Tomorrow we take on Fulham on a day that can see us go fourth (if we’re not careful) but more likely a game that will see us finish third, which considering the events of recent times is quite an admirable feat. First time commenter Walter spoke about the perspective that we should have when looking on the season and despite our recent run of defeats, a run which has seen us without many key players, should not take away such a great effort of a season that we’ve had. We sold our two most sell-able assets in Adebayor and Toure for a combined £41m and have still managed to finish with a higher total (well, providing we beat Fulham) than last season.
Before I take a look at the rest of the world of Arsenal, I will take a look at the injury situation and the available players for tomorrow’s game. In the injured department we have Almunia (supposedly), Gallas, Vermaelen, Song, Denilson, Ramsey, Cesc, Rosicky and Bendtner. Yes, I know that pretty much a whole team, but we have got Clichy, Gibbs, Djourou and Arshavin back for the final game of the season.
With the injury list above, Arsene really doesn’t have a choice with the team and it will most likely pan out like this:
Sagna – Campbell – Silvestre – Clichy
Diaby – Eboue
Walcott – Nasri – Arshavin
With a bench of Mannone, Djourou, Gibbs, Eastmond, Merida, Vela, Eduardo
It’s funny, because you look at the players out injured and at least four or five of them would walk straight into the team, they’re the spine of our team and regardless of what has happened this season, the experience that these players have gained plus the return of the injured players creates a great squad ready for battle. Arsene has to cleanse the team a little and bring in reinforcements in key areas. And he is starting that process by the arrival of a new striker in Maroune Chamakh. Arsene all but confirmed the signing and we believe it will happen on the 16th May…
“It is not officially done, but we are confident on the boy. When all is clear we will come out and announce it.”
Arsene has been tracking Chamakh since last summer and by waiting the extra year, he has saved the club a £12m transfer fee. Yes, if we had him last year, it may have affected our title bid, but in all honesty, it wasn’t the signings or lack of signings last summer that made the season what it was, it was the severe injuries to key players. And Arsene knows that we’re injury prone, as a club and bringing in another striker, whilst keeping the current four (RvP, Nikki B, Eduardo and Vela), shows a new found impoteous to strengthen in every area.
Bacary Sagna, who has previously against him in the French league was very complimentary of the striker and quite excited:
“I know him. I played against him. He is top class. He is very good in the air and he scores a lot of goals from crosses. He keeps the ball very well and it will only benefit us to have a player like him in the team.”
With Chamakh on board, and the improvement we’ve seen in Bendtner… a fully fit Van Persie plus a whole heartedly recovered Eduardo are four players who represent quality in attack. Vela is a player whom we’ve yet to see the best of. He is young, he’s had an injury plagued season, and I’m confident we’ll see an amazing player at the world cup, which will prove to us that he has the quality to make it. There are many players, websites and other new sources that will say how bad we are, how bad our players are etc, etc, but I’ll tell you now, no team could play well with the injuries we’ve had, and it’s also impossible to have two top class players in every position. But they will be better next season for sure, and it’s not time to stop believing.
In the recent days, having many a conversation with Sp*rs fans, what it clear is that over the last few years, what we have achieved is incredible. Moving into a 60,000 seater stadium – in the centre of London (with London prices), and maintaining a top four finish every season during this period, whilst also mounting a title challenge. It’s incredible to think we’ve done this on our budget with our hands tied, and having halved our debt and saved some cash, we’re ready to raise it up a level.
Tomorrow, I’d love to see the team put on a show. It will be a cold day out but it’s the last time this season that we’ll see our beloved team in action. Come on you Gooners!