Yesterday the Arsenal world was rocked with the news that Robin Van Persie has a hamstring injury and will miss today’s game. With Chamakh and Bendtner woeful in recent games and Vela and JET plying their trade elsewhere, yesterday was full of debate on who / how we should overcome his injury. My comments in yesterday’s blog comments were not meant to imply that Bendtner and Chamakh are “suddenly” useless – but instead a comment on both of them in regards to form or lack of it.
Both Chamakh and Bendtner have not really stolen any headlines in their outings – remember, they have played Leeds home & away, Ipswich, Huddersfield and Leyton Orient – games in which Premierhip strikers normally get a few goals… But with Van Persie injured, one of the aforementioned two will play… so the question is who will get the nod?
Chamakh started his Arsenal career well, and in his first 20 games, was the lone striker – he scored 10 goals during this period and despite Van Persie’s 11 in 9, you’ve got to consider 10 in 20 is not a bad scoring rate – and something that endeared him to the Arsenal fans. In more recent times, his performances have not been up to the standard of earlier in the season and the player has also admitted that he is feeling exhausted and physically tired, despite not having any game time for the last 2 months.
“Nikki B”, as many call him is our special enigma – sometimes very frustrating, sometimes sublime but most of the time, somewhere in between. His recent selections on left midfield and right midfield don’t do him justice, and if we can our minds back to last season, he performed well when as a long striker. Bendtner has scored some important goals, none other than his strike against Ipswich, which pushed us into the Carling Cup final. The player himself is super duper confident, and the question is, whether he can start showing us why Arsene has so much faith in him!
So, who do I think will play tonight? Well, if Van Persie is only injured for one game and will be back for Sunday’s final then I think Bendtner will play – but if it’s more serious and Arsene thinks he will miss the weekend, then Bendtner will be earmarked for Wembley, and Chamakh could come in tonight.
So, let’s take a look my chosen XI:
Sagna – Squillaci – Djourou – Clichy
Wilshere – Song
Walcott – Cesc – Nasri
With a bench of Almunia, Eboue, Gibbs, Denilson, Arshavin, Rosicky and Chamakh
Despite great performances against Barcelona that he was the only attacking player with any desire against Leyton Orient, I don’t think Arshavin will play against Stoke – I do think he will play on the weekend though. Arsene believes the old Arshavin is back and said:
“I love Arshavin because he’s a player who can always give you hope that he can make the difference. He was troubled by confidence problems for a while but he is now back and that goal against Barcelona helped him. He is a top-level player who lives on success and when it doesn’t go for you for a while you question ‘what am I not doing right and why? Nobody is immune to that. I have seen so many big players – and believe me Andrey is one of them – and they all go through periods like that. It is part of being a human being.”
Let’s hope he is back and puts in some decent performances from now until the end of the season!
A special mention to Aaron Ramsey and Jay Emmanuel Thomas who both played for Cardiff yesterday (and Ramsey scored)… some excellent performances and if they do that week in and week out – then there is definitely a place for them in the Arsenal team!
Til tomorrow, Adios… 3 points tonight?