Following last nights (slightly) disappointing result against Everton, which meant that we picked up just two points this week out of a possible six, there was some more positive news to be found surrounds Arsenal.
The main story is Arsene Wenger conforming that he will delve into the transfer market this January, as he looks to strengthen the squad with "two players". The boss said: "This winter we will work very hard because we have some funds available. It could happen that we buy two players, but I cannot reveal the names."
It is great to see Arsene truly trying the address the problems that this Arsenal side have right now. The main weakness shown in the last two games has been the lack of strength throughout the squad. Cazorla, Podolski and Arteta especially have been somewhat overused this season, and already seem to be tiring during games. This is not great to see since we are about to enter December and January, the two most congested months in the footballing calendar, where games come thick and fast and squads are stretched to their limits.
The depressing fact that we haven't had even one striker on the bench in the last two matches is just woeful. It is certainly different from the days when Arsene regularly threw on multiple strikers, switching to 4-2-4, to try and get the result. We haven't been able to call on anyone recently. And whilst we can bemoan the midfield injuries of Rosicky and Diaby, who ever really expected them to last a whole season without a lengthy spell on the sidelines. Truth be told, Arsene made a mistake in trying to rely on Diaby's fitness following the sale of Song. Hopefully he can rectify that in January.
Whilst he was keen to not discuss the names of long term targets, Wenger did reiterate his desire to re-sign Henry for a third stint at the club, saying:
"A loan [for Henry] is still a possibility, but we will still try to strengthen for the long term. [he] is the talent that you dream to have. He has fantastic physique, fantastic technique, a fantastic brain, all built together in one man. At the start he was not confident enough but he has gone on to show what a great player he is."
The signing of Henry would be a great boost to the squad, but as I've previously stated, it has to be backed up by the arrival of more attacking options too. Our squad is already looking depleted, and the loss of the versatile Gervinho during the African Cup of Nations will further decrease our options in the squad.
With a lot of possible Capital One Cup and FA Cup ties to be played during those first two months of the new year, it would certainly be great to have the experienced figure of Henry among some younger players. His experience in and around the dressing could also be paramount to boosting morale amongst the squad.
One of the possible additions to the squad could be Wilifried Zaha, who has been watched closely by Arsenal this season, most recently through chief scout Steve Rowley and Wenger's ex-assistant Pat Rice.
The young starlet has been very impressive this season, and looks to have established himself as one of the best players in the Championship, as well as one of the brightest prospects in Europe. His pace and technique have always been present, but this season he has added more goals and assists to his game.
Today the attacker found himself in the middle of a feud between current manager Ian Holloway and Arsene Wenger. Holloway is said to have misunderstood Wenger's words which were greatly misreported in the press, and he responded to accusations that Arsene had been talking about his admiration of the Palace players. The quirky ex-Blackpool manager said: “Why is he talking about my players? I don’t think that’s right and proper, with the greatest respect.
“I don’t think anybody who manages any other club should actually admit who he likes and what he should be doing. I think that’s totally bad etiquette. He can say what he likes but about his players, not mine.”
A lot of news has been made of the apparent "rift" between the managers, but I'm sure it's been greatly exaggerated just as Arsene quotes were in the first place.
Moving on now, and in other news Koscielny is set to be out for three weeks following his injury in the 3rd minute of the match yesterday. After a shaky start to the season, the Frenchman has been starting to shaw why he was out best defender last season, and his partnership alongside Mertesacker is possibly our best option. Centre back is not an area where we are particularly light in terms of cover, but its not the best time to lose him as we enter December. It would be horrific I we were to suffer another injury or suspension and had to bring Squillaci into the first team set up. Nobody wants to see that again.
After yesterday's game, or goalscorer Theo Walcott discussed his recent form in front of goal.
“Those are the sort of positions that this season and in the last few seasons I have been quite deadly in, When given a little sniff I am able to take it now. The goals show that."
“I think I scored 11 last season and 13 the year before. Not just that, but my general play as well. The assists are coming now, which is fantastic, and I am enjoying my football. I am very happy with the way I have started and it has got to continue. Hopefully I will take it into Saturday’s game.”
Last night was his 10th goal in his last 11 appearances which is excellent, and frankly his performances have really stepped up this season. He has always had talent, but has struggled to gain consistency but it is clear he has made a great effort on that front this year.
My only worry is that he may continue to develop into the great player we knew he could be at another club. After all he is available on a free transfer from January, and previously Arsene has expressed his desire to have things wrapped up around the start if December. There is still no movement on his contract, and as the clock carries on ticking it seems less and less likely that he'll sign.
More tomorrow as we'll have the build up to the Swansea game on Saturday where hopefully we can get back to winning ways.