With the transfer window closing in a matter of hours, Arsenal fans find themselves in the all too familiar position of watching their rivals strengthen their teams as the seconds tick away in a truly spectacular summer of transfers.
Angel Di Maria, Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas and very soon, Radamel Falcao. These are all players who fit Arsene Wenger's description of a 'top top top player', yet for one reason or another, are stars who have gotten away from the North London side.
Giroud's injury showed glaring weaknesses
The injury to Olivier Giroud which will keep the Frenchman out until the New Year signalled a 'crisis' at Arsenal, as it left the only natural striker on the books being the promising yet very raw talent of Yaya Sanogo.
Fans had been calling for a star striker to be bought even whilst Giroud was available so his injury and Yaya Sanogo's lacklustre performance in the draw against Leicester on sunday has agitated the Gunners faithful and exposed the weaknesses of Arsenal's frontline.
Sanogo is not ready
Sanogo may come good, in fact he has shown much promise even if he is yet to score in over a dozen matches in the Premier League. However, a team with the aim of challenging the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea for the title can not and should not be relying on a 21 year old who has had two leg breaks in recent years to carry them to glory. In fact it is unfair to put so much pressure on a player who needs time to develop instead of being thrown into centre stage and exposed to criticism.
At this stage of his career he should be an understudy to a proven world class goalscorer whom he can learn from, in the same way Robin Van Persie was slowly introduced to the Premier League as backup to Dennis Bergkamp.
Playmakers galore but still no top-class striker
The fact is the brilliant Arsenal midfield of Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez deserve a talismanic forward to finish off their beautifully intricate passing moves. If the ball keeps bouncing off Sanogo, or if he miscontrols it, the players behind him start to lose confidence and may not show as much desire to make lung busting runs into the box in the hope of getting on the end of a flick on or a rebound.
A perfect example of this was in the second half against Leicester when Ramsey broke the offside trap and reached a Santi Cazorla chipped pass but instead of heading the ball across for an unmarked Sanogo to have an easy tap-in he went for goal himself and his header was easily saved. Having seen Sanogo miss numerous chances Ramsey tried to take responsibility and the striker didn't even react with anger to Ramsey's decision, underlining a player with a lack of confidence at the moment.
Wenger stays stubborn
In his press conference before this weekend, Wenger was quizzed about his potential transfer activity before the window slams shut and when asked if he was sure he would be bringing in a striker he told Arsenal.com, "Transfers are not down to me - only".
For years, the Arsenal manager was heavily criticised for his lack of spending and he never blamed anybody during the barren spell which followed the construction of the Emirates Stadium. Yet it is only in the last two years that the board have openly admitted that Wenger was operating on a shoestring budget for almost a decade. Now that the money is available there is no excuse for Arsenal not to be competing in the chase for the best players.
Frustration continues at the Emirates
So does Wenger's statement that transfers aren't solely his responsibility indicate that the inactivity at Arsenal could be down to the inability of others to finalise deals?
Dick Law, Arsenal's Chief transfer fixer, seems happy to keep going under the radar of the wrath of fans and what about Ivan Gazidis the club Chief Executive who said after the signing of Alexis Sanchez, "We’ve pulled off a good one with Alexis Sanchez, it’s a great signing for us. I’m happy for the club, but there’s more work to be done."
Transfer deadline day has caused unrest with Arsenal fans with rivals Manchester United close to signing Radamel Falcao and Wenger allegedly travelling to Rome to take part in a charity match.
Charity match leaves Arsenal flabbergasted
Clearly Wenger's trip to Italy proves that negotiations are handled by other members of Arsenal's staff and he, like most other managers, can only hand in a list of transfer targets he would like and leave it to the club's transfer fixer to complete the deal.
Manchester United were heavily criticised last season and at times this summer for their failings in the transfer market and the criticism was aimed at vice-chairman Ed Woodward instead of David Moyes or Louis Van Gaal, so maybe instead of criticising Wenger, fans should be focussing on Gazidis and Law who seem unable to charm players into signing for Arsenal in the same manner David Dein used to.
The Arsenal manager said in his last press conference that he expected the club to be 'very active' on the final day, and with only a few hours remaining, the Gunners remain the club to have made the least amount of signings in the Premier League this summer.
Many will be hoping that Arsenal can spring a deadline day surprise like those of Andrey Arshavin and Mesut Ozil, as with the team still short in all departments, failure to strengthen will leave the club having to re-evaluate their lofty targets for this season.
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