If You Fail to Prepare, then Prepare to Fail
The dust has settled since the opening day home defeat against Liverpool but you can’t help but feel really sad about the situation at the club right now. It all seemed as if the players were prepared enough for the game but there was that air of uncertainty concerning the situation at the back, especially new club captain, Per Mertesacker, and Gabriel Paulista suffering unfortunate injuries. I agree that Rob Holding has had a summer to remember, winning the Bolton Player of the Year award as well as signing for a big club like Arsenal but his pairing with Calum Chambers was a ticking time bomb that finally exploded on Sunday.
For a player that was signed for 16m a couple of seasons ago, I must say that I am very disappointed with the way Chambers’ career has panned out because he doesn’t even show any signs of improvement. When Laurent Koscielny is finally declared fit to begin the new campaign with the team, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s paired with
Shkodran Mustafi Rob Holding, with Chambers watching from the dugout.
The question remains – why did we let it get to this? Our transfer window has been a massive disappointment thus far with lots of transfer speculation linking the club with a host of players without any thing genuine happening. So let’s focus on the things that actually happened – Granit Xhaka was signed in late May, even before the European Championships which showed that the team meant business. We have been craving for a specialist DM since Alex Song left and Coquelin proved to be a good stop-gap option but in Xhaka, we had fixed an area of the team that has been lacking for quite some time.
With Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Chambers and Holding at the club, we weren’t really short of numbers, quantity wise, but in terms of quality, Arsenal needed a new defender that can match Kos the Boss. Mertesacker has been ridiculed for his lack of pace and what have you, but towards the end of last season, he lost his place in the team to Gabriel, a defender that is like a diamond with a whole lot of rough edges. The captain’s injury was meant to set the tone for Gabriel to have an extended run in the first team and probably improve, but he suffered an injury of his own, keeping him out for the side for six to eight weeks (per the Guardian).
I had expected the club to act, like the way they did when Kieran Gibbs suffered an injury and we realized that Andre Santos was cow dung, so they bought a certain Nacho Monreal that has become a mainstay in the first team. But no, Wenger kept his undying faith in two youngsters that looked good against some mediocre sides in preseason. When it was time to stand up and be counted, they were found lacking. No one can really be blamed for Phillippe Coutinho’s opener because it’s up there with the best free kicks I’ve witnessed as a football fan, but for the other three? Hell fucking no! They were caught ball watching as Adam Lallana and Coutinho drifted in and found a way through Cech but Sadio Mane’s strike was shameful to say the least from a defensive perspective.
I don’t even want to go into the striking situation, because I’d probably be enraged as I spit fire with my words. All I can say on that is, shame on you, Arsenal!
What is the club going to do this situation? There hasn’t been any meltdown like what we witnessed in 2013 following the 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa, but we have two more weeks before the transfer window closes and I don’t expect any new signing before this weekend’s clash with Leicester.
Arsenal’s title rivals spent some good money strengthening themselves and they already have three Premier League points to show for it. Another defeat on Saturday would mean that the Gunners would be part of the chasing pack this early in the campaign and that would be a sad thought.
If you fail to prepare, then prepare to fail.
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