You know that feeling when you've gone for a really good meal, but leave still feeling a bit hungry? That's the overwhelming feeling I've got from watching Arsenal so far this season. Don't get me wrong, it's not been a bad start...not exactly awe-inspiring, but still decent enough and with shining beacons of promise (and don't we just love the words 'promise' and 'potential' at Arsenal!)
Now, with the words promise and potential must inevitably follow only one name: Theo Walcott. It's not been the best start to the season for our Theo; if he's not moaning about being paid only £80k a week he's rumoured to be off to Liverpool or, my personal highlight, setting himself up to be the next Thierry Henry. Now, before we start laughing uncontrollably/shouting obscenities here, let's think about what it is about young Mr Walcott that gets us particularly frustrated. It's not that he's a bad player - I mean we've got much worse - but there's something about Theo that really riles us, but what?
I think it's because he's the perfect example of a talent that Arsenal loves to 'grow' and 'nurture' - and if there was a trophy for that we'd win hands down - but has never quite blossomed into the beautiful flower it could be. If we're honest sweet little Theo, who captured the nation's hearts when he made his first appearance for England aged 17, has failed to really live up to the 'potential' in his performances for either England or Arsenal. He likes to keep us on our toes though! We see passing flashes of brilliance that arouse our excitement, but then repeatedly leave us flaccid with disappointment when they prove to be little more than a fleeting fancy.
While he's no Usain Bolt, the boy can run and has moments of greatness on the pitch, but not often enough to be a real game-changer or in any way comparable to the legend that is Thierry Henry. Technically he's just not there and there's no consistency (which is odd because we love consistency at Arsenal.) In many respects we've got consistency down to a fine art form, "finishing in the top four over the past 16 seasons," blah blah blah, but consistency just isn't going to cut it anymore. What we really need now is a finisher. Someone who doesn't just have 'great potential' but who can actually deliver: turn a game around and inspire confidence in the fans.
Come forth our new man for the job: Olivier Giroud. He hasn't quite made the groundbreaking start we all had hoped for, has he? He showed great, here's that word again, 'potential' in Wednesday's Champions League win against Olympiakos and has made some good assists, but his difficulty in finding the net is starting to get tiresome.
You've got to feel a bit sorry for Giroud though, or at least I do! His arrival was always going to be high-pressured; touted as the man to fill the gaping hole left by he who shan't be named and is now off scoring what feels like a million and one goals for some minor team up North but, I digress. The last thing we need is for Giroud's confidence to dip and for him to become little more than a benchwarmer (we had enough of that with Chamakh, thank you very much!)
I'm not giving up on Giroud, well not yet anyway, but I'm not convinced he's enough to ensure a top 4 finish this season. I mean, even Spurs has managed to pull some absolute flukes out the bag recently and this has to be stopped right now as there's only so much smugness in North London I can take!
Although it's only October, all eyes are already on the January transfer window and we're hoping Arsenal sign that finisher we so desperately need and I bloody hope they do as I for one would like to come away from this season feeling satisfied!