International break, the kind of break we as club supporters always detest. In this instance though, it is a welcomed one. Especially after the crazy last week that we had. Starting with the bashing we took at the reigning champions to the frenzy last few days of the transfer window.
During the window, we of course focussed more on the coming in than the departure but that is something worth looking at. Arsenal has the complete list here. Notable ones who has left the club either permanently or on a loan stint are Nicklas Bendtner, Carlos Vela, Giles Sunu, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Henri Lansbury and Denilson.
I take the point that these players are not at the level which we would like from those who wears the red and white. However, lets not forget that these players were once being touted as the next world beaters. What and where did it go wrong for them? Lack of progression/improvement on their part or is there more?
It is worth noting that 3 seasons ago at Goodison Park, Arsene Wenger decided to do away with the 4-4-2 formation and went for the 4-3-3 one. In some ways, that change spark what would be the downfall of some of these players. Case in point, Bendtner and Vela. Neither were suited to play in the single lone role up front nor the wide berths.
This leads to less playing time and subsequently the drop in form and performance. I accept that players can and should be able to adapt to changes. However, we also need to understand that some players are good for certain system and might not work in another. Daniel Alves is as bad in a Brazilian shirt as good as is in a Barcelona shirt. I sincerely wish all those players luck and sorry it didn’t work out at Arsenal.
That is a big reason why I can understand the sentiment from the Danish international who will ply his trade at Sunderland, at least for one full season. With the right service and the right system, there has been enough showing in the past for Arsenal to indicate that Bendtner will have a successful career. Yet, he could’ve shown some humility in this case. Instead of stating for a fact that he sees his career elsewhere, he could’ve been appreciative of the help he received while at Arsenal in developing into the player he is today.
For those left in the squad, departures are seen as an opportunity. A chance to shine and play more games. It could have an adverse effect to a new signing. An existing player may well fell threatened about their position in the team. Not everyone will embrace the competition for places. Luckily for us Johan Djourou has seemed to wore the cap for the more positive outlook. A virtue which Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain shares as well.
Any team that wishes to compete in several competitions over a period 10 months will need a big squad (complete list of the 20 Premier League clubs here). We need bodies for every position and backups for it too. To have an understudy pushing the first team player all the way would be wonderful. That kind of relationship improves both players. One trying to maintain his spot while the other trying to overtake the senior player.
The one area of the pitch where we are slightly weaker would be the striker role. Robin Van Persie is the only player in that role whom we call truly call upon. Marouane Chamakh is a shadow of the one we saw at the start of last season. Unless he finds his form quick, we could be in some trouble.
Even if RvP suffers no long term injury, we cannot expect him to start every single game for us. If and when a rest is required (or suspension takes over), we will have to depend on Chamakh. The only player in the current squad who can fill that lone striker duty. Yes, we have Park Chu Young in the squad but playing him in a central role might be akin to reliving the memories of seeing Andrey Arshavin play there (hope to be proven wrong though). Would be interesting to see if the formation is adjusted when we are short of certain players.
Despite all those excitement of new players, the best piece of news for the week is this one. The return to training for Jack Wilshere is a welcomed one. Quite an indication of the massive talent and influence of 19-year-old. No doubt we’ve missed his qualities since the start of the season. Not only on the playing side of things but as well as on the leadership side too.
I’ll leave you to enjoy a football-less Saturday.