Tuesday 29 December 2009

Come on Tunisia, Zambia and Gabon!

Looking ahead to January's African Cup of Nations, I can't help but hope that Cameroon under perform dismally to ensure the early return of Alex Song, while I would be quite happy to see the Ivory Coast do well to make sure that Drogba is away from Chelsea for as long as possible. In truth Tunisia are the only side unlikely to take points off Cameroon in the group stage, Zambia are pretty poor and Gabon have already been comprehensively beaten by Cameroon in the qualifiers. But we can still dream!

Chelsea really do rely upon Drogba and would be half the team without him, when his goals and drive are taken away from their attack they become a very one dimensional team that is much easier to defend against. Unfortunately Drogba will be back for our trip to the bridge in early February no matter how well the Ivory Coast perform, one can only hope that he is kidnapped and held hostage until he is too old and slow to be a danger on the football field.

Our next four fixtures are games that we must aim to take three points from. Away to Pompey, home to Bolton, home to Everton and away to Bolton. We then have a potentially crucial run of four games that sees us play the four of the strongest sides around. Amazingly away to Villa, home to Manu, away to Chelsea and home to Liverpool all come back to back in late Jan and early Feb. Realistically I think we are going to need at least fifteen points from these eight games to remain in contention for the title.

At least Alex Song is only going to miss a maximum of about five league games, he is still available for tomorrow's trip for Portsmouth. If Cesc is out for two or three weeks which appears very possible, then it will leave a great opportunity for young Aaron Ramsey whose drive from midfield could be key in supporting our forwards. I shall be interested to see what happens to Henri Lansbury who has been progressing solidly at Watford by all accounts.

The great difficulty will be filling the Alex Song void, as no one else at the club has the natural defensive midfield skills to slide into this role. We shall have to fill the gap by playing responsibly and defending as a unit, if the back four are left unprotected then we will be in big trouble. The transfer window comes at a very interesting time, there is an obvious lack of a focus up front, while Arsene may well be tempted to shore things up elsewhere for the run in.
ps I would wholeheartedly advise anyone with a bit of free time on their hands to check out the latest Alan Davies Gooner banter, side splitting at times


Ted said...

What's the injury news on Nikki B? If he is available any time soon, then I don't see Wenger getting the chequebook out for a striker.

Plus Theo is yet to force his way into the starting XI, so there is not much room for a striker.

But I would love to be wrong.

Plus is it fair to say that Eduardo's form is now so poor that if we do sign a striker, its Eduardo's spot that is up for grabs?

I also feel Nasri is a bit quiet. Not playing badly at all, but not guaranteed a place on current form?

Anonymous said...

Surely Almunia could qualify for the ANC. He needs to play for some kind of National Team. Gabon anyone

1979gooner said...

Nikki B is about 2/3 weeks away apparently.

I still think we need three strikers for the rest of the season. Nikki B, Eduardo and one other. I agree Theo can do a job but he does struggle when played centrally.

I agree Nasri has been quiet, but he has been working hard, playing pretty solidly, maybe he'll start to find a bit more of a cutting edge as he plays more games.

Rhinogooner said...

I vote for Jay Simpson to fill that remaining striker spot, 1979.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing that can stop Zambia from taking points from anybody including Cameroon. Seems you know very little about African football.

Tariku, Ethiopia said...

Would you settle for Essien getting injured?