The fear we’ve all had has now become a reality. This season we’ve had a selection of defenders available to us, but with Djourou’s long term injury and Senderos’ departure, we’ve been left very thin on the ground. So thin, that we’ve had to bring in Sol Campbell back from semi-retirement but now more than ever, it’s apparent that we have a major defensive crisis. News broke today that Thomas Vermaelen has broken his leg and is out for the season.
Which leaves us with only three centre backs: William Gallas (32), Mikael Silvestre (32) and Sol Campbell (35). It’s a major problem for us and I feel that without Thomas Vermaelen at the back, we don’t have the strength in depth in that area to push Chelsea and United to the wire and push for the title.
I implore Arsene to delve into the transfer market whilst we still have a few more days and bring someone in. If Silvestre / Campbell partner Gallas until the end of the season, it will only result in one thing, the massive conceding of goals galore. We need to so something about it. It’s a fear that we’ve all had, all season and something that we knew we had a serious lack of cover in.
Campbell has been all about the fighting talk and good, as it’s the only thing we want to hear right now.
“I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t ready to play on Sunday. We are capable of winning every game and winning the title so that is what we are focused on. I have been training for a long time so if it comes to it, I will have to be ready,” said Campbell. “It’s a massive game and a great game to be involved in. United and Chelsea will drop points – it will come down to who gets an unbeaten run going. We have got to grind results out now. We have got to get a good result against United.
The game itself was a decent game of football – we played well, and hit the woodwork twice – unfortunately for us, we couldn’t get the goal that we needed to get the points – down the other end, a few chances for Villa as well made it probably a fair result.
In terms of player, we saw the return of Bendtner and Nasri and the former didn’t do that well at all – please give the boy some time – he is no Pele or Thierry – and he’s been out injured like forever – so it’s unfortunate that he’s been thrown in at the deep end and had to play (due to Eduardo’s injury, poor guy gets injured so often) – so he hasn’t had the necessary game time to be at his best. It will come.
And thinking of Eduardo – the time in between injuries is starting to reduce now, which is excellent news and hopefully by next season, he’ll be back to full fitness – again, we can’t expect anything more from him right now.
Arsene has spoken about the injuries, but people in the know are talking about Vermaelen being out for the rest of the season…
“Thomas Vermaelen we don’t know. There will be an x-ray. He is on crutches and it is a fibula injury. We have to check tomorrow morning if it is just a nerve or a broken bone. Eduardo has a hamstring strain, a small one. But, for Sunday [Manchester United at home], he will be out.”
Taking Gallas, Silvestre and Campbell into the remaining fixtures in the league as well as the Champions League is worrying, just imagine if Gallas gets injured? We’ll be doomed.
Arsene summed up the game saying:
“I believe we dropped two points because we had clear chances but on the other hand it was a difficult game. They stopped us from playing when we had the ball and they played a long-ball game and closed us down, so it was difficult. We didn’t always find our passing game. We know when we come here what we get and we were not disappointed. [The result] keeps our unbeaten run going. If you put all the games together I believe it maintains the positive vibes. Overall, you have to win any game at the moment. Compared to Chelsea who won today, we dropped two points.”
His comments did upset Martin O’Neill as Arsene commented on the long game, but he did go onto say lots of positive things about Villa, which O’Neill seemed to have forgotten. I hope they go on to do well – they still have to play all our rivals!
For those of you interested in one of our most word-class player’s comments, check this quote out from Andrei Arshavin on arshavin.eu:
In that game well-rested Cesc broke into the game and decided its outcome…. I recall that game: in the first half we played without the ball, so very little came out. Although, at the very end of the first half of the game, we had an opportunity but we didn’t manage to handle the ball right. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a chance to score in the first half after that moment. I think that in the second half we got used to the rival, to the game, to the pitch. At times, we conducted decent combinations, but were unable to complete them with the accurate strikes. Perhaps, we were in a hurry, or just made wrong decisions in the final stages of the attacks. Actually, we needed only one goal for the victory.
And in relation to the team’s distance from Chelsea growing to 2 points (with Chelsea having a game in hand), he said “let’s wait until Feb 10″…
Okay, this article has been a bit of a deflated one after the draw and the injury to Vermaelen, but let’s hope for the following:
- Vermaelen injury is revealed to be short term and all sources are incorrect
- Eduardo’s injury is also short term
- Bendtner has more training and gets better
- We beat United on Sunday
- We beat Chelsea the following week
- We see off Liverpool at home and are then restored to the top of the league (wohoo!)
Let’s see what we’re really made of! The next three games can really make or break our season!