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Sunday, 7 August 2011

Benfica 2 - 1 Arsenal - now we have some genuine injuries

Can we panic now?

I won't do a match review from last night. There is nothing new to say really. The usual problems were all there, not least of which was Squillaci's defending for the second goal and Gibbs' for the first (though Thomas Vermaelen's attempts to stop the first goal were as amateurish as anything from Squillaci). The truth is that, had it not been for Fabianski, we would have been utterly humiliated in Portugal last night. Yes, Arsenal had a far weaker second-half team than that which started the game, but they were so outclassed in the second-half it should set ringing the loudest alarm bells possible. For the third time in seven days we lost a half-time lead and failed to win the match. Frankly we have no strength in depth whatsoever. And it's not just at the back, either.
What has happened to Marouane Chamakh? Before Christmas last year he, along with Samir Nasri, kept us in the mix at the top of the table. He led the line superbly and chipped in with his share of the goals until Van Persie was fit to return. Since then he has hit a downward spiral and seems to have no way of getting out of it. Last night he looked like someone who had stumbled on to a football pitch in the middle of a match and didn't know what to do. When the ball went to him it bounced straight off him again and, when it went in to wide areas, he ran as far away from the penalty area as he possibly could so as not to have to try and win the header. Nicklas Bendtner would be a far better option right now. 
With Robin Van Persie now injured (ain't that a shock) the need for attacking additions has become as chronic as any other area of weakness. Chelsea agreed a deal of £18m with Anderlecht for Lukaku last night - that is a snip for a top class striker and Wenger should be getting in there before it's too late (mind you, what player is going to sign for Arsenal ahead of Chelsea these days?)
I opined yesterday that Arsenal are in turmoil right now. Injuries last night to RVP, Gibbs and Vermaelen do nothing to change that view. Put that next to Wilshere and Walcott and we have major problems. Arsenal do not need just a bit of investment, especially with the Nasri and Fabregas situations ongoing. Arsenal actually need a major investment. With six days to the start of the season I fear it is all too late. The level of negligence in this area is something which Arsene Wenger must answer for - it is no good coming out with crap about the complexities of signing players. We are in trouble, and it is going to be a VERY long season.

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