Well it certainly has been an eventful week since our last post and there is one topic which is on the lips of us all right now, and it involves a certain handsome french bastard.
Girouds heroics off the bench on Saturday against Everton not only proved to all the doubters how important he is to the overall functionality of the team, it may also have highlighted how much we have grown to depend on him in the short time since he has been at the club.
Now it seems there is a very distinct possibility that the big frenchman has gone and done himself a nasty, with media outlets all across the board reporting that his injury in the dying seconds of the game at Goodison could keep him out for the rest of the calendar year.
It’s fair to say that during our first game against Palace, with Ollie looking on from the bench, we looked below our attacking best. Sure, there was bus parking of epic proportions occurring on the hallowed turf at the Emirates, but Yaya Sanogo proved unable to provide the link up play required to penetrate the Palace defence. We instantly looked more dangerous and aggressive when Giroud was brought on and he was instrumental in the build up to the winning goal.
Against Everton, Wenger pulled somewhat of a surprise by naming Sanchez through the CF position in what was, largely, another underwhelming performance from a back up to our main man. Hooked after 45 mins, we again saw the instrumental effect he had on the game when he came on.
So, that leave us all wondering, perhaps even panicking, at the realisation that he may be out for 3 months or longer with a broken bone in his ankle.
What should we do?
Our current attacking options include; Sanchez, Sanogo, Theo, Campbell and a now remaining at Emirates Lukasz Podolski. At first glance it appears as though Sanogo is the only option we have currently of filling the hole Giroud leaves open and as we all know, he is raw and under somewhat of an injury cloud himself. That leaves Sanchez, Theo, Campbell and Poldi. Theo is on the comeback path, Poldi was on the way out and coming off a season where he only completed a handful of the full 90mins on offer, Campbell and Sanchez are both new to the club and you have to say, at this stage, are relative unknowns as far as their best role in the squad is going to be.
There’s a definite reasoning in there for us to go and find someone to come in before the window closes in less than a weeks time, but what does that mean to the guys we mentioned? And what would that say about Wenger as a manager from a tactical point of view? Does one injury to a key player hamstring us so completely that the only way out is to speculate on another new comer?
Finding the player that a lot of us seem to think we need now is no easy task either, especially at this late stage in a window where the boss himself had said that we were no longer looking to add to that area of the squad. Indeed until today, we were almost certain that Podolski was on his way to Wolfsburg, with recent developments drawing Wenger to comment that his immediate future now lies at Arsenal. Which indicates to me that this was a one way deal and that no replacement was lined up to come in.
So what do I think then?
I think that dipping into the market now at this late stage to cover an injured player is poor business both from a squad point of view and a business sense. There’s no guarantee that a player who came in now would be the answer in any case. How long would it take to bed in another new target man? How much would it cost financially to bring in someone with the quality we require? Where does that leave the likes of Sanogo and others who are at the club to do exactly what attackers should do- score goals?
I feel as though an addition now would not only signal panic from within the club, but also highlight a distrust in our other options to be able to function as suitable back ups to our main man. Surely Wenger has the nous to adjust our style of play to suit the attributes of a more diminutive attacking threat. Let’s not forget that behind our strikers we have some of the best midfield combinations in the league. Adjusting our approach is a much more team focussed ploy and keeps everyone on the same wavelength. Simply plonking into the market for a Giroud replacement lacks thought and smacks of amateurism. Where does that leave the new player when Giroud is fit again at the beginning of next season?
Of course we have links doing the rounds today to players like Cavani ($50M) and a ridiculous story about a season long loan for Falcao which might see us splurge $20M just for the opportunity. Undoubtedly top players in their own right and fantastic additions to any club, but please, spare me. Don’t be caught up in the madness of the media machine, it has a way of making us feel and act like idiots.
Any additions before the end of the window should come un the areas we already knew were needing some further reinforcements. An experienced option in the defensive third of the pitch still seems most pressing, with any injury to either of the per-cielny axis leaving us exposed on both a numbers and experience front despite the promising start to the Arsenal career of 19 year old Cal Chambers.
A butt clenching qualifier is on the cards tonight against Besiktas in London, where a poor result will surely result in a complete meltdown of the gunners fanbase, with the almost certain full destruction of the world as we know it.
Then again, we may just win and carry on in Girouds absence….