Lack of designated strikers having detrimental impact on Arsenal in Europe

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Arsenal were up to their old tricks again on Tuesday night in the Champions League as they continued to drive on their rocky European road with a home defeat to underdogs Olympiakos.

The Greek side had failed to win in any of their previous 12 visits to the UK prior to the clash, but turned up on the doorstep of the Emirates with the intention to rid of that record.

A well-worked corner from the visitors saw a deflected Felipe Pardo strike find the bottom corner, only for Theo Walcott to restore order in north London moments later.


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However, a howler from stand-in goalkeeper David Ospina led to Olympiacos regaining their lead before the interval.

Alexis Sanchez seemed to have rescued a point when the Chilean latched onto a Walcott cross with his head, but hopes of a home point were eradicated within a minute by Alfred Finnbogason, his goal coming after some calamitous defending from the Gunners.

Gunners fans took to Twitter at the final whistle to criticise Arsene Wenger's team selection whilst others slammed the defence. However, looking closer into the crisis at the Emirates, it's obvious what the problem is - and Arsenal supporters have every right to be furious.

The lack of a designated striker is costing the Gunners dearly. Too many times throughout the summer were Arsenal linked with Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema, but Wenger baulked at the opportunity to sign his fellow countryman.

Similarly, the previous summer, Gonzalo Higuain was snatched from their grasp by Napoli due to the club 'taking too long with proceedings'.

If you take a look at Arsenal's squad, there are few fit players that can be classified as forwards or strikers. Danny Welbeck was known to be injured by Wenger before the transfer window even closed, hence why fans of the club were so infuriated by their manager's failure to bring a new marksman to the club. 

Elsewhere, Olivier Giroud doesn't quite cut the mustard for Arsenal at this level. Give him the opportunity against Stoke City or Crystal Palace and he'll take it with both hands - put him on the pitch in Europe, however, and everything falls to pieces.

The Gunners' current makeshift forward is Walcott, who at a quick glimpse isn't faring too badly at all, however his shot to conversion ratio is poor, raising questions again of his end product.

Wenger needs to be in the market for a forward in January. Waiting until the summer could prove costly because if a deal falls through, he is left stranded for another season with the same old, same old.

The aforementioned Benzema and Higuain are the types of players that a club of Arsenal's stature should be targetting and luring - players who have consistently performed on the European stage and are proven goalscorers at all levels.

Wenger shouldn't be signing young, upcoming stars - it's pointless. He's got a whole academy full of totally capable players on standby, and by buying another player on that level would be a waste of money.

In short, the 65-year-old should be breaking the bank - and his back - in order to bring a world-class striker to the Emirates. The finances are there, now it's time for Wenger to sign a talented, capable striker who can help Arsenal progress in future Champions Leagues.

Until then, they will be a team who will always struggle to escape the group stages.

A lot of people would have put their money on Arsenal to progress to the final 16 of the Champions League this season. However, currently at the bottom of Group F, and the only team out of the four who have failed to register a single point so far, their prospects are looking pretty bleak.

The Gunners have given themselves a mountain to climb already after only two games, and like most who try to reach the peak of Europe's Everest, they are likely to fail.

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