Wow, the reaction to the Carling Cup defeat has been absolutely crazy. It’s been worse than the reaction after the Chelsea game. If anything, it should have been the other way round… what’s worse… losing at home with your full team or losing away with your reserve team? Seeing the team line ups yesterday, I didn’t really expect us to beat Man City – but understand that we use this competition as a way of nurturing the younger members of the team, so understood completely why Arsene chose the line up that he did.
The only question marks I had were the inclusion of Alex Song, who has been pivotal to our season, and also not sure why he was picked in defence. With the Cameroonian going away on African Nations duty and Arsene recently saying he needed a rest, it does strike me as very strange to see him start yesterday. Rumours are that Senderos got a knock in training earlier that day (i.e. before the squad was announced), but with Arsene not commenting on it and no signs or mention of the Swiss International, there is a flurry of activity suggesting that Arsene and Senderos have completed fallen out and that the gaffer has frozen him out of the team.
Silvestre and Song – as you may have seen – were quite poor in defence – Song looked out of position – yes, I know he plays there for Cameroon, but he wasn’t he best there and often found himself in more advanced positions – Silvestre on the other hand really struggled and it’s worrying to think that if Gallas or Vermaelen got injured we’d have to have Silvestre in there. It’s very worrying. If Arsene is going to open his cheque book, then as well as a striker, a defensive midfielder as back up for Song / Denilson and a centre back as back up for Gallas / Vermaelen.
The goals that we conceded were pretty much calamities in defence. Having said that, going forward, we weren’t exactly dynamite. With Van Persie and Niklas Bendtner out, it will be a testing time for us going forward. Eduardo’s best performances have been on the left of the front three and I’m not sure whether he is cut out to be the lone striker in the formation we play. The same goes for Carlos Vela and Theo Walcott. All three players I think could play well in a 4-4-2 with a strike partner – Eduardo and Bendtner seemed to work a couple of years back and Eduardo and Adebayor seemed to be effective before the Crozilian got injured.
Arsene has mentioned that he will be active in the January transfer window and you’d expect a striker to be brought in as a priority – of course, such a statement will spark a lot of rumour and it already has – with Dzeko being very heavily linked once more. He is the type of striker that would fit perfectly into our formation – but can we afford his price tag of £15 million?
Let’s listen to Arsene’s views post Man City: