Good Friday to you. Sorry for the late post as I was doing a bit of traveling today.
Most would’ve expected Fabianski to keep the keeper’s jersey for this tomorrow’s North London Derby but unfortunately for the Polish custodian, he is again crocked by injury. This time it is his thigh which will sideline him for the next 3 weeks at the least. How he get that injury is beyond me. There was never a single time in which Colin Lewin needed to come onto the pitch to attend to Fabianski during the Liverpool game. So this one baffles me. Where then did Fabianski injured himself? The announcement was made the day after the game when the training hadn’t even started. Pity him though.
This situation worries me a bit. I was quite sure that before the injury occurred, Fabianski would’ve been the first choice to start the derby game. Now, Wenger finds himself in a hole. The decision now remains to choose from either Mannone or Almunia. If the boss chooses the latter, then he will have to retract back on his earlier decision not to restore the Spaniard immediately when he recovered from his chest injury. While I’m quite sure the boss was hesitant to further jeopardies the shattered confidence of Mannone who was at fault for Carlton Cole’s goal at Upton Park. Defenders like to play knowing they have a steady and consistent keeper behind them. Let me tell you, it is no fun trying to get use to different voice every week when a shout to “let go” or “kick it out” will determine whether the opposition forwards gets a chance or not. A department that definitely needs sorting out.
Other than qualification to the next phase of the Carling Cup, the match also brought about the return to fitness of Samir Nasri. His return cannot be underestimated as his flexibility to fit in any of the front 6 positions will be vital to the success of the team. It will take him a few more matches before he starts to click into full gear. Wenger has clearly liked what he sees in the defensive qualities of Nasri and has experimented him in that position towards the back end of last season. It might work given that Nasri has shown his delicate sense of positioning which is obviously vital when playing in the Song role. However I still think that his talent is better serve further up the pitch where his eye for a killer pass and shooting capabilities will come to the fore. Now that Rosicky seemed to be injured once again, Nasri’s return is in fact very timely.
One thing that the players need to learn from the same derby game last season is the good sense to play keep ball during the final minutes of the game when leading. The younger players have shown that they can keep their cool and not just rushed forward when there is a small matter of the clock to run down. Sanchez Watt did that to perfection during the Liverpool game. Already 2-1 up with just less than 2 minutes to go, he won the ball at the edge of Liverpool’s penalty box and went straight for the corner flag. I think most of us would understand if he had tried to take on the defenders and get a goal for himself considering he doesn’t get first team playing oppourtunities very often. But his greater team sense prevailed and time was duly played out. Now, that is something his more esteemed teammates might learn a thing or two from.
More Spurs preview tomorrow. I’m already filled with the excitement and can’t wait for the kickoff to come any sooner.