As part of giving all Canadian Gunners a voice, we welcome submissions for guest articles. These are not a regular feature, but simply posted when someone submits an article which passes our (brief) review process. In this guest article, YvoYeungGirl returns for a two-part series; first, a look at Arsenal through September, before looking at Arsenal’s October prospects in Part Two. YvoYeungGirl is a part of Arsenal Edmonton ‘YEGooners’ (who are on Facebook & Twitter).
Arsenal, The September Issue – @YvoYeungGirl
Arsenal is one of two clubs unbeaten in the EPL (the other, Chelsea). However, even with this unbeaten streak, we are only fourth with Chelsea, Southampton and Man City ahead. Out of three EPL games this month, we only won one. The Gunners also lost the opening Champions League game against Borussia Dortmund and were knocked-out of the Capital Cup by Southampton.
Are we a club in crisis? Haters and critics will say we are, supporters will cautiously say no.
Personally, I don’t believe Arsenal is in crisis. Yet. (Can you tell I’m a supporter?) Hampered by surprise injuries, it looks like we have a hard time adjusting. With the introduction of new players as well as the return of injured players there have been issues on who to play and where to play them.
Players on the Pitch
Our new signing Mathieu Debuchy is out with an ankle injury, which required surgery, for the next three months. This is a huge blow to our starting line-up and without a second right-back our defense looks to be exposed again. However, surprise signing Calum Chambers has stepped up in the right-back position. This 19-year-old has proven to critics and doubters that he belongs on the first team and not on the bench. He won Player of the Month in August and I hope he is named PotM again for September. Chambers is versatile, not only able to hold off attacks but also able to use his pace to get the ball forward quickly on the counter. He is a player who has been mature on the pitch: quiet but effective. At the moment, Chambers needs only to improve his fitness as he seems to peter out towards the last 5 minutes of the match, hopefully something that comes as he continues to mature. Everything Chambers has done to date has exceeded expectations: my only hope is he continues to impress and to stay injury-free.
The other new players have also started well for Arsenal. Both Danny Welbeck and Alexis Sanchez have shown what they are capable of and what they can do when given a great through ball. Bringing with him years of experience in La Liga, Sanchez in particular shows his physical strength and determination to get the job done. Unfortunately he has not been featured on the pitch as much, but when he does step on, he (and his pulled up shorts) sure do make an impression. With four goals already to his name, let’s see this Chilean rock the EPL.
Welbeck is a young player showing promise, but I would like to see him attack more, fight for the ball and keep possession and finish better. During the Man City game, he had a fantastic opportunity against Joe Hart at eight minutes to open the scoreline, yet missed. If he would have scored, then I’d reckon we probably would have won that game. However, Welbeck repented with an assist and goal against Aston Villa the week after.
Özil finally sparked into life during the Aston Villa game where he played the No. 10 role. Similarly in the Sp*rs game, Özil looked to be very involved always bringing the ball forward. This is the position that he is most effective and I hope Arsène Wenger continues to play him in that role; as we saw in previous games where he was played out of position, he looked weak and was ineffective. We spent £43m on him, so let’s make the most out of it: he is a World Cup Champion and also one of the world’s best No. 10. Place him where he will be a top Gunner.
While Arsenal hasn’t lost any EPL games, they haven’t won many either. Settling for a draw is not the way to go if we want to have a fighting chance for the title this year. The most disappointing game to date was not taking the other two points against the Sp*rs home at the Emirates. This is unacceptable and frankly embarrassing. The squad is diverse enough that I would like to see Wenger switch it up and rotate players more. We are still in enough competitions for people to compete and gain experience in playing. It’s frustrating for players to consistently be benched, but it’s also frustrating for fans to see a huge chunk of their squad underutilized and their starting eleven to be over exhausted.
October is going to be another busy month and we cannot afford any more injuries. Arsenal needs to shift out of second gear and play to their full potential. At the moment, the team seems content to play catch-up when they are falling behind (exemplified in the Man City and Sp*rs games) instead of finishing the game off early when the chances are present. The upcoming month will be filled with league and Champions League games: let’s see what our boys can do to prove to critics and fans that they are true contenders and WANT the title.
Editors note: Check back for Part Two shortly!