Sagna Gallas Vermaelen Gibbs
Song Cesc Diaby
Bendtner RVP Arshavin
I couldn't see this side losing to last night's Porto side. Porto were there for the taking in my opinion, they looked vulnerable at the back for most of the game, just being able to throw on an orthodox striker for the last fifteen might have made a difference to the scoreline, but we didn't even have the resources for that on the bench. Ignoring the stupid goals we conceded it was far too easy for Porto to get behind us and threaten the goal, they almost got through to score twice in the first couple of minutes for example. Clichy was again worrying poor, so much joy came for Porto down our left, while Denilson's attempts to defend were poor at best.
Denilson. For me Denilson is at best a passenger, not only does he lack the knack to be in the right place at the right time, but he also cannot defend even when he is correctly positioned, his distribution was also weak last night. Diaby can be forgiven the odd slack pass as he does so much good work defensively and offensively, he can hold men off, he wins tackles with his strength and he can dribble when needs be.
Underperformers. Clichy has not looked solid for a long time now, the big worry for me about his form is that it is nothing to do with pace or fitness, it is his basic decision making and positioning. I just haven't see much improvement from Clichy and Denilson in the last couple of years, how much time should they be given? I would argue that they shouldn't get much more, they are hardly lowly paid kids are they. Fabianski has never convinced me he's got what it takes, I can't see him lasting at Arsenal, one error is bad luck, two can be very bad luck, when it becomes a trend maybe it's a sign that you're just not up to it. Another young Pole seems destined for greater things me thinks.
Squad depth or not. The lack of strength in depth at the back is obvious, we are relying on a 36 year old Sol Campbell at the moment who may I add did pretty well overall, without him we are down to Mikel Silvestre and then kids, this is not the sign of strong squad. Kyle Bartley must have a chance when he returns from his loan spell in Sheffield. The lack of depth in terms of defensive midfielders and strikers is a shambles. Song and Diaby are the only experienced players who can defend, meaning that when they get injured we are shafted and having to draft in the hapless Denilson and the youthful Eastmond, this situation should not have been allowed to develop. The same is true for our striker situation, we have only two strikers and one seems to be perpetually injured, Arsene's decision not to bring in a stop gap in the window must be seen as a blatant error.