In the last three games we have seen the very best and the very worst of this current crop of Arsenal players. We saw the excellent defensive work and eventual goal by Mertesacker, the fine finish by Theo against ManYoo and we played that excellent draw against the Toffee’s where both sides fought for the three points but it just didn’t come.
Then we saw Sagna’s red mist moment against ManYoo.
I would like to start by saying I really like Sagna and this isn’t a personal hit on him, more the ability for Arsenal as a whole to hit that big red self-destruct button at key moments in games. The second I saw Sagna head off on that run after RvP I knew what was going to happen and I was screaming for him to “stand him up” and “make him work for it” rather than rashly dive in and concede what was always going to be a penalty.
The ref was never going to let that go after watching Sagna charge 40 yards to make the tackle. It was clear desperation and a lack of a clear head but I can understand Sagna’s wish to atone for his mistake. It is just endemic of our season where we are flying then we make a daft mistake – BFG vs West Brom, for example where a crazy decision could have cost us the game. I’m not suggesting for one moment that Sagna cost us three points, because ManYoo were already feeling their way back, but I’d prefer to make them work for it than gift it to them.
Were we due more than a point at ManYoo, did we deserve all three points, being fair No, we didn’t do enough. There were clear signs though that we are a really good side and we need to take this form into our next three fixtures.
Onwards, we have QPR at the weekend who played out a hapless 0:0 draw against Reading to ensure mutual relegation. Old ‘Arry (not a wheeler-dealer – honest guv’) Redknapp and his gentlemen players welcome us to Loftus Road for the first game since their relegation was confirmed. Rumours abound that we are taking a close interest in Loic Remy, the striker signed from Marseille in the January transfer window. His stats are good, 11 appearances – 1 sub – 5 goals – 1 yellow card.
Remy is certainly different to what we have. He fits Arsene’s mould of a talented French striker, he’s 26, apparently available for a knock-down 8 million in the summer due to a relegation escape clause. If that is the case I would certainly consider it, though I think there is work to do for him to become a first-choice player for us.
Looking introspectively at Arsenal, we have our own concerns with our strikers as Lukas Podolski looks leggy despite him being under-used. Now I am fully aware that he is used to a mid-season break, but it’s not like he has played every minute of every game. There is plenty of scuttlebutt flying around about an ankle problem that we are managing until he can have surgery in the summer, which would practically be a first for Arsenal. Usually we just ship them off for the required surgery and just “cope” without. So it is either a trail-blazing decision, or a lot more of our players have been going through this without us knowing about it.
Which raises an interesting question for me, what if we cause irreparable damage to Podolski by playing him occasionally when required rather than getting him the required surgery. Is it then worth it?
I will do a proper pre-match later on in the week, but for now Gooner’s – have a great week!