Gunners' struggles against Leicester point to obvious need
After seeing his team drop two points in a game realistic title challengers ought to win, Arsene Wenger should be thankful he has 24 hours to address the deficiencies in his side that saw it draw 1-1 with Leicester.
Oh for a striker. If there is criticism of Yaya Sanogo, it really ought to be about the decision to select him in the first place. Clearly Wenger sees something in him, but today, against a defence that's hardly the most accomplished he'll face all season, he looked a long way out of his depth.
If Sanogo has to learn his trade, it should be on loan at a club with less lofty ambition than Arsenal. Playing regularly, with less pressure, might help him develop in a positive way, because right now he is a lightning rod for frustration. He is eager and desperate to score, but that's affecting the way he plays.
It seemed odd that Wenger didn't continue with Alexis Sanchez in that forward role after a good display midweek against Besiktas. The Chilean got the Arsenal goal -- and if we're being generous, it was Sanogo's assist -- but today he was asked to play as part of a fluid threesome behind Sanogo.
Sanchez interchanged throughout the first half with Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla, switching from central to either flank, but if it was supposed to confuse the opposition, it seemed to do the same to the Gunners, who never really got to grips with one another, let alone the opposition.
- Brewin: Three Points - Leicester vs. Arsenal
When Wenger did eventually change things, he brought on Lukas Podolski -- who did so little it will have done nothing to change the mind of the man who was, until Olivier Giroud got injured last week, quite ready to sell him. Joel Campbell, another forward, sat on the bench, and his future as an Arsenal player remains in doubt.
To be fair, Arsenal were robbed of a substitution because of the first-half injury to Laurent Koscielny, but that the Costa Rican again failed to make it onto the pitch speaks volumes about the Frenchman's faith in him to have an impact at this level. While acknowledging they are players with different styles, that Sanogo is selected frequently before him probably tells you everything you need to know.
Ultimately, Arsenal will look at this as two points dropped, but it could have been worse.
Despite playing on the counter for much of the game, Leicester had the better chances with first-half goal scorer Leonardo Ulloa almost adding to the London side's blushes in the second half but shooting wide with the goal at his mercy. Indeed, the equaliser itself came from a poor decision from Wenger.
When Koscielny clashed heads with Jeff Schlupp, he needed lengthy treatment before coming back on. The change should have been made there and then because the centre-half was dazed, confused when he returned to the pitch and unable to jump properly to prevent the Argentine from equalising. It was only then that Wenger pulled him out for Calum Chambers.
To put the blame on just Arsenal's strikers is wrong as the Gunners collectively struggled. In midfield, Aaron Ramsey was wasteful, Ozil created little, and although Sanchez was willing and full of energy, there was just no spark to the Gunners game.
The sight of Ozil and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain going down with injuries late in the day won't reassure anyone either, but there's still time for Wenger to lift the mood. Signings should never be made to make fans feel better but to improve the team. Today's performance and result was evidence that Arsenal need to do just that.