Yesterday I raised some points to you in the aftermath of the Old Trafford game, today I continue them to you:
Is it time to cut our losses on injury prone players?
Going into the united match the squad was weakened by the loss of injured players. Now injuries are not something you can avoid, it happens to all teams, it happens to us a lot but you reach a point where you question whether lady luck is not on your side or whether you do something about it and not have to rely on luck. Abou Diaby is a player I believe in so much, if he was injury free he has the potential to be up there with players such as Yaya Toure. He started the season so well, he produced the performances many fans doubted he had in him and then he got injured. All the momentum and progress lost as he spends another sustained amount of time in the treatment room. We missed his presence on Saturday and there is no real idea of when he will return to the team.
Thomas Rosicky although injured playing for the Czech republic over the summer is another player who last season was rejuvenated in arsenal colours. He proved his worth with some awesome displays as we stormed to 4th place in the table. Despite the heroics we find ourselves in an all too familiar situation where Rosicky is spending more time in the treatment room than on the pitch.
It just seems the longer we persevere with injury prone players the more the team suffers because when those players are injured we have no other options when first choice players become unavailable. A valuable place is taken in the premier league squad by players who cannot be called upon when required. We have done this for years only for the infamous line ‘like a new player’ to be used every time they return for a 2 game run.
Is it time to be ruthless and consider shipping on the more injury prone players? i would find it hard to see us get rid of Diaby but how much longer can we rely on him to play at least 5 games in a row without injury. Before you abuse me this is just a point I am raising, I am not campaigning for us to get rid of any players. For all the improvements made by Kieran Gibbs at left back his injury record leaves us in the situation where we now rely on Andre Santos to fill the gap, this leads onto my next point.
Santos has to play
Yes, I know he was torn a new one by Valencia on Saturday but not many full backs do get an easy game against the united winger. Our Brazilian is currently going through a crisis of confidence as the current negativity surrounding arsenal football club has produced a scapegoat. Will he turn around the perception? It’s a tough one to call, all players go through ups and downs and santos is definitely in the middle of a down period. He is being blamed for things that aren’t his fault at times and currently can do nothing right.
Santos defending has not been an in-house secret the nation is unaware of. We know his attacking can far outweigh his defensive side. More suited to a wing back role rather than an out an out full back role Santos is often found wanting out on the left hand side. Can it all be down to his positional play or could the addition factors of support and team formation contribute? It is probably a combination of all three but I have to say I don’t agree with the idea of playing Sagna or any other player out of position to fill in at that role.
Santos is the specialist full back and it’s a choice Arsene Wenger will have to live and die by. It’s a player he signed and one he will need to assess on keeping or selling at the next transfer window but I think the option of playing an out of position player ahead of him is premature. He can still contribute at left back and if he was dropped for Sagna or Coquelin then there is no point registering him to play for the club ever again. If there is any chance of him regaining his confidence that would be shot to pieces to drop him for those options. Wenger needs to address how the team can help out Santos during his bad spell rather than leaving him to the lions.
what we as fans can do to help is to get behind him, as frustrating as it can be at times. never in history has a player raised his game after receiving verbal abuse from his own fans from the stands. we have to make do with him for now so the best we can do is unite and support all the team.
OK, moving away from saturday, we have a game today and hopefully an opportunity to bury some demons in the process. a positive result today will go a long way to restoring some pride back. At present it’s not looking good with our squad now weakened by the loss of Aaron Ramsey.
One thing Arsenal are good at is pulling off results at our lowest periods in a season. And that is why despite our threadbare squad travelling to Germany a win is not beyond us. The team need to stick together, fight for each other, fight for every ball and make the chances count. it is not beyond us, we are a better team than Shalke, tonight is the chance to prove it.
Enjoy your day people.Enjoy the game
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Why play anyone out of position? We have Vermaelen and Miquel who have regularly played left-back for their country and for the Capital One team who could slot in nicely there. Leaving Mertesacker and Koscielny as CB? It’s a good point you raise that Valencia will tear most players a new one….but playing Schalke is not a potential confidence booster, as Farfan will do the same!
people would argue that Vermaelen’s strongest position is centreback, to play him left back would weaken the centre (current form permitting). Miquel has never looked comfortable at left back, his main role is also in the centre. i just feel players should play in their strongest postition and santos should be ahead of any player who can play there but is not their natural position. and if we get to the point where that does happen then santos should be sold asap because it shows no faith in his abilities from the manager
that man. So what if Lehmann was booked for time-wasting’ in added-on time? It’s nhnoitg compared to the well-practised but seemingly invisible to the print media artless time-wasting and general ill-sportsmanship used time and again by Bolton. I remember the BBC commentator harping on about Lehmann getting booked in the Wigan match for time-wasting with the words, Now who’s time-wasting? . Hypocrite. He didn’t dare use the judgment on a possible future England international (kirland), but if the situation were reversed and it was Lehmann re-positioning the ball at every opportunity for goal kicks then I’m sure he wouldn’t have enjoyed the same benefit the BBC oaf afforded Kirkland.They and other teams know it winds Arsenal up and maybe this is another argument in itself, but when I see Ivan Missing Link Campo deliberately kick Hleb as soon as the ref’s back is turned, any measure of good-will I may have had to the poor hard done by Trotters thankfully vanishes. I’ve been to league and european games and I agree that we can and have time-wasted, but it’s seldom been of the order of the time-wasting indulged by Bolton; running the ball in to the corner flag with three minutes of the 90 to go is hardly the same as swapping one player apparently ready to take a throw-in for another who has hitherto demonstrated any interest in the ball other than to mete sly kicks to the ankles.Also, Robbie Keane standing in front of Lehmann in one of the Carling Cup games; he doesn’t seem to do it against other teams, but because he (and every other forward) knows it winds Lehmann up, he’ll do it. What’s more, maybe he’s entitled to as it winds our resident genius keeper/clown up a treat; this is more Lehmann’s problem than an opposition player’s easy guile, but it could speak for the rest of the team. Don’t get wound up by the time-wasting tactics of other teams and just concentrate on equalising and then finding the winner/winning goals.On another note, Nolan/Davies/Al-Lard-dyce, but especially Nolan can taking a running jump about Fab’s alleged temper’. Why’d you not say that before the match, fat-Kev (Davies is thick Kev’)? If it is so evident, then I’m expecting that it would’ve manifested itself in other matches prior to your righteous defeat, fat-Kev. Go and chew on the grapes that your aesthetically-facially challegend boss favours, you who will never play for England.
Every team time wastes in the last 7-8 mietuns when they have a goal to protect. I think Wenger is referring to teams like Everton and a few others that started wasting time after the 20 minute or as soon as they got an early goal at the Emirates.It’s one thing time wasting at the end of the match, but completely different doing it for 60-70 mietuns, as people have paid a lot of money to watch a football match and not to sit there watching the goalkeeper spend 2 mietuns taking a goal kick, players pretending to be injured for 3 mietuns and players taking 5 mietuns over a set piece or throwing the ball to each other 4 times to take a thrown in.