It’s Thursday. There was no game yesterday and there is no game this Saturday. I feel a little lost, it’s like pre-season all over again… and so, erm, how are you today? Okay, what to write about, Arsenal stuff… hmmm….
I’ve been watching a lot of X factor recently (well 3 weekends worth) and it’s fascinating! I know it’s been going on for ages, but it’s the first time it’s caught my eye and I really think it’s a two horse race between Lucie Jones and Danyl Johnson… both are amazing singers. Lucie seems like she loves to sing and boy can she sing and Danyl seems to love to sing and put on a show…
I’m off to Oxford this weekend for a Spa weekend, which should be awesome, really looking forward to doing something relaxing, massages et al… you guys up to anything interesting?
So, having waffled a little, it’s time to look at the forgotten men, starting with Theo Walcott…
The golden boy (well, our only England Internatonal), Theo has finally returned to action against Blackburn this weekend, and that’s brilliant news for us. Since Rosicky has returned, the front three of Rosicky, Arshavin and Van Persie have looked deadly with Cesc just behind them. With Theo returning, the big question is how he’ll fit into this team? I’d prefer to move Rosicky further back – well to replace Diaby and then have Theo on the right…
Walcott – Cesc – Rosicky – Arshavin
It would make sense long term to do this, but that would probably mean we have no game changers on the bench, well, that’s a lie, Carlos Vela and Eduardo are definitely game changers. But I wonder whether it will upset our defensive stability. Of course, after the International break, Arsene has also revealed that Samir Nasri should be back and that poses another dilemma.
Samir could easily fit along side Song / Cesc in the midfield three but where would that leave Walcott / Rosicky? It’s a nice problem to have…. If everyone is fit and we play the same first XI as we did against Blackburn (except Almunia in goal), we would go into games with a bench of Fabianski, Eboue, Denilson, Nasri, Walcott, Vela and Eduardo – that is a seriously strong bench… I’d rather have these options that no options obviously…
Denilson is my preference between him and Diaby. Yes Diaby is probably more technically skilled but Denilson is just more apt at ball retention and thinks quicker. I personally think Denilson has come a long way in the last twelve months. I really like him. And Djourou of course is the other forgotten man – he accelerated Kolo Toure’s departure with some really stellar performances last year and it was such as shame he got injured. But with Gallas and Vermaelen playing so well, he’d have had to make do with a bit part role. He’ll come back stronger and I have a good feeling that he’ll end up taking over from Gallas in the future.
Armand Traore is a player that I thought I’d see more of, but with Arshavin in good form, Clichy our resident left back and Gibbs and Silvestre more able back-ups, I have some question marks on how he will get into the team. He’s a capable left back and also a capable winger. I’d rather have him in the team, than not, but definitely think the 4-3-3 doesn’t bode well for him now. Arsene has been speaking to Traore and it’s obvious he thinks he not quite ready.
“I’ve talked with the boss. He says I need to work hard and be patient and that’s what I’m going to do. I played a good amount of first-team games at Portsmouth. I think I’ve learnt a lot and have improved. But I will need to work on my positioning defensively because there’s a lot of stuff I can improve on. I need to start using my right foot if the boss wants me to play left-midfield. [I will have to] learn how to go inside and dribble with my right foot.”
And finally the goalkeeping department… who would be your first, second and third? Almunia, Fabianski and Mannone?
Okie dokie, let’s talk!