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Thoughts & Position Rating’s From Arsenal’s Defeat To Liverpool

It was a tight afternoon game between the two Big Reds, and rightly so. With Kenny Dalglish at the helm of a turbulent mugsmashers starting 11, Arsene Wenger and the players knew they were in for a hard fight, and fight they did. Before I begin as norm…

It was a tight game between the two Big Reds, and rightly so. With Kenny Dalglish at the helm of a turbulent mugsmashers starting 11, Arsene Wenger and the players knew they were in for a hard fight, and fight they did. Before I begin as normal, I’d like to step back and comment on what really needs to change at AFC.

First is the Na$ri situation. If Mr Wenger really wants to keep Greedy Gaston, then he sure as hell shouldn’t even consider playing him until he signs a new contract, plain and simple. If Wenger just wants to play with his toy one last time before they leave the beach, then fine. Goodbye Nasri, thank Mancini personally for the £25 million, This needs to be fixed before our next match, and with the window closing soon, we might have a problem replacing Nasty, because everybody will know we’re desperate. AW needs to swallow his pride and start again.

I don’t care if they’re superstars, we need signings for one thing, and one thing only: depth. Right now we look like a reserve team in the Championship more than the feared Arsenal of folklore. Koscielny bowed out with a recurring back problem, and Djourou with a hamstring, we look feather light at the back with only Ignai Miquel and Sebastien Squillaci to partner the Verminator. I have been repeatedly crying out for Per Mertesacker, or Gary Cahill as a second option to cover for injuries. Both players would do wonders to shore up our defensive line up, as they are both experienced and talented players with drive and grit. We can’t rely on Vermaelen to single handedly save our defense time and again against some of the toughest opposition in the world. We need a back up to Koscielny who can come in, mesh with Vermaelen and be ready to break noses right away. There shouldn’t be a visible dip in quality from first string to second, and right now we don’t even have a second string. Bad times for the back line to say the least.

The third is the midfield. We’ve been linked with Alan Dzagoev and Keisuke Honda, two potential replacements for Cesc Fabregas. No one can come in and fill Cesc’s boots completely, it will take years to find another orchestrator like him, but both players would be fine additions to a currently lackluster midfield.

Alright, now that’s out of my system, let’s begin.

Defence: 8.5/10

Stand out player: Thomas Vermaelen

Surprise performance: Ignasi Miquel

I’m sure some of you readers are sitting here, furiously typing out a response to such wild claims, but don’t bother, because I’ll explain this rating with two words. Thomas. Vermaelen. For any fan still calling out in agony for Chris Samba, take a step back and compare him to our snarling Belgian beast of a CB. He’s 6 foot, and can out jump Andy Carroll, who’s half a head taller. The Englishman must be able to tell what Vermaelen lines his pockets with by now, because he was dominated every single time. I don’t think people realize that we have three very talented CBs, and they are all better than Samba, who’s only advantage is his unnecessary height. Anyway, enough rambling. Verm was destroying as usual, but the most worrying news is Koscielny’s back issues.

One thing I commend Wenger for is his selection of Miquel over Scrambling Squillaci. I realize that this isn’t the B-team, but Ignasi had to be blooded sooner or later. At first he looked very unsure of himself and quite shaky, but he became more stable as the game wore on. I think another loan spell would do him wonders. He’s still young and has a lot to learn, but he’s not quite ready for the rigors of a top EPL team. Send him somewhere in Spain for a season, he’ll be more comfortable and improve more quickly. Overall a decent performance from our youngsters as the first team is ravaged by injuries.

Midfield: 6/10

Stand out player: Samir Nasri

Surprise performance: Theo Walcott

Despite his looming departure to Mercenary City, Na$ty had a good performance, exchanging positions with Aaron Ramsey fluidly and taking the initiative with a few close pops on goal. Despite the lethargic nature of Theo Walcott and Andrei Arshavin, Nasri pressed on and gave an admirable performance. Perhaps Wenger has pulled off the impossible in keeping the former Marseille man? No fingers crossed, but it seems more likely now that he’s played. Let’s face it, keeping him, providing he signs a contract, wouldn’t be a horrible thing to happen. He brings that spark that is currently lacking from our midfield.

Right now we’re almost reverting back to the boring, boring Arsenal of the early 90’s, and while that’s no bad thing considering the defensive record of that era, but we need someone who isn’t afraid to run at people, besides Gervinho. Without Cesc, we’re going to have to change our style, emulating Manchester United in their pace and aggressiveness in play. Nasri would certainly help that, as he offers a level of individuality not commonly expressed among other members, and that’s important to a team that is struggling to create chances.

While Nasri would certainly aid in filling up some gaps in midfield, his future nor performance is guaranteed. This presents a pickle for Le Professeur, as he has very little time to find new players of “super quality” as he likes to call them. Anyway, back to the pitch. Theo Walcott was awful. Plain and simple. Every footballer is capable of having his off day, and yesterday that man was Theo Walcott. At least Arshavin looked threatening at times before fizzling out. Theo was flatline the entire game. I don’t know what it is, but hopefully it’s temporary.


I really have nothin to say here, because, erm… there wasn’t one. RVP and Bendtner hardly had the ball, and it came down to midfield again. Call me cynical, but this is getting tiring and frustrating. We couldn’t seem to even produce a half chance, and it’s really getting to me. Two games, zero goals. That stat hardly holds a candle to RVP’s goal scoring onslaught last season.

All in all, things look bleak, but not catastrophic. Hopefully we’ll have everything that needs sorting done and dusted before the close of the transfer window.

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