Friday 20 January 2012

Costa Concordia - a warning to Arsenal?

It's taken me this long to semi-get-over the Swansea defeat. In a sense, it was worse than Blackburn away! This time, we deserved to lose. Yes, there were 'iffy' refereeing decisions, but basically we were woeful.

However, I didn't agree with some of the post-match analysis by the media, who blame the normal culprits or usual suspects regardless of the facts. For instance, was Andrey Arshavin so guilty of a stray pass leading to Aaron Ramsey being robbed? Watching at the time, I didn't think so. Stuart James of the Guardian thought so, but it's too painful for me to revisit the video footage right now. I just can't face looking at it.

It seemed to me that Rambo had a bit of 'mare', as Ian Wright used to say. So chances are, he was to blame. He was unlucky with the penalty and I could completely understand Arsene Wenger complaining about that. Even in real-time, it didn't look like a foul.

Not sure why Wenger complains about our bad luck with injuries though. Yes, we had got a lot of players out: Thomas Vermaelen, Mikael Arteta (maybe more sorely missed than we realised possible), Jack Wilshere, Gervinho and and 'two complete sets of full backs'. Not sure the replacements, Djourou and Miquel did as badly as Gary Neville made out on Sky TV's 'Monday Night Football'. In fact, I thought they both did okay, despite some shaky moments.

Mentioning to the above injury-list as a valid excuse, Richard Williams of the Guardian thought the defeat was 'hardly a disgrace'. Not sure about that. The Swans are decent but not world beaters. This game exposed our lack of investment on the transfer front. Benayoun is not quite good enough. Sad but true. Arshavin is not playing well enough. The boss needs to ask himself why the captain of Russia can only do it for country and not club. The two stand-in full backs did well, I thought, but Kos and the Sackboy had off-days. The subs were made too late, as usual, although Henry came on before the obligatory time for subs (i.e. the holy 70th minute) so we should be grateful for that level of flexibility from Le Boss. The Ox showed some promise as a late sub, but not enough to unlock a solid Swans defence.

I just want the club to unlock the safe where all our transfer funds are kept. Even without doing that, we can beat Manchester United at the Emirates. I feel sure of that. It's finishing in the top four I'm worried about. Without more investment in the squad we're not going to make it. Sorry.

Even if we beat United, it doesn't mean we'll finish above Chelsea in the race for fourth. The annoying thing is with one or two additions, we really could win something this year. My guess is we'll let this opportunity to spend in the January transfer window pass. I hope I'm wrong. If that happens some jokers might say our motto is 'Costa Concordia' after that cruise ship that came to a sticky end in Italy. Wenger needs to smell the Costa coffee before he runs the good ship Arsenal aground.

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