Arsenal need to improve drastically to beat Besiktas
The league has begun with something of a splutter for Arsene Wenger's men. A win is something they will be grateful for, especially given both Liverpool and Manchester City managed something similar, but there was nothing in the performance of anyone save for Calum Chambers and Mathieu Debuchy to suggest that the optimism which is reverberating around the London team's home support is justified.
New signing Alexis, as he likes to be called, appeared unable to dribble past anyone, or run behind anyone, or indeed outpace anyone in the Crystal Palace team, who were supposed to be a team in chaos. Mustering barely 2 shots on target in the first hour of play from the whole squad Arsenal looked devoid of ideas. If Besiktas have watched this, as they surely will have done before the Gunners arrive in Istanbul, they will be anything but fearful.
Ramsey ran a lot, and turned up in the right place at the right time, which is a nice habit he's formed, but in truth there was no thrust, no penetration and nothing to inspire belief that the visit to Everton on Saturday will result in anything other than another bad away day at one of the prospective top 4 contenders. In fact, it was ex Arsenal man Marouane Chamakh who put in the performance of the day, and deserved more for his toils than a last minute defeat.
Of course, in due time the German contingent are due back, but are unlikely to be match fit for Saturday, and by then it could well be an Arsenal side on the edge of a Champions League exit who turn up to Goodison Park, needing to conserve players for the home match to come. Given Wilshere's and Cazorla's desperate passing game at the Emirates on Saturday it's almost impossible to predict who might start in Turkey.
Whoever it is, much more is required of them if Arsenal are to join the group stages again for the 17th year on the trot, and perhaps more importantly, open the door to Champions League football for a 30 goal a season new striker, which Arsenal still need if they are to be challengers on all fronts this season.
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