Saturday’s late kick-off was another chance for Arsenal fans to suffer pangs of disappointment from watching their side fail to capitalise on opportunities presented to them. Arsenal played out a 0-0 draw with relegation threatened Blackburn – who even tried to help the Gunners out by playing with ten men for the last 15 minutes (Steven Nzonzi was sent off for a two-footed lunge on Laurent Koscielny). For all Arsenal’s huff-and-puff, they lacked a great deal of cut and thrust and failed to pull-off that killer move.
The result meant that Manchester United pull further away at the top of the table. United are now seven points clear – though Arsenal have a game in hand.
It’s disappointing, but it’s further evidence that this squad needs some work. Forget the defence and the goalkeeping positions – after all, it’s widely acknowledged that something desperately needs to be done there – it’s not so widely acknowledged that Arsenal also have problems up front.
Sure, Arsenal are world-renowned for their free-flowing attacking football, but too much of this comes from the midfield. Players like Cesc Fabregas, Jack Wilshere and Samir Nasri are always going to create chances, but on a day such as yesterday when Arsenal really needed a striker to step-up and chip in with a goal, Arsenal were found lacking.
The trouble with Arsenal is that if Robin van Persie is having an off day, or is injured, they struggle to finish the opportunities given to them. He is, I would argue, the club’s only world-class striker – despite what Nicklas Bendtner may think. Draws with Sunderland, West Brom and Blackburn testify to the fact that Arsenal aren’t forceful enough when under pressure.
The season is drawing to a close. Arsenal are only competing in the Premier League and are desperate for silverware, but keep letting it slip away. They desperately need a second world-class striker to support Robin van Persie.
Marouane Chamakh started the season well enough, picking up the slack for the team whilst Robin van Persie was out injured. However, he strikes me as rather a limited player. His link up play is good, but he’s got no pace, and doesn’t score from outside the area. I just don’t think he’s forceful enough and isn’t really a game-changer.
Nicklas Bendtner is an incredibly frustrating player. Sure he grabs plenty of goals, but he also fluffs easy opportunities, has an awful first touch, has no pace and hardly moves around off the ball.
Arsenal fans must look on in despair when they see Chamakh and Bendtner come on in an attempt to rescue the game (as they did against Blackburn yesterday). There have to be better solutions at a club such as Arsenal.
There will be an Arsenal clear-out this summer and the money made from sales have to be utilised in the right manner if Arsenal are to have any success in the future. It’s my hope that Arsene invests cash in a goalkeeper, a defender and a world-class striking partner for Robin van Persie. If that involves spending big, so be it – Arsene, the fans are getting impatient.