The difference to this week from last week is we are now not the only English team through to the last sixteen of the Champions League.
We were leading our Group with no defeats but now we have just suffered our first and against inferior opposition.
Paul Merson stated on television that had we played our first team we would have won this game against Olympiacos by 3 to 4 goals clear. I very seldom listen to anything television pundits say but my own opinion on this occasion, is the same as his.
A bad result but were there any positives that came out of this game? I would say not many but:
What I noticed in this game was the fact that Squillaci, Djourou Arshavin and Chamakh should never wear the red and white of Arsenal football club again. These players have had many chances and although each one of them have had a few decent games in the past, they have now reached their Arsenal sell by dates.
They are not the only players that I would move on either but Arsenal cannot afford to clear out all of the dead wood all at once however, these four need to be sold/given away sooner rather than later.
Others that have a question mark against their names are, Fabianski, Mannone and I would also add Santos!
Even though he has not been with us for too long, this man is not a left back so either move his position or ship him out.
Although this game was a one-off game, it proves that even quality like Vermaelen can look bad in this company but I am not making this assessment just on this game. The players stated are just not good enough, they on their own are weak links, they are players who don’t do the easy things simple. They make mistakes which gives the opposition chances over and over again and the sad part about it is, they are not going to get better.
We need a reserve keeper with a safe pair of hands and a cool head that has the experience to do the simple things easy.
We also need another centre back with the same attributes, a left back that will fit in from the off and know what being a left back is all about and we also need a play maker in midfield.
Add to that and as a matter of urgency, we need a quality striker!
The last two will be expensive so I wouldn’t expect them to both arrive in the next transfer window but in order to build a squad that has a chance of winning things, they will need to be brought soon.
I know many supporters have a soft spot for some of the players I have mentioned, some may think they will improve or get back to what they once were but if your truly honest with yourself you must see that isn’t going to happen. Now is the time to go forward, they have had their chances and failed too often.
Players like Frimpong, Ramsey, Coquelin and Miquel will all improve with a good team around them where the others won’t. Wilshire Vermaelen and Van Persie are quality but they need the same around them as they can’t do everything themselves.
We need change and we need it now.
Last night’s game has been ‘labelled’ as a training exercise as we had already qualified and assured top spot but Arsene Wenger did say that he would respect this competition by fielding a team to win.
Tell that to the teams who needed results from others to get through but who cares as long as were through eh?
Competitions in the past where we have fielded weakened teams have usually resulted with a few bad results after a sickening loss, as confidence takes a knock to the rest of the squad. I only hope I am wrong this time as our climb back up the league had begun.
We will have to see how it goes on Saturday when we face Everton, they need a result as well, so lets hope that last nights performance and result doesn’t knock us back…..
Written by Steve Palmer
Fabianski suffered a deep cut to his knee and Santos has a bad ankle injury and will definately miss the Everton game.
Argentine defender, Fabian Monzon is the latest player linked to us – he currently plays for French Ligue 1 side OGC Nice, apparently Schalke are interested in him too.
Monzon is a24 year old, 5′ 11″ left back who plays at International level…