Nacho to see you, to see you Nacho

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When Kieran Gibbs pulled up on Wednesday night, clearly crocked, little could we know that that one split second, that sprained thigh, would cost the club £8m. Because I think it’s fair to say that had Gibbs been roaming the Emirates pastures happy as punch at the end of the Liverpool game, Wenger would not have signed anyone this transfer window.

Well, circumstances often dictate all manner of things, and so it is that this morning we have Nacho Monreal. If Santos’ purchase (for a not inconsiderable fee) in 2011 was part of a mad trolley dash, this one feels more measured, and something we were looking to do anyway. I look forward to seeing him play.

I’d have preferred another striker too, and some more experience in defensive midfield, but it never materialised. It’s not really surprising, given all that we know about how Wenger does business. We were clearly in for Villa but it wasn’t to be.

So up front, we now rely on Giroud, Podolski and Walcott to play through the middle. It sounds decent, except that Walcott’s best role is further to the right, and Podolski scores and assists well on the left. Nevertheless, those are the forward options – and with 43 goals to their names, they’re very good options.

There’s Gervinho too. I’m not sure that central experiment was an unqualified success.

In defensive midfield, it’s Arteta, Coquelin or Ramsey. Jack can play there too. A little inexperienced in the absence of Arteta, but that’s it.

A new left-back makes sense, not least because our game relies on decent wing-backs. Remember January 2012, when Gibbs, Santos, Jenkinson and Sagna were all injured, in some freakish left-right voodoo? It was a total disaster. We were completely stifled. I know Vermaelen can play there, but it’s not his strongest position, and it was the death of Djourou.

We lost every single league game that January.

Given that we have only taken five points from fifteen this January, and that was with our defence at full strength, you can see why Wenger did this deal. Relying on Santos or Vermaelen at left-back would be too much to ask. It would probably have affected left wing, too, at a time when we need all our forward power to counteract some ridiculously inept defending.

So off we go! How the hell we stop the confidence and organisational rot in the defence is the million dollar question. Into this jittery back line drops Monreal.

Out of the frying pan…

Good luck Nacho.


Arsenal since about 1979. Thick, thin and all that.

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. barndoorbendtner

    I think that The Coq is injured as well.

  2. Capability Mike

    Nacho Nacho Man! I want to be a Nacho Man.

  3. East Lower

    Not for long though, is he?

  4. Owen Milbury

    It is a bit frustrating to think that we were able to move so quickly for Nacho Monreal to fill a sudden hole at LB, but we’ve known for months that we could use another striker and central midfielder. Having said that, Monreal seems to be a good signing. It’s hard to complain about bringing in a Spanish international. Just wish he wasn’t the only one!

  5. East Lower

    Yes, classic Wenger isn’t it. Sort of proves that he has absolute faith in what he has; he thinks there’s nothing better out there right now. If he can get them to play as a team, from top to bottom and for 90 mins, then he might be right. But how long have we been waiting for that to happen?

  6. PDDD

    I admire your optimism East Lower but I’m afraid by listing all those players as ‘options’ you’ve strayed into the sort of blind optimism that has led to ‘AKB’ becoming such a term of abuse. You can’t be an option just because you could play in a position if you were the only option, you’re only a real option if you can play there & do the job that’s needed. On that basis, we have (as we did when the season started) one goalkeeper (& that a young one still learning his trade), no defensive midfielder & one central striker. With 10s of millions sitting in the bank that is disgraceful/disgusting/unacceptable/grossly negligent – take your pick. At any other club there would be uproar.
    We need to hope for the best for the rest of the season but come June there is only one acceptable outcome : Wenger out.
    And anyone who comes out at the end of the season if we somehow manage to sneak 4th *which is still possible cos the quality of this league has dropped dramatically over the last few years) & talks about Arsene triumphing & proving all the naysayers wrong,,,,,well, I try desperately not to be abusive but you will be getting some serious abuse from me because that will be the greatest load of crap ever spouted.

  7. PDDD

    On a lighter note, surely I can’t be the only one that finds it hilarious that we replaced Santos
    with a bloke called Nacho. Is it only cos we couldn’t find one called Huge Plate of Ribs ?

  8. East Lower

    Oh don’t worry, fourth means nothing to me. What would be acceptable though, and certainly more palatable, would be if we got to fourth by showing some proper consistency, omitting the errors that have never gone away etc. Only then can we feel that a corner has been turned. Same things we’ve been hoping for for about four years…

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