Arsenal: 3 Players the Gunners Need to Sell in January
Arsenal have had a bad start to the season: 8-2 away to Manchester United, 1-2 away to bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur and 0-2 at home to Liverpool are not the results a Champions League contender would like to have. Although Arsenal's fortunes have improved recently, the horrific start to the season remains fresh in the minds of fans around the world.
Whenever a team has a patch of bad form, the fans have a set of scapegoats who are often heralded as players who should immediately leave the club. Sometimes, these are knee-jerk reactions which are repelled by the players in question over time. However, most players that fans abuse often deserve it.
This is also the case with Arsenal this season. Sebastien Squillaci, Johan Djourou, Manuel Almunia and Marouane Chamakh have all been vilified, and rightly so. All of them have had horrific seasons and need to leave Arsenal football club.
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Where do I begin? All I can say about Almunia is that he is not Premier League quality and only Wenger's enduring faith has kept him in an Arsenal shirt for five seasons.
Of all of Wenger's signings, none has shown such an astonishing capacity for the "gaffe." Almunia has a stunning highlight reel of positional errors: a loss at West Bromwich Albion and a run all the way to the corner flag at Old Trafford to name a few.
It was lucky for Arsenal fans that he had been loaned to West Ham. He has come back and needs to leave the club permanently in the January transfer window.
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Squillaci came to Arsenal as an experienced French international and central defender. With William Gallas leaving for Tottenham and Thomas Vermaelen being injury prone, Arsenal fans were happy to see an experienced head join a depleted defence.
Squillaci is a center back of the John Terry mold, relying on his reading of the game rather than his pace. By the time he made his Arsenal debut, Squillaci was considerably old and slow and was unable to cope with the pace of the Premier League.
Squillaci flopped at Arsenal, making mistake after mistake after mistake. Midway through the 2010-11 season, Arsenal had lost all their games with Squillaci and Koscielny in the center of defence. Now, he has been displaced by the arrival of Per Mertesacker and the resurgence of Koscielny and Thomas Vermaelen.
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Marouane Chamakh was another who came to Arsenal with the burden of expectation. With Croatian sharpshooter Eduardo leaving the club, the Morrocan target man was hailed as the answer to Arsenal's attacking problems.
Furthermore, it was widely accepted among fans that Nicklas Bendnter and Carlos Vela were "very raw and unsuitable to lead the line full-time for the top club." A decent backup to injury-prone Robin Van Persie was required.
Chamakh actually looked the part from September-November 2010, nodding in seven goals and assisting six more, owing much of his success to his role as a target man in Arsenal's 4-3-3 system.
Lately, Chamakh has been much less impressive. He has only scored twice since November 2010 and now seems isolated every time he starts up front for Arsenal, being able to do little other than make ineffectual two-yard passes.