Belfast Telegraph

Arsene Wenger must strike a deal for a goalscorer

By Steven Beacom

This was supposed to be the season for Arsenal. The one when they would seriously challenge for the Premier League title. They entered it with confidence having successfully defended the FA Cup and playing some fine football prior to the big kick-off.

Arsene Wenger even got his first win over old enemy Jose Mourinho when the Gunners defeated Chelsea in the Community Shield.

And crucially they had snapped up Petr Cech, a top class goalkeeper sure to save them numerous points in their quest to reach the top. All good.

Some felt Cech was the final piece in Wenger's jigsaw. Three games into the title race, however, and the puzzle remains unsolved.

For Arsenal to be complete and to compete with Manchester City and Chelsea for championship glory, they need a world class striker.

Last night against Liverpool they failed to score for the second home game in a row having lost 2-0 to West Ham at the Emirates on the opening weekend.

At least they avoided defeat this time with a compelling contest ending 0-0.

Without the first-half brilliance of Cech Liverpool could have been out of sight by the break.

For that first 45 minutes, Arsenal, with Gabriel and Calum Chambers playing in central defence for the ill Per Mertesacker and injured Laurent Koscielny, were a shambles.

After the interval they were much improved and as dominant as the impressive visitors had been previously.

The problem for Wenger was that they didn't have that ace goalscorer to grab all three points rather than have to make do with one. Yes, they may have been unfortunate with Aaron Ramsey's goal wrongly chalked out for offside, but Arsene's scoring issues are of his own making.

Olivier Giroud is a good forward, and capable of netting spectacular goals, as he showed at Crystal Palace last week, but he is not a great one.

That's what Arsenal need to take them that extra mile and make them contenders for Chelsea's crown. It seems as though Karim Benzema is staying at Real Madrid. He would have been the perfect fit.

Surely Wenger, who can be stubborn in the transfer market, must realise that while his present squad could probably claim a top four place and maybe even win the FA Cup again, they need more to be the best in England.

He can't be waiting for Danny Welbeck to return from injury, can he? Relying on Welbeck to score the goals to win the title? Come on... there is more chance of One Direction NOT having a reunion tour after they split up next year.

While questions remain for Wenger, his Liverpool counterpart Brendan Rodgers is coming up with answers so far this season.

Seven points from three games is more than most would have predicted and three clean sheets to boot. The brilliance of Philippe Coutinho and the Ulsterman's summer signings hitting the ground running offers promise for the weeks and months ahead.

Right now Liverpool fans have more to feel happy about than those supporting Arsenal.

Belfast Telegraph


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