Giroud, Gervinho flop, Ox out: Arsenal in Liverpool swap

10 points behind Chelsea and worrying signs for Wenger

If single games go as watershed moments, the Premier League had at least three on Saturday.

Chelsea laying Tottenham Hotspur to the sword, Manchester City coming from behind to win at West Brom, with 10 men and, believe it or not, Liverpool getting their first home win of the season to Reading.

Raheem Sterling gave the Kop and Brendan Rodgers a huge lift with a wonderful strike.

The Reds then won the old fashioned way – there was nothing tiki-taka about the performance.

In fact, it was a hard-fought ground out win. It will do.

Liverpool may have just one striker, but they have more than one player who can score.

Arsenal on the other hand, though going by Arsene Wenger’s frank “we were not good enough” admission, will not look at their loss to Norwich as such a watershed moment.

They will know that for the first time this season, the Santi Cazorla-Mikel Arteta combo was unable to paper over the fact that Olivier Giroud is no Robin Van Persie and Gervinho could be a Theo Walcott in the making – inconsistent.

Wenger said: “I felt we lacked sharpness. We missed what makes success at the top level and that’s complete focus.

 “The attitude was efficient but this performance was not at the level we want. We were below the par — very below.”

One only needs to look at the Premier League table to figure out just how below par Arsenal actually are.

After eight games Arsenal are 10 points behind leaders Chelsea and Liverpool, who spent the first five games in the bottom half of the table are now just three points behind the Gunners.

Against Norwich, Gervinho flapped his chance, Olivier Giroud flopped in front of goal and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain went off injured.

Going into the Champions League and the December footballing madness are Arsenal going to have their normal early-to-mid season crisis?

Liverpool and Arsenal look ready to swap places.

Only this time, both Arsene Wenger and Brendan Rodgers look ready to buy a striker in January.

Until then, keep the patience loaded Gunners.

 

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