Arsenal Have Greater Transfer Needs Than Newcastle's Yohan Cabaye
Cabaye is undoubtedly a high-class midfielder and one of the finest creative forces in the Premier League, but—while he would be a worthy addition to the Arsenal squad—it’s fairly clear that the Gunners have more pressing needs on the transfer front.
However, the pursuit of a high-class striker is a sensible move for Arsene Wenger.
At present, Olivier Giroud is the focal point of Arsenal’s attack. He bagged 11 goals in his first season in the Premier League and was on-target in the loss to Aston Villa on Saturday, but the Frenchman needs a partner to play alongside him. Theo Walcott wants that job, while Lukas Podolski and the untested Yaya Sanogo are other options.
But for a side with designs on pushing for Premier League and Champions League glory, their cupboard is somewhat bare.
Looking at the 3-1 loss to Villa, the home fans were frustrated as Arsenal had 15 shots, but only four were on-target. Compare that with Villa who had 11 shots, six of which were on-target—according to whoscored.com.
Stats do not always tell the whole story, but creating chances is not Arsenal’s problem. Converting them is a major flaw in their makeup while their defence—which has been extremely fragile for too long—was once again exposed by Villa.
The sight of Antonio Luna galloping into wide-open space before slotting his shot past an exposed Wojciech Szczesny would have been comical for Arsenal fans had it not been so serious.
With five minutes remaining when Luna scored Arsenal were chasing the game, so there were likely to be gaps. But, prior to the late goal, there were examples of the sort of defending that will see Arsenal concede too many goals to make them credible contenders for honours.
Villa’s opener came courtesy of Laurent Koscielny dashing from the centre of defence to try and nick the ball off Gabriel Agbonlahor only to be undone by the speed of the forward, which resulted in the visitors winning a penalty when Szczesny upended Agbonlahor.
At times Koscielny looks good, but he is prone to lapses in concentration and judgment. His sending off against Villa was arguably harsh, but he gave referee Anthony Taylor a decision to make by attempting to pinch the ball off Andreas Weimann when he may have been better off jockeying and buying time.
With Thomas Vermaelen increasingly injury-prone and looking a shadow of the player who first arrived at Emirates Stadium and Per Mertesacker yet to convince as a Premier League defender, Wenger has holes to fill in defence and attack.
The sight of Arsenal cutting Villa to shreds six minutes into the game, with Jack Wilshere gliding away from danger in his own third, combining with Tomas Rosicky and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to tee up Giroud, was evidence enough that Arsenal are not lacking in creativity.
No idea why we even bidded for Cabaye because we don't even need midfielders ffs and £10m???? smh— Brad from Swindon (@nolanbr4d) August 19, 2013
Cabaye would be an excellent addition, but if he is Wenger’s main gambit in the market this summer, Arsenal could be in for a tough time this season.
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