I am not a big believer in the uses of shop-therapy, whether in personal life or with regards to Arsenal. Apparently, when Socrates walked through a busy Ancient Athens market place about 2500 years ago he shouted: ‘How many things I don’t need!’. I am a bit like that when walking through the shopping streets of England’s towns and cities two and half decennia later.
I am rubbish at understanding the big, modern philosophers but nevertheless a philosophical person; as in, I try to understand what the meaning is of things and events, and I take great pleasure in doing so. One of my favourite Socrates quotes is: ‘The unexamined life is not worth living’, and in order to do this you do not need to spend lots of money.
I am one of these Gooners who take great pride in the fact that Arsene creates his own stars by turning raw diamonds into fine and shiny gems, and that the club has been able to live within its means. We just need to keep hold of them and add one or two quality players every season and within no time Arsenal will win silverware again.
But, things are not going to plan at the moment and it is not necessarily the results which we need to worry about: a couple of wins in a row and all could look rosy again.
What is more worrying is the lack of form and shape to the team; the inability to organise our defence and get a run of solid defensive team performances; the lack of balance in midfield and inability to totally dominate this area anymore; the unsettledness, and unpredictable level of performances, by our strike-force; and most importantly, the lack of cohesion, leadership and fighting spirit throughout the team.
Half way into the season, this is not good enough and there is nowhere to hide anymore, as we have entered the period in which a season is made or broken. Many supporters are very unhappy about what is happening at the club at the moment, and Wenger appears to try and resolve it all by focussing hard on the team performances, and by sticking to his players and preferred formation.
However, in order to break the mood, or spell if you want, Arsenal might have no other option but to buy another January X-factor. Just like the club did in 2004 with the purchase of the Reyes, and in 2009 with arrival of Arshavin.
They both had an instant impact and especially Arshavin gave Arsenal a well-needed lift. We need something similar this January, although we must not forget that Reyes and Arshavin have eventually turned out into expensive flops: one suffered from homesickness and the other one does not have the necessary discipline and/or fitness to make it at Arsenal. Shop-therapy seems to come with a ‘best before’ date.
Of course, we could all get excited about the arrival of a top striker or winger, but what we really, really need first is a beast of DM. Somebody with steel, vision, passing skills and experience. I have written quite a few posts about the need for a DM recently, so I won’t bore you with it again.
I am hoping Arsene will not play Diaby in the deepest midfield position again when we play Swansea tomorrow. I don’t think this is his position or that he has the fitness for it right now. Arsene should give Coquelin the chance to proof himself in that role, but I a must admit I am not sure whether he is yet good enough for the ‘Anchor’ role. Arsene could also play Wilshere in the deepest midfield position and let Diaby play in his position, with either Rosicky (ideally) or Cazorla (probably) in front of both of them.
But these are just solutions for Wednesday and the next couple of games. Arsenal need to find a structural solution as Arteta is also not the long-term answer, and I reckon there is no other option but to get a quality defensive midfielder as soon as possible: Schweinsteiger, Arturo Vidal or Alonzo would do fine, or maybe Capoue, Wanyama, or Strootman would be the answer. I am sure you all have views on who would be the best fit for Arsenal.
Arsene, it is time to indulge yourself with some proper shop therapy: give us all a lift, please! 🙂
Written by: Total Arsenal.