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727   //    04 Aug 2010, 15:16 IST
Players of Arsenal FC

Players of Arsenal FC


The football season is about to begin and it feels great to get back to sportskeeda. So much has changed since I last wrote here and all for the better!!! So let’s get back to business quickly without wasting much time. Year on year, Arsenal supporters have had the same feeling about this squad since the ‘Invincibles’ days. We always felt that the squad is too young and we might not make it this year. Every year we feel that even one more experienced player in the park would have helped us a long way. Every year there are sh#@loads of injuries to our first team players which means we hardly see our first choice eleven being fielded. Every year in the last few, there have been at least one key season changing incidents (Eduardo’s injury, Gallas’ leadership issues etc.). There is also a feeling that the squad is being continuously in a state of work in progress rather than being close to the finished product. For example, we lost Flamini , Somg did fill his boots, unfortunately it was a season too late. Now it’s the keeper and the central defense. And to top it all we have the Cesc saga.

For once, this season could be slightly different. Let’s start from the top assuming Wenger sticks to his formation from last season. For once, our striking woes could be different. While goals have never been a problem, we have never managed to have a settled striking combination. That could change this season depending on how big an impact Marouanne Chamakh has. This is an area where we can now have many options depending on injuries etc. From what I have heard Chamakh can be replaced by van Persie up front. An ultra attacking top three could be Chamakh at the top, van Persie on the right and Arshavin on the left. We have Bendtner in reserve for the lead striker’s role too. Then there is Walcott who could take up any one of those top three places, and this could be his first full season for us (uninjured) with games under his belt. Nasri, Rosicky, Wilshere, Vela can all take up one of those spots on the wings with varying degrees of effectiveness.

The ideal midfield trio could be Song, Cesc and Nasri. According to me our back ups- Denilson, Diaby, Rosicky and the newbies Frimpong and Wilshere are a work in progress (or useless in the first two cases) and could be easily used against the likes of Blackpool and lower rated oppositions in the cups. But when it comes to the crunch games, we really need Cesc and Song at least. Then there’s the back.

While we are very comfortable in the wing back areas with Gibbs,  Clichy and Traore’ on the left and Sagna and Eboue’ on the right. The problem’s in the heart of defense. We count Vermaelen who was one of best players last year, has only a years’ experience in the PL and is our main central defender. Finding a partner for him is going to be a challenge. While everyone seems to be making the right noises about new boy Koncielny (or however it’s spelt) players hardly settle to line up especially as easily as Vermaelen did last season. The other option right now is the permanently crocked Djourou who never had a decent run in the team. While Song can fill in there sometimes, he is urgently needed in midfield. While Wenger is still in the market to buy, one really hopes that it is someone tall, strong and proven. While the links currently seem to be encouraging, with people like Mertesacker, Jagielka amend lesser known names like Spahic etc. Knowing Wenger, it would not be surprising if its another untested, big league defender. Then the biggest worry, the no. 1 still persists. While Mark Schwarzer is ideal, only time will tell who could lead the entire team.

All said, our entire squad has matured by another year and experience of the first choice 11 no longer seems to be an issue. Its only the replacements who could decide the season as they always do. Then hope the Cesc, Defender and Keeper issues are resolved to the best possible scenarios which has too many ifs and buts attached to it. Hope we have great season and win something finally.


A football, cricket and F1 fan
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