So far this season I've been pleasantly surprised by Arsenal. I thought when we sold Van Persie and Song that we were destined for Liverpool FC standards of failure this season. However, I've been impressed by the defence and the new ways of playing and defending brought in by Steve Bould, as well as Santi Cazorla, Gervinho and the midfield in general.
The problem is, like Jamie Redknapp rightly said after the Man City game, we haven't got that striker anymore who can grab a game by the scruff of the neck and rescue a result for us signle handledly. We haven't got the top class striker that's necessary to win major trophies like the Premier League.
Olivier Giroud will probably improve, but he isn't top class and certinaly isn't in the Van Persie league of striker whether you like it or not. Lukas Podolski's good, but not top class. Gervinho's good, but not top class. Therefore we need a top notch striker or the equivalent*. Man Utd have got Van Persie and Rooney, Chelsea have got Torres, Man City have got Tevez, Aguero and Dzeko. We need a player in that league.
I know it's easier said than done, we can't just go out and buy Lionel Messi for £20 million. But there are quality players that I think we can realistically go for. Lewnadowski at Borussia Dortmund, Llorente at Ahletic Bilbao (who aren't in the Champions League), Jelavic at Everton (who aren't in the Champions League) and there will be others.
*We don't necessarily need a world beater- that's the ideal scenario but it may not be possible. If it isn't then we still need to buy genuine, ready- made, proven quality like Jelavic and go from there. Hell, why not even two if the finances allow it?
We could even change formation, which I've been begging for us to do for months now. Get two up front and really worry opposition defenders with genuine goalscoring ability, strength, pace and movement. Imagine Jalevic up front with someone like Walcott or Podolski or Gervinho. Cazorla and Chamberlain out wide with Arteta and Wilshere in the middle. There's a side capable of challenging for the title.
But at the moment we are NOT capable. I hope I'm proved wrong but we simply ain't good enough up top. We have an excellent array of midfield talent (although not enough defensive strength or experience in my opinion) and, irrespective of what happened on Saturday, a very good defence and assistant manager to help improve our defending.
So for once with the Arsenal, the concern is mainly up front and not at the back. January has to be the time when we show serious ambition and buy at least one prolific goal scorer/ top class striker. Otherwise I can't see us finishing any higher than 4th. And Everton and Tottenham are threatening that even.