Saturday, 16 January 2010

Midfield crisis and Song hopes

Firstly to the good news, Cameroon have lost their first match at the ACN to the mighty Gabon, meaning that if Cameroon lose to Zambia in their second game and Tunisia draw with Gabon, then Alex Song will be coming home early, that's what I'm hoping anyway.

Song is so important to us, not only because the lad has been playing so well, but also because we have so little defensive cover in the centre of our midfield. This has been emphasised yet again going into the Bolton away game with both Denilson and Ramsey out, leaving us very short of options in the centre of the park. I can't get very excited over signing another teenager, very few of these guys will ever make it through to our first team as regulars, it's more a business of making money from developing them and selling them on at a later date.

We have plenty of attacking options in this area, even with these injuries, the likes of Cesc, Nasri, Arshavin, Vela, Rosicky and Merida can all do a job in a more attacking midfield role. The problem is that other than Diaby, we have no one who can defend, no one with some physical presence, no one with aerial power. We have some talented kids, but they don't appear quite yet ready for big Premiership games like this, the likes of Eastmond, JET, Coquelin, Frimpong et al need more time.

Bolton have the worst defensive record at home in the league, we have the best away scoring record, if only life were that simple. With a new manager at the helm and the fact that we haven't kept an away clean sheet in 10 Premiership games, it is easy to see why this game is far from a guaranteed three points. Bolton will try to press us and give us no time on the ball in the midfield, Muamba and Taylor will be important men for them.

The way to win games like this is to soak up the opposition's pressure and kill them on the counter with pace. The problem is that we are not great at soaking up pressure without conceding, we tend to sit high up the pitch with a lot of possession and then get hit on the break ourselves. I'd play Eduardo up front in the middle as he's our only recognised striker, I'd play Vela on the left of the front three as he can gives us some pace and width, I'd stick Arshavin on the right but he can float to a degree, then I'd have a midfield three of Nasri, Cesc and Diaby holding. Come on you Gunners, it is this kind of game that will test whether we can really challenge this year.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

ramsey out,,,,,,cesc in. hardly a bloody crisis

Anonymous said...

can see us winning 2morrow,bolton have a new manager but the same players are still der,it wont be easy but i can see us coming through this game,then thump em wednesday at the emirates.

1979gooner said...

the point is that we have one fit midfielder who can defend, diaby

that's it

if diaby got injured we would be in big trouble

we are sailing pretty close to the wind

Anonymous said...

Like Arsene says, we should respect Africa and the ACN so to hope that Cameroon loose so that Song came come home early is not right! Of course, as a Gooner, I want the lad back fit and uninjured too.

1979gooner said...

it's not right?

not bothered if it's right or wrong,

i would like to see cameroon lose and song back asap

Anonymous said...

verminator can play dm if desperate and sol can take his place so there is cover we can beat bolton fab is back we will outscore them 3-1 come on Arsenal

K man said...

Agree with the team you've picked although I may have rosicky in for vela.

I hear excellent things about Galindo - we may have to wait a couple of years but I think it will be worth it. He's very tall and really impressed Wenger earlier this week. Apparently he reminded him of a young Vieira but with better awareness. Sounds good to me.

We need 6 points from the Bolton double-header if we have ambitions for the title.

Anonymous said...

I dont think Rosicky and Fabrigas are both ready to play 2 games in 4days at the moment.

So it is a real crisis.

I think the Vermealen option would be good, although it would mean breaking up a good partenrship.

Limpar's Chip said...

The thing that worries me most is that we're playing Bolton in Coyle's first match in charge (and 2nd for that matter!).

Why do we always seem to come against the clubs with new managers who often tend to pick up good results in their first few days?

Great news about Cameroon losing... will feel a lot happier when Alex is back home

1979gooner said...

I'd me quite tempted to stick Eastmond in the midfield trio.

Ted said...

Rosicky will play. He is one of our best players. Its a very big game for someone like Eastmond to play in. Although 10 mins at the end might not do him any harm.

Denilson is expected back for the second game, so will provide cover for anyone who needs a rest on Wednesday.

K-Man - Re Galindo - how on earth can someone be like a young Vieira but with better awareness? Its like saying someone's like a young Tony Adams, but better in the air. Or he's like a young Grimandi, just more filthy.

1979gooner said...

Rosicky has only played twenty minutes as a sub, it's a big call to start him.

Personally I'd play Nasri in the midfield three, he tracks back very well for an attacking player.

Despite a lot of bloggers thinking there are alternatives to Diaby holding, realistically unless you are going to play Eastmond, there are not, it is ludicrous to suggest that Cesc or Nasri can do Song's job vaguely adequately.

I'd play Vela as he's shown a bit of form recently, he gives us genuine width and pace on the flank, he also tracks back well.

Galindo is 17 and all the hype is ridiculous. We've signed many young foreign prodigies and the vast majority will never make it into our first team on a regular basis.

The occassional one will do I'm sure but it's a Wenger business plan, for every ten you bring in, maybe one will make it at Arsenal, five will do well and make a decent profit for the club and a few will flop.

We should try not to put too much pressure on these lads.