I’ve sectioned today’s blog into headlines – yep, I do that now and again, when pretty much all the topics aren’t connected and I have a lot to review. I’ll start the article with a quick review of Maroune Chamakh and how to accommodate him into the team. Looking at his game time last season, he was deployed as a lone striker with 5 midfielders behind him – 2 defensive and help from the full backs. Remind you of something? Pretty much the same formula as down at the Emirates. He had Gourcuff behind him – we have Cesc behind our main striker.
The good thing is that Chamakh knows the system well – the bad thing, I suppose is that he’s rival our first choice Van Persie and his stand in from last year Niklas Bendtner for one position. Is it wise to move Van Persie to a wing position? Will Chamakh play “out of position” on the right? Will be revert to 4-4-2?
Possible Choices (presuming we know our back four):
Nasri – Song – Cesc – Arshavin
Van Persie – Chamakh
This looks like a winning formula, reminiscent of the days we had Bergkamp and Henry. But it means a few things – Cesc goes deeper – a role that he’s already said takes a lot out of him – if we lose the 20+ goals a season, then can we gain this from Chamakh?
Nasri – Song
Arshavin – Cesc – Van Persie
This formation moves Arshavin to the right, Van Persie to the left and Chamakh up top and maybe it’s a bit more true the essence of a 4-3-3. Is it too attacking for us to adopt? Is Nasri effective deeper? Can Van Persie be effective from the left? Can Arshavin be effective from the right?
I’m not actually giving you answers here, but instead posing you more questions…
More On Diaby
Yesterday I mentioned that Jack Wilshere could come in and do a job instead of Diaby / Denilson next to the two immovable objects – Cesc and Song. First time commentor, Zaheer Shah spoke out about his views:
No offense but it seems to me that your the type to only give credit to those who show up in the spotlight, what i am referring to is your incredibly harsh statement on Diaby, not good enough? Did you see how he played in the middle of the season? He was incredible, he compliments our midfield so much in the sense that he combines the attributes of Song and Fabregas, he works hard and the stats show he covers a lot of ground. He is one of our best counter attackers, he has his faults but he has worked really hard over the summer and this season has been his best due to it, he will continue to improve next season and I would start him over Denilson most weeks.
Now, I don’t know if we’re talking about the same Diaby – but the Diaby I saw last season was a) very inconsistent b) gave away possession more than any other player c) constantly made the wrong decisions and d) statistically covered less ground than Denilson, Song or Cesc.
Diaby had a very bad world cup, with the exception of one excellent run – his final ball is just too inaccurate. Of course, he has potential, and of course, he has moments of brilliance, but where is the consistency? His performances last year started better but finished worse than the season before and when you look at our team for improvements, it’s impossible for me to believe that you think he is world class and is the best we can do next to Song and Cesc. Nasri for me is better choice, but bringing in a Melo or a similar player would be the missing part of the jigsaw. I don’t think we need two full time defensive midfielders and that’s why Nasri, Ramsey and Wilshere in my eyes – being more dynamic and more consistent – are better choices in midfield than Diaby.
Let’s hope you’re right and he continues to improves and proves us wrong next season… although I am now wondering if I made that statement last season….
There were rumours yesterday that Arsene is still hopeful of Gallas agreeing his new contract and staying at the club… Now how would you feel about that? I am not a fan of William Gallas – he’s too egotistical and too outspoken for my liking. I’m personally glad to see the back of him. Yes, he is a quality footballer but he has too much baggage and doesn’t inspire anyone – remember Nasri saying that no-one actually like Gallas. Let’s hope they stay as rumours and we spend the majority of his wage packet on a new defender!
We Don’t Need Joe Cole!
Personally I don’t think we need Joe Cole – one thing Arsenal have is an abundance of attacking midfielders – look at the two formations above, we haven’t included the likes of Theo Walcott, Thomas Rosicky, Denilson, Diaby, Wilshere or Ramsey – how on earth would Joe Cole get into our team? Now if Chelsea release Alex on a free, that would be a different story!
And Cesc in a Barcelona shirt? Ouch.
Yes, you’ve seen it for real… moments after winning the World Cup, the team, whilst celebrating, donned Cesc in a Barcelona shirt. Looking at Cesc’s face – he does look a little embarrassed, but nevertheless, it happened. For me, I’d put it down to the two “forceful” members of the squad, Puyol and Pique, whom you can see in front and behind him. Puyol looks to have put it on him and Pique’s arm is still pulling it down – with Cesc pushing it up with one arm. Those two (Pique and Puyol) are really nasty pieces of work. It shows a massive disrespect to Arsenal.
Obviously, this would have happened on Sunday night, and it was apt that Cesc did say this yesterday:
“I am an Arsenal player and I am really proud to be able to give this trophy to all the fans. It is for all of them – they deserve it and they have a world famous club. All I can say now is that this is for the Arsenal players, for the Arsenal fans, for the manager and for all of the staff. I have had lots of texts and Blackberry messages. My phone is full. I had a text from Arsene Wenger. He said congratulations, you deserve it. I replied thanks you very much and said this is for all the Arsenal club, manager and players who have helped me be where I am today. I am, really proud. I will never take this medal off, I have two now!”
Whether that was said in worry that the picture would get out or that he really meant it – am I being cynical that I can actually believe the first? I think maybe. But the fact that a) he came out with that statement yesterday is shows a good respect to Arsenal b) the fact he looks embarrassed shows a good respect to Arsenal c) the fact he’s trying to get it off shows a good respect to Arsenal.
Quick update (thanks to @IrishGooner)… This “prank” / photo was taken yesterday in Madrid NOT on Sunday. It means the statement for the love of Arsenal was genuinely before. Changes the overview of what happened and what he said in relation to the picture!
His sister said on Twitter yesterday:
Eieii!!! C’mon! It was JUST A JOKE from his friends and he didnt know what they were doing! Not all in this live is an offens!
And couple that little statement may soften the blow – but the debate on whether or not Cesc is staying or going won’t be closed until September 1st – that is for sure.
Finally, congratulations to Niklas Bendtner who announced that his wife to be is pregnant – maybe he has recovered from that groin injury.