Arsenal lost to Galatasaray in the Emirates Cup on Sunday, missing out on yet another piece of silverware. Although not a major trophy by any stretch, the Emirates Cup is hosted by Arsenal, and it is a shame that the Gunners could not pull out a victory. The loss opened up fresh wounds concerning weak spots on the squad in terms of depth and quality.
Arsenal’s lone goal came from a Theo Walcott cross that somehow found its way into the back of the net. This highlights the lack of clinical finishing and is just one of many signs that a new forward is needed. With the Luis Suarez saga dragging on and no other big names being linked to Arsenal, many fans are worried that this is a position that will not be strengthened before the season starts.
The defensive struggles are the most worrying of the problems at hand. The starters are not the problem, but it is rather their backups who do not instill much confidence. Left-back is the only position where a strong, mostly fit player is available to step up if necessary. Center-back is the biggest worry at the moment, which was put at the forefront of everyone’s mind through Ignasi Miquel’s performance. Miquel is a player who is not ready for the English Premier League yet. He needs a few more years to develop before becoming a starter for Arsenal. Two quality center-backs would be ideal to give Arsenal the stability that they need in the back.
The more days that pass with no signings, the more my blood pressure rises. As an Arsenal fan, it is hard to see why there have not been more moves made. The money is there, even the players are there, so what are they waiting for? Arsène Wenger’s comments a few weeks back about not needing new players to win the title were disconcerting, but now they are even more unsettling. Maybe he really meant it and wasn’t just trying to back his team with confidence.
Time is running out and something needs to be done sooner rather than later. I feel like I have been saying that since June, however, and I do not see much happening now. Maybe they will go on a panic shopping spree and get lucky with one or two players who will really help the squad. A stretch, but it has happened before. On the other hand, that could just be wasting some of the money that could be going towards the wages of a truly quality player. Having said all of that, I have not completely given up hope yet. I will keep my fingers crossed until the transfer window is officially closed, because crazy things can happen. Anything is possible in soccer and that goes double for the transfer window.
The preseason performance was mostly a happy, confidence-boosting experience until the Emirates Cup. Weaknesses and old problems manifested themselves in young players and a lack of summer signings. Arsenal must be proactive in the market and make a splash in order to give themselves a chance at competing for the title next season. I look forward to at least one forward and two center-backs before Aug. 17.
Here’s to hoping.