Reading vs. Arsenal: Gunners with Most to Prove to Arsene Wenger

Chris StephensCorrespondent IIDecember 17, 2012

Arsene Wenger has some big decisions to make over the next few weeks.
Arsene Wenger has some big decisions to make over the next few weeks.Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

As the January transfer window approaches for world soccer, certain Arsenal players know they have to pick it up.

If they don't, they could find themselves on the bench or, even worse, transferred to another club.

The Gunners have not been looking good lately, and Arsene Wenger could be ready to bring in other players.

Arsenal has won one game in its last six matches, with its lone winning coming against West Brom. Losses have been suffered to Swansea, Olympiacos and Bradford (penalty kicks). The Gunners have tied Aston Villa and Everton.

All totaled, the Gunners are sitting eighth in the Barclays Premier League.

The Gunners look to have help coming soon with Thierry Henry coming to town on loan from the New York Red Bulls.

However, the Belfast Telegraph isn't so sure about the move:

Bringing back Henry would be one more small acceptance that Arsenal have failed to move on from the better times he represents. Whatever the frustrations with Gervinho and Chamakh – and there are many – there has to be a better option than a 35-year-old, however talented, who is strolling through his last years in a substandard American league...

When Henry does join the team, he is going to have a lot to prove to fans. He's going to have to prove he is not outdated.

So, who else has the most to prove to Arsene Wenger?


Vito Mannone

Mannone hasn't been impressive this year as he sits with a record of 3-3-3 with 10 goals allowed.

Wayne Vessey of has said the Gunners have the funds to make a huge run at someone in the January window, with goalkeeper being one of those needs.

In Mannone's defense, he has split time with Wojciech Szczesny, so it's not like he's getting all of the time in goal.

Still, Szczesny is showing more than Mannone, which means if Wenger makes a move for a goalkeeper, Mannone could be the odd man out.

That's why these next four games are important. Mannone not only has to be almost perfect in games, but he has to outplay Szczesny in practice to get the starting nod.

If Mannone wants to ensure he's still getting starts and/or is not transferred somewhere else. Mannone is going to have to impress during the last four games prior to the January window, if he hopes to keep his job.



Mikel Arteta

While some Arsenal fans will disagree with this, Arteta needs to show more on the pitch.

It's not likely that Arteta will be transferred, but his play over the next four matches could seriously determine if Wenger brings in someone at his position.

Arteta has had flashes of brilliance over the course of the season, including two goals against West Brom. However, there hasn't been any consistency in his play throughout the year.

Again, Arteta won't be transferred from the Gunners, but if his play continues, Wenger needs to seriously look at someone to either play alongside him or replace him.