Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang? Happier days are just around the corner
What a difference a couple of weeks can make.
Yes we all know that if there’s a club in the country who can manage to mess up two signings when it looks like they’re over the line it’s us. But Henrikh Mkhitaryan last night stayed in a London hotel prior to his medical and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, like Mkhitaryan, has declared his admiration for Wenger teams. What players will do to get a transfer, hey?
Oh, and yesterday we demolished Crystal Palace 4-1.
There’s no coincidence that our best performance – and result – in some weeks came after Alexis Sanchez has effectively left the club.
There were rumours earlier this week that the squad had pleaded with Arsene to ensure Alexis was out the door by yesterday, and although he has not yet signed for Manchester United, Arsene made it clear before the game he would not be included - and later went as far as saying he was driving up north at the time of our game, so nowhere near any of our players to destabilise them anymore, thank you very much.
Yesterday, as Arsene himself would say, the players played with the handbrake off. Freed of any shenanigans surrounding the Chilean, they played like a team in Manchester City’s position, not ours.
OK, let’s not get carried away, it was only Crystal Palace, but I was really fearful we could have lost yesterday’s game. When you’re in the sort of form and mindset we had been in, it often doesn’t matter who the opposition is. Yes it’s a cliché but you can beat yourself. Hopefully with the Sanchez deal now (almost) over the line, the rest of the squad can move on.
Now it’s up to the management of the club to get the Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang deals done. The Armenian is a player I have admired from afar for many years. OK, he’s not exactly set the Premier League on fire at United, but he’s not the first player to be ostracised by Mourinho.
Sometimes from day one the Portuguese just doesn’t see a player in his plans - and when that happens you’ve got no chance with him. Hopefully under Arsene he’ll get back to his best Borussia form - form which was world class at times. That’s a term that is banded about far too often, but Mkhitaryan for me was quite often the best player in his position in the world when at his best in the Bundesliga.
And why we’re talking about new signings, teaming Mkhitaryan up with his old mate Aubameyang again, coupled with Mezut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette, well, that’s a front four which would have any team in the Premier League petrified.
However what was often the problem for Jurgen Klopp in his latter days at Signal Iduna Park was not the attack – Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang ripped apart most Bundesliga defences – it was the defence. And that’s what the pair could experience again at Arsenal unless Arsene, or whoever is manager in the summer, seriously addresses our flaws at the back.
If we get Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang, and then the defensive midfielder and defence issues are addressed in the summer, we’ll be a force to be reckoned with once again.
One final thing that must not be forgotten is that it appears we are going to keep Mesut Ozil. The German has often been a source of frustration at the Emirates, but nobody would doubt his quality when he is on song, and despite all the upheaval seemingly affecting much of the rest of the squad in recent weeks, Mesut ironically has produced some of his best displays for The Arsenal in that time.
A shake-up of the squad and new additions could be just what Mesut needs to enable him to flourish even more.
Happier days could be around the corner. Get your cheque book out, Arsene, and let’s get the deals done.
Fickle? Football fans? No way! Up The Arse!