After Arsenal’s 3-2 defeat to Southampton, manager Unai Emery, was asked about mounting concerns due to injuries in defence and the upcoming transfer window.
At this point, he went into a very bog standard, uninspiring period of deflection, as he stated that Arsenal would reinforce if the quality was available but he quickly added that the young players would be given a chance.
Take your pick ! It may be a ploy just to keep expectations low or one that implies that Arsenal won’t be overly busy in January.
The face in the dugout may have changed but the rhetoric could be Wenger’s.
This is a risky strategy because, if Arsenal want to stay in contention they need to bring in a couple of faces with the experience that will help them achieve that desire and realise that ambition.
It’s going to be a long season if Arsenal remain in all competitions and at the moment, they are hampered by injuries, suspensions and players, who under normal circumstances, would not be drafted into the team after returning so soon from injury.
It is a case of all hands on deck at the moment and the gunners still have the inconvenience of a North London Carabao Cup contest.
Although not high on the list of priorities, a defeat to rivals Spurs, would set alarm bells ringing of another December collapse.
In many respects, Emery has inherited a number of problems that should have been dealt with long ago, mainly defensive issues.
Failure to come up with a plan B, would set the already fickle fans off into meltdown on social media.
Just a day after the defeat to the Saints, supporters were playing the blame game and pointing the finger at Koscielny, Ozil,Leno and Aubameyang, instead of appreciating all the factors involved.
Arsenal have a long list of injuries, to players who helped sustain a 22 match unbeaten run and if anyone had suggested a run of that kind at the start of the season, they would have been certified insane.
Put simply, Southampton were better and the three headed goals indicate defensive frailties that we already knew about.
As for Ozil, who again got the backlash, 20 minutes is hardly time enough to influence the outcome of a match, that’s normally a job reserved for the a magician.
A dummy in the middle of the park sparked a furore that was painfully pitiful and unnecessary.
The issue was the amount of space afforded to Southampton in the Arsenal box which allowed Ings and Austin to seal an unlikely but deserved win.
This was compounded by a lack of intensity, absence of challenges and nonexistent marking.
It was a collective failure and no one was solely responsible but if fans are looking for a positive from the weekend, Mkhitaryan was extremely energetic and productive.