Well it was the result that neither manager wanted yesterday and Arsenal will now have to entertain Swansea in the FA Cup third round replay at The Emirates on January 16th.
The replay means that the Gunners will now could potentially face five games in the space of thirteen days. The really bad news for Wenger is that there are crucial season shaping games including not just the FA Cup but also key fixtures against Arsenal’s rivals Man City, West Ham and Chelsea.
At least Wenger has been active in the transfer market and has stiffened his squad with some much needed new signings. Ooops.
Arsenal quite frankly now are in a very difficult position. They are under huge pressure in the race for fourth place so need to win league games. Yet they have been without a trophy for seven seasons and Wenger knows that the FA Cup is their best bet for silverware. and so need to be ready for Swansea. Yet the squad is seriously under nourished and in need of re-reinforcements.
You would have thought that that the management would have already lined up players the club needed and sorted out deals at the start of the windwo. Once again this is not the case. Chelsea and Liverpool have both made key signings and both of those players delivered for their new clubs at the weekend. Yet Arsenal seem as far away from adding new blood as ever. Even the deal to re-sign Walcott is dragging on.
Arsenal have been at this point once before in recent history. In summer 2011 with Fabregas and Nasri gone Wenger waited until the very last minute to sign players, by which time Arsenal had started the season disastrously. The shock of those early defeats arguably killed last season for the club and was a key factor in Van Persie’s assessment that the club lacked ambition.
Is the delay in buying new players purely down to the cash? Gazidis is adamant that Wenger has money to spend, though we probably don’t know the whole story and Arsene has once again been talking about the importance of the wage structures at the club.
Maybe it is just that Arsene can’t quite make his mind up.
I do wonder if we are going to have a re-run of that terrible time and that re-inforcements will arrive, but at a time when Arsenal’s season – apart from a long shot at fourth place in the Premiership and a very outside chance of Champions League glory – is is all but over.
So Arsenal fans. Does Arsene still know? Or he is presiding over a shambles?
By Ashley | January 7th, 2013