The festive season that was the short January transfer window has come and gone and sadly for Arsenal fans there was no freak snow storm to detain any holding midfielders, strikers, keepers, etc. These are all of course positions we need reinforcements in as our current fleet of attack midgets simply couldn’t get it (or anything, really) done against the suddenly alive and always physically superior Manchester “Insurmountable-Debt-But-Conveniently-Amorphous-Brand-Equity” United. So what is the midweek blog’s in-depth analysis of Sunday’s hiding, you may ask? Prepare yourself…we reckon Arsenal were undone by 1) a quite-frankly hopeless offensive strategy of hoofing passes of all sorts of trajectories to the very unqualified and physically inferior point man that was Andre Arshavin; 2) a porous and, when down a goal, overly aggressive defense (William Gallas’ absence on the last 2 goals speaks to this) that was caught miles away from home on numerous occasions; 3) a milquetoast midfield that, while possessing the creative talents of Cesc, ultimately made no impact on the game whatsoever as the likes of Nasri and Denilson effectively curled up in the fetal position against a Man U side that was simply more aggressive. Oh yes, and 4) we played a Man U side that in one of only a handful of times this season, showed organization, efficiency and ruthlessness in front of goal. Sadly, yesterday we didn’t have any one of those qualities at any time. And with John Terry getting all over Chelsea’s winning goal in their Saturday fixture as if it were Wayne Bridge’s ex-girlfriend, Arsenal’s loss now means it sits 6 points adrift of the league leaders.
The GOOD news is that the deficit is only 6 points, which is of course a whopping 5 points less than the gap between Arsenal-Chelsea 2 months ago, and, furthermore, there are 3 months left in the Premiership. What’s worrying, however, is that Wenger seems to have done very little in the transfer market this season (actually nothing) to rectify the shortcomings that have become all too clear against the likes of Man U and Chelsea. One can only hope he averages 2 teacups smashed per half time talk for the rest of the season, because he will surely have to pull every ounce of effort out of his current squad to capture any silverware from the Champions League or, even more remotely now, the Premiership.
For now, though, let’s start by giving Chelsea a real run for their money on Sunday. At this juncture the pressure is again off Arsenal, so perhaps that will allow the team to rally for the remainder of this string of 4 games from fixture hell. After that it’s back to the mid-table rabble (and Tottenham), a group that’s certainly provided Arsenal with its fair share of bumps and bruises but also, mind you, 10 games without defeat. But for a change of pace this season let’s get the ball rolling by beating one of the big boys like Chelsea, shall we?