three fixtures against Olympiakos, Manchester City & Southampton will certainly challenge the side. It will be a good chance to see some players to stand up and say present although they shouldn’t have been put in this position. If they are to go on a run from now until January, we all know AW is going to claim that we’ve managed without Coq, so unless the right player is available for the right price, we won’t just spend money to say we bought someone.
Either way, Arsene Wenger knows what he needs to do, but we must wait to see what he does. What I do hope he doesn’t do is use Mikel Arteta at all. The Spaniard was awful on Saturday and he’s far off the pace that’s needed to be playing in that spot for Arsenal. Him and Cazorla in the center of the park has to be arguably the slowest pairing in the top European leagues.
We hope for a speedy recovery for Coquelin, and I’m a believer that Flamini can help guide Arsenal to three important points on Tuesday.