Three matches in the Premier League, five points. Arsenal got away with a win against Crystal Palace in the opening match of the season. In the second match of the season, against Everton, the Gooners found themselves 2-0 down. Even with poor displays of football, Arsenal managed to comeback and tie the match 2-2. And this weekend, playing against a recently promoted Leicester, Arsenal could not go beyond a 1-1 tie.
For a club that contains some of the most talented midfielders in the world, this is pathetic. Considering their first 3 matches in the league, Arsenal should have had three wins. Everton is a strong team, but not as strong as last season. After the F.A. Cup win last season, fans were left with an illusion that the London club would bring more trophies this season.
As far as I am concerned, two main problems need to be fixed: goals and injuries. Unless Arsene Wenger brings a striker, and until the injury epidemic plaguing Arsenal disappears, those illusions will remain an illusion.
Theo Walcott, Mikel Arteta, Olvier Giroud, Kieran Gibbs, and Laurent Koscielny– what do they all have in common? Injured. Gibbs left the field against Crystal Palace. Did he not just come back from injury? Arteta gets subbed out injured in the Champions League qualifier. After the match against Everton, Giroud is announced to miss the rest of the year with an ankle injury. And today, Chambers goes in for a hurt Koscielny, with a probable concussion.
Gooner fans suffer season after season with such news. Something must be done with the medical staff. Either hire a new staff, or send them back to school, Wenger! Arsenal lose options as the season goes on. By the time the winter transfer window opens, the French manager will have to buy a whole new starting XI.
Another problem is stamina. Mostly seen in the match today, against Leicester, Arsenal are still not up to par on fitness. The last fifteen minutes of the game, the players struggled to advance on the attacks. Podolski walked for much of that time– even though he came as a substitute. Oezil, well he always walks. And Ramsey grew frustrated.
Much of the blame goes to Wenger. During the week, in the Champions League qualifier, the Frenchman refused to substitute any of his starting XI. Yet, with injuries plaguing the club, he does not have a whole lot of options. The club needs to fix its fitness issues quickly.
There are times when we must noticed when we are wrong. And this is one of those moments for me. I advocated for Wenger to not buy any strikers. I’m not all the way convinced that Arsenal need a striker since Joel Campbell has yet to be given a chance; however, an experienced striker would do well for the youngsters (Sanogo and Campbell).
Against Leicester, Sanogo had seven clear chances on goal. More chances than any striker in the league thus far. He could not finish a one on one against the keeper. Inexperience can be blamed, and we cannot way for Sanogo to learn to finish as we watch Chelsea, Manchestes City, and Spurs go ahead of Arsenal in the league. Sanogo is a promising striker. But for now, a proven striker is needed.
The club will need to get a striker now. If Arsenal can fix their fitness issues, the club would not be in this situation to begin with. There is a plethora a talent in the club. With all the players at 100%, Arsenal would have enough talent to remain competitive in all tournaments. I hope Wenger let’s go of his pride and fixes what’s broken. What other issues should the club revise?