Arsenal need to sign a striker in January

He finished up as the match winner, but when the Arsenal team was released for the final Europa League group game against Qarabag on Thursday night many felt Alexandre Lacazette’s inclusion was unnecessary. They would have preferred that the Frenchman had been rested.

Arsenal are heading into a packed period of fixtures which will define their season. The Gunners have made progress under Unai Emery over the early part of the campaign, but they must consolidate that progress before the turn of the year or they will find themselves chasing their tail.


The Gunners will travel to the south coast to face Southampton this weekend before taking on Spurs in the quarter finals of the League Cup the following week. Then between December 22 and New Year’s Day Emery’s side will play four Premier League fixtures. This will be a testing stretch for everyone, including Arsenal.

Lacazette, many believe, should have been rested against Qarabag to keep him fresh for this upcoming run of games. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the Premier League top scorer this season, but he frequently plays out wide. It’s Lacazette who acts as the focal point of the Arsenal attack. He is, in the conventional sense of the term, their frontman.

Behind him, there is nobody who could perform the role. Of course, Aubameyang could play through the middle, as he has done many times before, but that would leave the Gunners short of threat on the left side. By pulling one side of the duvet, the feet would be left dangling uncovered on the other side.

Danny Welbeck’s injury, which could rule him out for the rest of the season, has left Arsenal light in the attacking positions and this is why they need to sign a striker when the January transfer window opens in a few weeks’ time. They need depth and Arsenal are lacking that up front.

Callum Wilson would fit the bill. The Bournemouth striker is in the form of his life at the moment, leading the Cherries to eighth place in the Premier League table. Injury free, Wilson is a bottom half Robert Lewandowski and would certainly be capable of leading the line for Arsenal as a deputy for Lacazette. He might even push the Frenchman to reach even higher heights.

The other option might be to spend big on Ousmane Dembele, who continues to be linked with a departure from Barcelona. That would free up Aubameyang to be used as a frontman in Lacazette’s absence, with Dembele used on the right when all three are fit and available.

Arsenal have done well in the transfer window under the new regime, signing shrewdly and adding to their squad smartly in a way that has allowed Emery to mould his team in the manner he wants. They must continue to do that in the coming transfer windows, starting with January.

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Emery keen to banish the last vestiges of Wenger’s regime

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After what appeared to be years of moaning, Arsenal’s long-suffering support finally got their wish.

After 22 years of innovation, change and bringing the Gunners kicking and screaming into the modern era, Arsene Wenger was gone.

What, in the end, was a blind belief in a certain way of working, had become stale as a new, younger and more dynamic breed of coach eased their way into the Premier League. Continue reading

Same old Arsenal

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It’s been 15 years since Arsenal last won the Premier League title. 15 long years.

Almost as many as the gap between their title wins in 1971 and 1989.

That’s far from where the Gunners want to be at this juncture, and whether the blame lies with Arsene Wenger or the board is a moot point.

Since Unai Emery has taken over, nothing really has changed. It’s not a knock at the Spaniard as such, because he can’t possibly be judged on a handful of games, but it would’ve been expected that he’d make an impact.

Perhaps not even in results terms initially, but in the way that the team is set up.

It’s not wrong to hark back to the days of Adams, Bould, Dixon and Winterburn. The game has moved on of course, but one thing hasn’t changed and that is teams who win the title are built on the bedrock of a solid defence.

Even with the addition of Sokratis to partner Mustafi, you feel that this Arsenal side are still beatable.

One only has to look at the way they threw away a two-goal lead at Cardiff, and how lucky they were that Alexandre Lacazette was able to rescue the three points for them.

Similarly, West Ham were all over the Gunners in their fixture but were unable to convert their dominance into goals. Manuel Pellegrini has his own problems, but at least with the east Londoners, not an awful lot is expected of them in truth.

Arsenal have always been a gold standard outfit.

Able to attract the best players, and playing a brand of football that was both attractive and practical. There were players to put their foot in, and these would complement the more technical exponents. They were diligent in their work.

Now Arsenal just look lost, and the reality is that they’re becoming the same old Arsenal. It’s what’s expected.

The knee-jerk ‘fan tv’ assessments directly after a game aren’t helpful but, by and large, some supporters have a point.

If there were a core of players that would ‘put sweat on the shirt’ for want of a better phrase, those that pay their hard-earned every week would give these overpaid superstars their full backing.

But when you have players like Mesut Ozil just strolling around seemingly not worried with what’s happening around him, then there will be problems.

In the Europa League and now unable to attract the best players to the Emirates, unless Emery sorts it out quickly it’ll be another 15 years before Arsenal come close to the Premier League summit.

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Mesut Ozil needs to shape up at Arsenal or be shipped out

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Reaction to Unai Emery’s appointment at Arsenal has been mixed to say the least.

Though the Spaniard has a reasonable record at elite level, including multiple Europa League triumphs, the suggestion is that he’s, perhaps, a ‘second tier’ coach.

That he lacks something on the biggest stage.

Indeed, his critics point to Barcelona’s comeback against PSG, and then the French side’s meek surrender to Real Madrid in the Champions League as the examples to back up their argument.

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Emery se lo cree


El Sevilla coge aire y se inyecta un chute de moral. La primera victoria lejos del Pizjuán ha llegado en el mejor momento posible, en la ida de los cuartos de final. El conjunto de Emery ha ganado 1-2 en San Mamés y pone un pie en las semifinales de la Europa League. ¿Volver a ganar la EL por tercera vez consecutiva? Aún quedan 4 partidos, no está decidido pero sí parece factible.

El Athletic golpeó primero con un gol de Aduriz, pero los de Nervión se supieron reponer y le dieron la vuelta al partido. Ganar a domicilio en una eliminatoria a doble encuentro es una inyección de moral, porque ahora los leones están obligados vencer y a anotar al menos 2 goles para pasar la eliminatoria.

El partido estuvo marcado por héroes y villanos. Muniaín, por ejemplo, dio una asistencia en el tanto local pero después cometió un error garrafal en el empate visitante. El momento más esperado del choque no llegó, se trataba de salida al terreno de juego de Llorente; en el pasado le dio muchas alegrías a los bilbaínos, pero su salida fue la puerta de atrás y no estaba claro si la afición le recibiría con pitos o con aplausos.

Pero lo más importante es que el Sevilla se lo cree. Los partidos a domicilios se le atragantaban, ya que curiosamente nos encontramos en abril y hasta ahora no había sido capaz de conseguir una victoria. La inyección de moral es muy importante porque llega en un momento crucial de la temporada, ante un rival de altura y en un partido clave. Alcanzar la cuarta plaza en Liga ya se antoja demasiado complicado, por tanto la única vía de acceso realista parece ser la EL (como la campaña anterior). Emery sigue demostrando que las eliminatorias a ida y vuelta se le dan mejor que a nadie (recordemos que también ha llegado a la final de Copa) y quiere seguir engrandeciendo su gesta en el Heliópolis.