Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Welbeck becomes a Gunner

Arsenal’s search for a striker ended some two hours after the summer transfer window officially closed on Monday night. So late in the day was Wenger’s move for Danny Welbeck that the Gunners had to apply for an extension in order to get the deal done, with time quickly running out.

At 1am the deal was sealed and Welbeck officially became an Arsenal player. His signing, on the same day Manchester United announced a loan move for Radamel Falcao split opinion amongst Arsenal fans.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Gunners toil again

Leicester 1-1 Arsenal

Arsenal produced another somewhat disjointed attacking display against Leicester yesterday to record their second away draw in the space of a week.

Arsene Wenger made changes to his attacking line up which didn’t really help the Gunners to break down a well organised Leicester side.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Gunners go through yet again

Arsenal 1-0 Besiktas

It was an edgy and nervous night at the Emirates, but Arsenal did what they always do when it comes to Champions League qualifiers; they got the job done.

Having failed to score a crucial away goal in Turkey, the Gunners were always going to find the second leg an extremely tricky affair. One slip up and Arsenal would have really been up against it.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Last gasp Gunners again

Everton 2-2 Arsenal

It took another last gasp goal on Saturday evening to save Arsenal’s blushes once more as the Gunners came back from two goals down against Everton to secure an unlikely draw in the closing seven minutes of the game.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Stalemate in Turkey

Besiktas 0-0 Arsenal

Arsenal flew back to North London last night, having secured a 0-0 draw away to Besiktas, not really knowing what they should feel about the end result.

It was a game they could have won had they been sharper in the final third to exploit little gaps that appeared and in the last few minutes the Gunners saw Oxlade-Chamberlain’s excellent effort unfortunately come back off the post. Yet it was also a match Wenger’s men could easily have lost as Besiktas created a number of gilt edged opportunities to take the lead.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Just in time

Arsenal 2-1 Crystal Palace

Saturday saw the return of Premier League football at the Emirates after a summer in which Arsenal fans’ expectations have increased significantly. The manager has made relatively early moves in the transfer window, strengthening a squad which was only seven points away from title glory last season. The signing of Alexis Sanchez in particular was a real statement from the club, following on from last summer’s capture of Mesut Ozil, indicating that the Gunners have well and truly entered into a new and exciting era, while the 3-0 victory over Manchester City in the Community Shield also hinted at an exciting season ahead.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

This time last year Arsenal were being heavily linked with Gonzalo Higuain, with several media outlets as well as numerous Higuain family members confirming a deal was imminent. Yet despite these assertions, ultimately the transfer never materialised resulting in great disappointment. The Gunners of course did go on to sign a world class player in Mesut Ozil but no one could have blamed the Arsenal faithful for feeling slightly sceptical when rumours linking Alexis Sanchez to the Emirates recently surfaced.

Last night, however, just before the launch of the new Puma kits, Arsenal confirmed the signing of the Chilean international in a clear statement of intent. This is now a club that is moving forward, is focused and has the ability to attract the World’s best players. Ozil’s move was the first building block, a sign the years of austerity were over and that club was ready to mount a serious challenge for the game’s biggest honours. Arsenal were no longer a selling club and having now ended their long trophy draught with the FA Cup win in May, the Gunners have also restored a winning mentality at the Emirates. The arrival of Sanchez is the latest piece of the puzzle.

The former Barcelona man has all the attributes to become a roaring success in the Premier League. Strong, agile, skilful and fast, Sanchez adds a whole new dimension to the Arsenal attack. Although it will of course take time for the Chilean to settle into life at the Emirates, Sanchez will not be easily bullied. He has great strength and is not overwhelmed when the game turns physical. Renowned for scoring wonder goals from seemingly impossible angles, Sanchez also has the ability to change the course of a match in the blink of an eye.

His searing pace is also a welcome addition to the Arsenal squad as with Walcott out injured for the latter half of last season, the Gunners lacked any pace in their forward line which allowed the opposition to press high up the pitch, a key feature of those humbling defeats to Liverpool and Chelsea. The presence of Sanchez will force defences to sit deeper, providing more space and time for the Arsenal midfield to pick out passes. Ozil will therefore benefit greatly from this new acquisition as Sanchez specialises in finding space and making clever, well-timed runs in behind the opposition defence, which will provide the German assist master with plenty of options.

Sanchez was deployed mainly on the right flank by Barcelona, but he can also play through the middle, offering an alternative to Olivier Giroud, who struggled to maintain his fine form as last season wore on. The Frenchman must also be pleased with the new arrival as Giroud specialises in providing deft little flicks for those willing to run beyond him. The prospect of Wenger fielding a front three of Walcott, Giroud and Sanchez, with Ozil just behind them and Ramsey a little deeper, not only excites the Arsenal faithful but must also strike fear into every Premier League defence. 

The Gunners cannot rest on their laurels however. Wenger and Gazidis have done a fantastic job in securing such a quality signing as early as possible, but must now also address other areas of the squad. A backup goalkeeper, right back and holding midfielder should now be top priorities, while another defender and striker could also be required. According to reports Mathieu Debuchy is all set to join, while Athletico Madrid’s young right back Javier Manquillo is also said to be in advanced talks over a loan move. A deal for Loic Reny however, appears to have stalled due to the Frenchman’s wage demands. Rumours have also surfaced linking Sami Khedira with a move, which if true would cause Arsenal fans to pinch themselves continuously to make sure they weren’t just having a beautiful dream. 

One thing is for sure, Arsenal now mean business.