The experts thinks that we are short in numbers. Even the most ardent Arsenal supporter would like to see Arsene Wenger make another signing or two in the January transfer window. If anything, signing that can drag us over the finishing line first. Yet, Arsenal are the only club remaining in England who can still win all four competitions. That is the the 3 English competition as well as the Champions League.
Quite an achievement for a side many are not willing to back for any trophy. A team that can reach the extremes alternating between potent attacking display and lacklustre within the space of 180 minutes of football. On the hindsight we can also argue that we might be a lot closer to Manchester United had we not make those changes away to Wigan. The other side of the coin will tell us that had we played the same team as the one that faced Chelsea, we might be looking at a few more injuries on our hands and no guarantee that we would win the match either.
There’s a reason why clubs are required to register 25 players for each season. There will always be a core of players that are essential to any side. Take them out of the side and most teams will be a different propositions. For us, that spine is our all French defence without Sebastien Squillaci, the midfield axis of Alex Song and Jack Wilshere as well as the front combo of Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas. That itself is already 8 players. I don’t mean that the other 4 (whoever they are) are expendable or not important.
My point is that those 8 are essential to the way we play. I’m not obtuse enough to think that these 8 can play the entire season. Any current Arsenal player that can hit the 60 games mark per season would get my utmost respect. Yet, Arsene Wenger needs to ensure that at least 5 or 6 out these 8 are starting each and every game. Else, we might see ourself struggle like we did last week, even when we’re playing lower league oppositions.
Of course, that defence could very well change should Thomas Vermaelen able to get himself back to full fitness before the season ends. At this moment, you’ll need to turn the hour glass 1008 times before we get to see Vermaelen back in action. In simpler terms, it means six weeks. Read the comment in the link again. It really does sound like after 6 weeks, will we know whether Vermaelen’s problem has been fixed or not. If not, these 6 weeks would’ve been an absolute waste.
There has been no sightings of any possible transfer in to cover for the Belgian’s loss. Activities seems to be very much on transfers out, albeit via loan deals or end of season things. Aaron Ramsey, Carlos Vela and Henri Lansbury looks to play the rest of the season with another club. Although with Ramsey, Wenger wants him to finish the season with us. Then, why send him out in the first place? Surely now he can play those odd 10 – 20 minutes and simply accumulate on those numbers. Even our training is more intense than anything the Championship could offer. It’s not as if, he needs match experience.
My reasoning is simple. We need Ramsey in midfield. I’m very in favour of those one-for-one meaning to say we have a mirror 11 that can replace the first 11 whenever required. At the moment there’s only Abou Diaby and Denilson who can substitute in for the Song-Fabregas-Wilshere axis. It has room for one more and I’m hopeful it’s for Ramsey.
Match preview tomorrow.