Do you sit and wonder what the hell is going on at Arsenal? I know I do.
We went in to January knowing that the ACON was taking place and that Mo Elneny along with Thomas Partey would be missing for anything up to six weeks. What do Arsenal do? Send AMN out on loan, our only backup to Granit Xhaka and Sambi Lokonga. Xhaka then picks up a two match suspension for a straight red card against Liverpool. Thomas Partey returned early from the ACON, came off the bench on the same day he landed on UK soil and picked up a red card of his own.
Takehiro Tomiyasu, already having had Covid and an injury, came back for one game because Cedric Soares was injured, got injured himself and what do Arsenal do? Sell Calum Chambers, although I use the word sell very lightly.
Arsenal desperately need a striker because Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is in the naughty corner but as yet, no new player has arrived, leaving the team with two striker options in Alex Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah, both who are out of contract in the summer and in all likelihood, will not play at 100% because an injury could scupper their future plans.
Sead Kolasinac has gone too, as has Pablo Mari.
Admittedly, the players Arsenal have let go are necessarily right for Arsenal if we as a club are to go on and challenge the best clubs in England and in Europe but as far as numbers go, I think Arsenal are taking a huge risk. Especially letting Chambers go, who in my opinion, is a far better option at right back than Cedric, as he proved against Liverpool at Anfield just a couple of weeks ago. Plus, we’ve just sold him to a club which is chasing a top four spot.
Discounting players from the under 23 squad, Arsenal now have just 21 players in the squad. Without Aubameyang, that number reduces to 20, with no Elneny, 19.
We have 3 centre-backs, 2 left backs, 2 right backs who’re both injured, three defence minded midfielders, one of whom lives on the edge as far as red/yellow cards go and the rest are attacking players. But not one out and out striker who’ll guarantee us goals.
On top of all of that, we have a manager who is not only inexperienced himself but has ants in his pants and clearly doesn’t trust his players enough to cross the white line just before kickoff and simply get on with playing the game they’ve talked about all week. Yet against Man City, with a calm Albert Stuivenberg on the sidelines, Arsenal produced one of, if not the best performance of the season. I’m not for one minute suggesting he was behind the team selection, tactics etc, but his personality is the polar opposite to that of Mikel Arteta who I think needs to sit down, calm down and stop yelling at his players every two minutes. If he’s in panic mode, his players will be too.
I know we needed to see change at Arsenal, I think we’d all agree on that and much of that change had to be within the squad and as said the other day, Arteta, Edu and whoever else is involved in this process, has done a decent job so far with a number of players having been moved on but right now, with Arsenal in with a chance, albeit slim, of returning to European football, it seems strange to me for numbers to be reduced as they have been this month. Especially when barely any money has been earned from it. Why not just wait until the summer?
Unless of course, there is a plan for this month as far as transfers go and the club will bring 2/3 players through the door but the wage bill needed to be drastically reduced beforehand. That would make sense although I’m not sure how the loan process works and who pays their wages because if it’s the parent club, we’ve gained very little.
With four days left in this transfer window, Arsenal need to get a wriggle on but there’s hope. The Chambers deal gives me hope because I doubt anyone saw that coming before the deal was announced.
Lastly, it seems like we’ve secured a deal for the USA goalkeeper Matt Turner from New England Revolution. He’ll arrive in the summer according to reports in the media. I wouldn’t be at all surprised though if Arsenal sell Bernd Leno this month. Not if there’s a good offer on the table for him.
See you in the comments.