As the season draws nearer, the games are coming thick and fast – as I said yesterday, I will be back with a review of the game of SC Columbia soon, but I’ve yet to watch the game…! Actually, the games aren’t coming that thick and fast… we have to wait until Monday until the next game against our old pre-season enemy, the very hard to pronounce, Szombathelyi Haladas.
So, let’s take a look around the wonderful world of Arsenal, and Arsene has given us some info on Nasri’s injury… here is what he had to say:
“Unfortunately he fractured his fibula and he will be out for six weeks,” the manager said. “It was the bad news of the day.
“He accidentally nicked the ball away from somebody having a shot on goal. Unfortunately he got kicked and broke his fibula. It’s not a complicated one, it’s a simple one but it will take six weeks to heal.
“But the options are Tomas Rosicky who is back. And in [those] two months Eduardo will be back as well. We do have offensive options but we don’t want to lose important players before the season starts.”
And yes, that someone was “Diaby”. My first reaction to this injury was that it would affect us because we’re short in numbers. My initial thoughts (apart from Ahhh Diaby) were oh my gosh, who will we play… well, the addition of Arshavin and return of Rosicky has actually made the wing position relatively competitive…
On the wings, we have four players who can effectively be deployed on the wings – Nasri, Rosicky, Arshavin and Walcott. Last season, we had only Nasri, with Arshavin not recruited, Rosicky out for the season and Walcott also out of large periods of time. Add to that quartet the likes of Traore and Eboue and it kind of feels like we’re covered in the wing department, even though we’ve suffered a major injury – throw in Vela as well and even young Jack Wilshere and we’ve got 8 players to play in two positions.
In reality, last season is totally different to this season with the return of Rosicky and the signing of Arshavin, so if Arsene doesn’t sign a winger, I won’t panic. However, there are two positions that of course do need to be filled:
2) Defensive midfielder
And that defensive midfielder is not Philippe Senderos! Arsene doesn’t seem to think so either, despite playing him in that position yesterday.
“He has offers and it is open. He has come back here with us still looking for solutions but he is still yet to decide on his future.”
I’m sure Arsene would want Big Phil to take up one of the offers, believed to be from Aston Villa and Sunderland, for approximately £6m. It’s clear that we don’t really want him and we’ve signed a replacement for a first choice defender demoting him to sixth in the pecking order, time to go, surely…
And then there is the striker position, we’re left with the likes of Robin Van Persie and one of Niklas Bendter, Carlos Vela, Eduardo and maybe Andrei Arshavin as the support striker. Now of course, Ade wasn’t the best player in the world, but Carlos Vela and Niklas Bendtner may not strike too much fear into many defences. Of course, Eduardo and Arshavin are potentially world class talents, but I don’t see Arshavin as a striker, despite his preference to play their, he’s too small… surely? I think he’s pretty damn good on the wing and yes, he is good in a 4-4-3, but as one of the strikers in a 4-4-2, I have my reservations.
Arshavin does talk the talk, here’s an excerpt of an interview with SKY…
“Next season will be like my first real season. This has been like the preamble, a demo version before the start of the real game. Everything will start for real next season. We’ll have to see how that unfolds. My main concern will be making sure I keep my place in the team. I want to enjoy a good pre-season with the team. I have already adapted. I am very happy. The fans love me, which is important for me. We all believe that there will be trophies, and that the new season will be full of joy for the players and the fans. But we have to finish speaking about how young we are. We need to play like we are a big and strong team.”
And that’s right, the worry is that we’ve lost some serious experience up front without Ade. I don’t regret the decision to sell (not that it was my decision to sell), but I always thought that if we did sell, we’d buy a replacement. I wasn’t the greatest fan of Adebayor, but at the end of the day, I think I preferred him to Niklas Bendtner up front. With the Togan gone, we may see more of Niklas, and he was our first choice striker going into next season, should I be worried? Well, I think so. Eduardo is back too, but is he 100% fit and raring to go, is he at the level where he was before he got injured?
Personally, from a numbers point of view, I’d like a new striker. I think if we were to spend a decent amount we could get one, maybe a £10m striker (that’s what got us Henry all those years ago) or even an unknown from France (cite Nik Anelka) who can make an instant impact… of course, Chamakh is one of those players, and despite some people not really wanting him, I think he’d make a good addition. He adds to the group, has a decent height, good touch and pace…
Sp*rs, Everton, Sunderland, Blackburn, Fiorentina, Roma, Hamburg, PSV are all clubs which have been linked with the striker, and surely that says something positive about the player – or maybe they’ve all gone for him based on Arsene’s comments – I wouldn’t put it past Sp*rs at all!
Laurent Blanc, the current Bordeaux manager doesn’t think a small club will suit him and you kind of feel that Blanc knows he will suit a club like Arsenal. The former Man United player saying:
“I can understand Marouane wanting to leave, even him wanting to go at any cost, but he must go to a club which merits him. “If this is not the case I might refuse his departure. If it does not work out he can stay at Bordeaux, it would not be a jail sentence to stay for another year after which he could have the promise of going elsewhere.”
Very interesting stuff. I think I’ll call it a day for today, I seem to have rambled on for a while…