Let’s take stock…

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. It’s that time in the season where we have loads of time before out next game, and it’s time to take stock of our season, figure out where we are, what we’ve done and where we go.

Let’s start by a look at the league table:

So, we’re three points off the top of the table and in all honesty, that is something to be proud of. Without some major players this season, it’s been a harder than expected struggle this season, with the team having to chop and change a lot with injuries to a lot of the team – players like Nasri and Rosicky were unable to start the season – Eduardo has had a plethora of niggling injuries – Denilson has had time on the sidelines – Cesc has missed a few games earlier on this season and again now – Walcott hasn’t really featured at all this season – Van Persie, of course, is out for the season – our first choice backup centre back Djourou has also missed this season – let’s not forget the injuries to both Clichy and his understudy Gibbs – then of course, we’ve had Niklas Bendtner out for ages – absolutely ages – and then Song and Eboue have been shipped off to the African Cup of Nations – now that is a seriously long and crazy list.

Based on that, you can kind of half understand why we’ve dropped the points we have – it’s not unreasonable to see that these drop points could happen – but the good thing is that we’re only 3 points off the top. The top three could be starting to breakaway from the rest – and had Man City not won yesterday, the daylight would have been clearer. Mancini’s appointment over at Citeh does look like a good one, they’ve found some immediate consistency since he took over, but then again, they’re in the middle of some relatively easy fixtures.

At the moment, perrenial top four contenders, Liverpool lie in seventh, a whopping nine points behind us and 12 from the top. It’s not prudent to discount them of course, but with the league so competitive and City, Sp*rs and Villa’s squads looking much better than Liverpool’s, it is going to be some battle for fourth.

The good news for us is that we have Cesc Fabregas back in training and that’s definitely a bonus. We’ve seen the influence our captain has on the team and to have him available when we play Bolton on the weekend is a big boost – news is that Denilson will also be back in the frame for the weekend as well as Gallas. So, slowly but surely we’re gaining some of injured players back. Next in line are both Clichy and Bendtner, whom should be back the game after next. The problem is that you always think we’re susceptible to more injuries. In all honesty, I cannot remember the last time we were injury free.

Talking about Bendtner, remember these…

Ah, the good old reminders of what we’ve been missing. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not expecting much from the Danish International – but he will give us something – strength in depth and a different option. He will take some time to get back to full fitness and of course may go through the half fitness stage where things don’t go right (remember Diaby at the beginning of the season?)…

Anyway, the point that I’m trying to make is that we are still in with a great shout, so let’s be positive and look forward to an awesome second half to the season!

Til tomorrow…

  • http://twitter.com/fabrez_ Fabrez

    B52…look fwd to having him back. Every single player with some form us experience is very important at this point. Past the half way point of the season with a nasty looking fixture list ahead. I’m sure B52 will take time 2 get back into it but let’s hope in the next 2 weeks we have him, Clichy, Theo and Cesc back and raring to go! I would take this position in the table when I knew RvP was out. Definitely. Now it’s time to build and grow in belief and confidence. We’ve been here before in the 07/08 season. We know what it’s like to be up there approaching the business end of the season so let’s put things right this time!

  • devday

    That’s the spirit Fabrez! B52, Clich, Theo and Cesc all back is like 1/2 a team!

  • http://twitter.com/fabrez_ Fabrez

    Indeed! Such quality! And I’m really hoping Rosicky keeps fit from now on. He is really good…a real football architect and I think he’s yet to be at his best at Arsenal…said so himself. And of course his experience of being a winner b4 he came to Arsenal will prove crucial for us!

  • goonerman

    just from watching that video on bendtner you can see the skill,pace and strength he has! i dont know why so many people dont rate him becuase he has not done bad with the small oppurtunities hes had at arsenal! i keep going back to last season but he didnt start a lot of games he was used as an impact striker but he delivered around 15 goals over the season which is not bad for a kid! i think he is ready to become a top player and like you say hes gonna need time to settle and find form again! but just for his height qualities as soon as wenger thinks hes able to play he should start at the attack of that team! he seems to be gagging to play and also like you say we should have 3 or 4 top class players coming back into the team and i hope the injuries are kind to us during them HARD fixtures at the end of the month! GO GOOONERS

  • jeffvip

    i like him for sure… but IMO, he is not clinical enough and thats certainly will be costly especially in a match against big team.

  • Sam

    B52 has a great self-belief, so I’m thinking he might get back in to action/goals quicker than others.

    We are 3rd with a game in hand, so we’re potentially 2nd. None of us thought we’d be here after 20 games. The young Guns are growing up fast, and getting better each month.

    I’m pretty sure we’ll end the easson in top 2. Who knows, if Chealsea’s current troubles persist, we may just touch the top too!

  • http://thegooneryway.blogspot.com wills

    Arsenal v Bolton to be played on Wednesday 20th Jan, 19.45 KO.

  • debs

    Beat me to it, Wills :D

    I honestly can’t wait to have Nicky B back. He might not be the most clinical, but he gives us that extra dimension, and he’s good at linking up play. I remember a while back that he and Eduardo played really well together, and if they can re-establish that partnership, maybe that’ll be the spark Eduardo need to get back to his best. So it’s not necessarily Bendtner’s goals we’re missing, but his alround contribution. Really can’t wait to have him back, and I hope he scores loads of goals as well! :D

  • Nick

    B52 will be a welcome addition back with the squad. His size and strength are a most welcome addition. The only problem I have is that he gives the ball away far too often. He tries to take everyone on and then loses the ball. His preseason form and the first few games were great so lets hope he can come back and shine.

    Rosicky is one of my favorite players who I think can really influence the course of the game if he’s given time. His passing and vision are brilliant.

    Or course having Cesc back means the world.

    My only real disappointment this year has been the play of Theo and Eduardo. I think Theo’s pre-season injury and lack of starting role has hampered his play and he hasn’t been able to get into a rhythm. Eduardo is finally scoring a few goals and I think that’s all he needed. Hopefully he’ll have a game soon like Arshavin did against Liverpool last season.

    Still convinced we need to spend on a couple players. Word is Joe Cole wants out of Chelsea. Anyone think he’d fit in at the Emirates?

  • Gooner Get Ya

    I will be alot happier if we are still there-or-there abouts after are fixtures with chelsea, man u and liverpool. If we lose all of those games the league could look a lot different.

    I am also worried that AW has not yet made a signing as he himself said he needs to act early to maximise the impact due to crowded fixture list. I can’t help thinking that if we had bought one or two at the start of the window we may have got all 3 points against Everton.

  • Nick

    Gooner is right. Lets see how we look after the nightmare schedule at the end of Jan into Feb. Although we seem to have Liverpool’s #, Man U are on a run of 1 point/week, and Chelsea IMO are nothing without Drogba and Essien.

    I don’t care what anyone says, I’d love Arsene to go and get Guti or M. Diarra from Real Madrid and Klaas Jan Huntelaar from AC Milan.

  • http://twitter.com/fabrez_ Fabrez

    @Gooner Get Ya – I don’t think new signings would mean we wud have had all 3 points v Everton… I think signings would have started helping us more with the next 2 weeks where we play mid week and weekend. Everton would have been too soon had we got sum1 in b4 in my opinion. But marks my words, that’s a good point! Sides like Man U and Chelsea will find Everton hard to get 3 points from since they have been finding form and getting players back.

    @Nick – Couldn’t agree more about Rosicky. I do think we have enuff players like Joe Cole so definitely don’t need him. Rosicky, Nasri, Arshavin…all similar enuff I’d think. Don’t really like him anyway. Never forget when players bad-mouth Arsenal…leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, and he did it. Need more of a striker/certre forward.

  • goonerman

    i dont know if im just really behind but i just found out that we have re signed sol campbell! i thought this would be splashed over the news but its obviously happened on a quiet one! weird but i suppose its something lol! he can still do a job as back up hes going to be making his debut against the west ham reserves tomorrow!!

  • http://twitter.com/DebsGooner Debs

    I heard that as well, goonerman, but I’m not sure about its truth, though. Guess we’ll find out tomorrow! Lol

  • goonerman

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/sol-candbell-a-tribute-to-the-complete-defender

    this link confirms it on the arsenal website! unless its a mistake or its been released early it clearly says that he has resigned for the club

  • goonerman

    i posted a link but it has to be moderated so you cant go and see but its pretty clear it says he has signed for us

  • http://twitter.com/DebsGooner Debs

    Is it this one?

    dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1242609/Sol-Campbell-signs-Arsenal-free-transfer.html

  • goonerman

    nah its an official thing on the arsenal website! so it must be true they dont put rumours on the website! is there a way i can put the link on here without the need of moderation

    arsenal.com/news/news-archive/sol-candbell-a-tribute-to-the-complete-defender

    i tried it woithout the http//www. bit

  • JDD

    looks like campbell has signed.he is playin for the reserves tonight.

  • http://worldofarsenal Josiah

    happy with that as he is better then senderos therefore we now have slightly stronger cover.

  • Sam

    I’m quoting:

    A brief statement appeared on the club’s official website this afternoon (Tuesday), but has since been taken down. It read: “Sol Campbell is back at Arsenal.

    “The 35-year-old has re-signed for the club he graced for five years between 2001 and 2006 and will make his comeback for the Reserves at West Ham on Tuesday night.”

    Sources inside the club confirmed that a deal is likely to be finalized this evening, and blamed “technical issues” for the transfer announcement appearing prematurely on the website.

  • Leeroy.N2

    Hello All at WOA. I was just watching sky news and they were interviewing Adeybayor, did anyone notice he was wearing one of OUR team shirts? Silent statement maybe??

  • Vazy

    haha, i saw that too leeroy!

    thought it was an old interview, but then hes talking about the togo team being shot at… all the time in a white arsenal leisure shirts!

  • Vazy

    haha, there has to be a totally reasonable explanation! blatantly its togos second kit.. haha

  • Vazy

    or togo is our feeder team?

  • Vazy

    or maybe Togo as a country supports Arsenal and Ade diddnt want to rock the boat, haha im still laughing

  • vj

    great now that we have defensive cover its time to sign a striker please

  • http://worldofarsenal Josiah

    Lets hope we sign a cover.

  • http://twitter.com/fabrez_ Fabrez

    Shrewd move by Arsene. Think Campbell is good back up and excellent for the dressing room & experience wise. Free too. Not too shabby. Not sure about its reliability tho but Flamini is wanted by the “other” North London club – bit.ly/6mzeXE – and Chamakh is off to Liverpool for £12m going up to £25m… bit.ly/4qy66N U guys kno about either?

  • Vazy

    (btw i wasnt laughing at what happened to Togo or ades situation which is a horrible ordeal, just plainly the oddness of him wearing the arsenal polo)

    also (in agreement with fabrez) great news about the re-signing of Sol, good backup and on a free, so (fingers crossed) more money for a new signing! what more can we ask for?

  • Kuka

    really glad that we have Sol back. I rate him highly and for Wenger to have re-signed him says a lot…..

  • Yemi

    Did anyone see the reserves match? what was sol’s performance like?

  • Gooner Get Ya

    I am sick of Liverpool poaching our possible signings…I am not saying I wanted Chamakh but they always seem to let us do all the leg work and then swoop in and buy them…GET YOUR OWN SCOUTS YOU LAZY ********!!! Oh and why have they paid £25m for him…is he not free in summer?

    Sol Campbell will be a decent cover player as reports are that he has been training hard and he has a fresh desire to play…maybe he could use his wisdom to sort out Almunia :-)

    According to Daily Mirror we have been linked today with a midfielder called Samuel Galindo:

    1) Galindo was born on April 18, 1992 and plays for his club, Real America, as an attacking central midfielder – so he’s your typical South American No.10 then.

    2) Even though he’s still only 17, he’s already captain of the Bolivian Under-20 side and has been invited to train with the senior squad.

    3) He led underdogs Bolivia to the quarter-finals of the Under-17 South American Championship in Chile in May this year. His team beat the likes of Paraguay and Ecuador en route to the last eight, and he was named in the Team of the Tournament for his starring performances.

    4) His 6ft 3in frame makes him an imposing figure on the pitch. So much so that rumours claim that at the Under-17 South American Championship opposing managers were determined to see his birth certificate as they didn’t believe he was 17.

    5) He is set to feature in Bolivia’s forthcoming World Cup Qualifiers against Brazil and Peru in the coming weeks – so keep and eye out Latics fans.

    6) His strengths are his ability to get from box to box, his excellent passing and his composure in front of goal. And judging by this video (he’s the No.10), it won’t be long before we’re hearing that well-worn phrase, “he’s got good feet for a big man”.

    7) Like so many up and coming young stars, it’s not taken him long to be dubbed “the new…”. In his case, people are comparing him to Patrick Vieira because of his long stride and impressive range of passing.

    8) Galindo’s club Real America is likely to demand around £1million for the youngster. But he would need a special work permit as he is yet to capped by his country’s senior national team.

    9) Earlier this year, he was linked with big-spending Manchester City, as well as fallen idols, Newcastle.

    10) Italian giants Fiorentina and Russian side Spartak Mocow are also said to be interested in Galindo. In fact, Fiorentina sporting director Pantaleo Corvino has claimed he has reached an agreement with the Bolivian wonder-kid and that he will move to Serie A next summer and sign a contract until 2014.

  • hello
  • Khai

    anyone got a clue how well sol performed?

  • Gooner Get Ya

    @ Khai, all i know is we hadn’t conceded when he was on, so he must have had some impact

  • Nick

    According to a report I read last night Arsenal did sign Samuel Galindo (out from under Everton’s noses). He had been training at Everton and then spent 1 day at Arsenal and Arsene signed him. He’s a very promising talent.

    I’m not surprised that Liverpool went ahead and offered that money to Chamakh. They are in the toilet and don’t scout at all so they just monitor who other teams are “after” and then try poaching them.

  • Khai

    @ Gooner Get Ya. somehow having sol back gives us some kind of reassurance. he adds muscle to our seemingly small sized back four. hopefully he does well and maybe shut the damn dog up everytime we play chelsea.

    @Nick. i think it’s quite amusing that they paid 25 mil for a player that’s going to be free in like 6 months time?

  • Gooner Get Ya

    @ Khai & Nick, Benitez has been expressing the fact he may lose Torres and Gerrard due the lack of Champions League action/money next season and then spends £25m on a player that is coming up for free!! I think the actual price they paid is only £12m but could rise to £25 (I assume there is a clause in the contract). Could this mean they are seriously considering letting Torres go?

  • Yemi

    It could cost them as much as a £12million signing on fee, and a contract in the region of £60,000 a week, which would amount to a massive outlay approaching £25million over the course of a five year deal.

  • Yemi

    This is the deal liverpool has with chamakh.
    I think they can’t reject a massive offer for torres. I just hope it is not man u making that offer !!!
    It could cost them as much as a £12million signing on fee, and a contract in the region of £60,000 a week, which would amount to a massive outlay approaching £25million over the course of a five year deal.

  • Gooner Get Ya

    Cheers Yemi, didn’t realise they have included 5 years wages in that amount??? so they have only spent £12m…what did we offer £7m…obviously AW didn’t rate this guy as much as Liverpool.

  • Nick

    I can’t really see Gerard leaving Anfield. Torres I can definitely see leaving if the price is right. I don’t know if he’d stay in EPL or go to Barca or Real Madrid.

    I thought I read yesterday that Liverpool has promised 75 million to spend this summer.

    I think the deal with Chamakh is just them trying to go ahead and secure him before someone else can. Is it stupid based on the facts… Yes!

  • http://worldofarsenal Josiah

    so we’ve signed sol and gallido?

  • Vazy

    seems so at least so far

  • http://worldofarsenal Josiah

    Well that gallido sounds quality

  • jeffvip

    gallido, certainly got height and vision… good buy.

  • devday