Daily Archives: January 19, 2012
We have gotten past the middle of the winter transfer window and the Arsenal faithful are yet to see the emergency full back, creative attacking midfielder and attacking forward they’ve been craving for.
Arsene Wenger brought back the old legend Thierry Henry back to a place he once called home and the Frenchman currently has a 50% goal scoring ratio (one goal in two games). Other forwards like Marouane Chamakh and Andrey Arshavin have been firing blanks and there’s still no hope for Park Ju-Young.
Despite these shortcomings, the team has relied heavily on Robin van Persie and the Flying Dutchman continues to exceed all expectations. With the likelihood of no attacking midfielder joining the club this winter, Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere will be touted as a “new signing” when he returns to full fitness.
Jack Wilshere played up to 4,000 minutes of active football last season and fatigue took its toll on the youngster when he suffered a stress fracture in his ankle this summer. This has kept the current PFA Young Player of the Year out of action for the entire season and he was scheduled to make a comeback in late February or early March.
Wilshere’s imminent return to training has stunned the Arsenal medical staff as he’s now scheduled to resume full training next week. However, he has been advised that he needs two more weeks of conditioning before he’ll be available for selection. This means that Wilshere will make his first Arsenal appearance in early February and he’ll be key in the two-legged Champions League affair with AC Milan.
With Aaron Ramsey and Mikel Arteta playing week in week out, Wilshere’s return will see one of these players take a breather when the need arises. With the Swansea City loss showing Arteta’s importance to the team, Ramsey will be everyone’s favorite to get the axe when Wilshere returns.
Besides, his recent performances hasn’t put him in many Gooners good books.
In recent times, Wojciech Szczesny has dominated the headlines for more reasons than one. When the Gunners were suffering a stuttering start to the season, Szczesny spoke of his total belief in Arsenal. Despite the loss at White Hart Lane, the big Pole still reiterated that Arsenal is still stronger than Tottenham.
When the club was riding high in confidence in the tail end of 2011, Szczesny said that the Gunners can win everything. More recently, he expressed his disgust when van Persie missed out on the 23-man FIFA Ballon D’ Or shortlist and he apologized for his derogatory tweet at Aaron Ramsey.
The Gunners just suffered their seventh defeat of the Premier League campaign but Szczesny still believes that his team can finish in the top four:
“I am confident we will get into the top four. We don’t deserve to be outside the top four.
“We should be challenging for trophies every year and I believe the results will pick up and we will at least finish in the top four because we have the quality in the squad to succeed.”
He was also perplexed about Arsenal’s dismal away form but he gave credit to Swansea for their spirited performance. Szczesny has been one of Arsenal’s bright sparks this season but his positioning was suspect for Danny Graham’s match winning goal. I can’t really point a finger at him because the ball was lost far up in midfield.
Peter Hill-Wood’s comments on qualifying for the Champions League not being a big deal has shown Arsenal’s lack of ambition. I’ve geared myself up for Europa League football next season though.
I hope Szczesny and the rest of the lot prove me wrong.
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