Okay, I'll say it. He looks odd with a beard.
We all saw it. We talk about it in the upcoming podcast (SPOILER ALERT: Not happily!). I have no need to recap it. It was ugly. This is a known fact. There have been many Arsenal losses in my time as an Arsenal fan that I could just shrug off, say "eh, they had a bad day", and think that the next game would bring a turnaround, and that Arsenal would play like Arsenal again. This one, though, felt different.
Those of you who know me - or even those of you who only internet-know me - know that there are two things about sports that I hate. One is the whole "WE HAVE TO SPEND MONEY TO WIN" canard (you don't! You really don't! Just ask the Tampa Bay Rays!), and the other is rosterbation. I absolutely loathe the whole "let's get X player and do this with him" discussion that is rampant in American sports, because almost none of the floated trades/roster construction conversations ever has any basis in reality, and it's supremely uninteresting to me. I realize that makes me a minority in the sports-fan world, but there we are.
And yet, and yet. It's the Tuesday after a really ugly loss - a loss in which Arsenal looked out of their depth. I don't mean to sound snobbish, and this is to take nothing away from Swansea City who are unbelievably tough at home, but Arsenal should not be looking out of their depth against Swansea City. Like most coaches/managers, I can accept losing if a team plays as hard as they can - sometimes, things just don't go your way. But I can't accept games like this weekend's, when Arsenal never looked even close to being competitive, especially in midfield.
The question, then, is what is to be done?
I have long been of the school of thought that we should trust Arsenal and the board and the coaching staff, and trust that they are developing players that are going to be good enough to keep Arsenal at the highest level of the Premiership. I understand that a lot of Arsenal players are hurt or on international duty right now, but the players that were on the pitch this weekend are clearly not getting the job done. As players come back from injury, that will help, but I think I'm finally at the point where I believe money needs to be spent, and players need to be brought in.
This, though, is the problem with January. Who do you bring in? Teams - even struggling teams - aren't going to sell their best players in the middle of the season, because they need both the gate revenue their star players attract and the playing quality those players bring to the game. So do you look overseas? Maybe, but how long does it take a player who is not used to the Premier League to get used to it?
As with all good questions, then, there is no easy answer. So I will open up my original question to you. What should Arsenal do, given that the recent dip (okay, the most recent dip) in Arsenal's form is coinciding with the transfer window?
How would you address Arsenal's current decline in form?
Open up Silent Stan's checkbook and buy some new players (38 votes)
Go the LANS route, wait for the injured/away to return (21 votes)
Have faith in the current squad - they'll come good (4 votes)
Go a different route (please explain!) (4 votes)
67 total votes