So we've all had time to chew the cud a bit following Sunday's defeat, it still hurts, not quite as much as it did thankfully, but my thoughts have become a little clearer. It's obvious we missed Theo and Cesc, without the former we lack that top notch pace to really scare teams, Cesc's importance cannot be understated. The problem has been obvious for some months now though, and for me it is that beyond our first eleven some of the highly paid internationals who sit on the bench have not been performing as well as we have needed them to.
I don't want to single out individuals, but Rosicky didn't carry much water on Sunday, he also didn't do a massive amount of cutting Birmingham apart, has he really offered enough for a highly paid and experienced international? Denilson has been so average this season that many of us were glad not to see him start, that says a lot, Diaby has been erratic and seems to have been given so many chances. Arshavin has had a poor season overall as well. Overall a lot of our highly paid midfield squad players have not been cutting the mustard on a regular basis and this should no longer be ignored in my opinion. Players returning from injury such as Ramsey/Frimpong and youngsters like Lansbury deserve some games in the next few months.
Strangely we lost the second half and drew the first on Sunday, we were perversely far better in the second than the first. Koscielny's error was bad, I know, but he's been solid of late, Szczesny has also been solid recently, they both deserve our patience. The first half was just not good enough, Birmingham outnumbered and outfought us in the midfield, this has happened in big games before when Arsene has not anticipated the predictable way in which opposition bosses try to crowd us in the midfield. The easy way to play against this is to fight them in the midfield and kill them with pace on the counter attack, this is what the great double winning Arsenal sides and the Invincibles did. We seem less able to do this than in previous years.
The concern about RVP's injury is that without his energetic aggression up front, we can look very one dimensional, especially without Theo at the same time, Bendtner and Chamakh can both lead the line but neither will genuinely scare defences with their pace or movement. RVP is out for a minimum of 3 weeks, it is probably a medial collateral ligament injury. This all means that Theo and RVP will not face Barca in the Nou Camp, a big blow in all honesty.
The fixtures are piling up as the injuries do the same, Koscielny's hamstring niggle will see him rested tomorrow, so it's likely we'll see Squillaci, Miguel, Gibbs and Eboue drafted in. Maybe he'll bring in Denilson +/- Diaby (?fit yet), I just don't know. If we manage to make it through then it sees another fixture added to the already busy calendar, that being Old Trafford. To me our squad just doesn't quite seem to have the depth in certain areas, I hope I'm wrong. It's a massive couple of weeks coming up, we need to pull together and get behind the lads.
What do you think, will it be 3 weeks or much longer for van Persie with this kind of injury? He will be so sorely missed..
I'm inclined to guess he'll be back in under four, it can't have been that bad given he played on with it. Just a guess though.
Spot on - lack of depth is due to certain players not yet developing into the requisite level. (Hangover of the rebuilding process?) We also don't have a style of play that can work for the second string. They don't have the necessary playmaker (Cesc) or playmaker/goalscorer (RvP). Same problem for the first team now without Cesc and RvP (and Theo!). We'll be out of all the cup competitions by the end of next week unless Nasri, Arshavin and Bendtner work a few miracles.
I bet AW throws the game at Old Trafford.
However, I am saddened but not angry about all this. It's a shame, but not cause for belligerence. (It will be though if City actually win the FA Cup or Europa! Heaven forbid Tottenham win anything.)
To end on a positive note, if Diaby and Rambo hit form and Song gets his mojo back we could conceivably still win the league if we can stay close for the next three weeks.
I almost want to go out of the FA cup to be honest, the risk of playing strong teams in the Carling cup was only worth taking if we won it, as it stands though we've now lost too many players to really have a chance for the real prize which for me is Barcelona and the Champs league followed by the league. Buy trying to stay in all four comps i fear we've blown our season, i just cant see us getting the results we need without Cesc, Theo and now RVP.
Why does wenger keeps under-performing players like rosicky, denilson, diaby, and especially almunia? How can these be good enough if he wants to win, seriously?
Wenger is an over-confident nut, brags about winning too much, which is unnecessary. All the crap talk about the trophy and cesc lifting it ...totally premature. Tends to lure the players into a false sense of security, unlike birmgham's players who took the games much more seriously.
Play Nasri in the middle behind Chamakh, Nasri has an unbelievable powerful shot and we all now how Chamakh creates opportunities for our midfielders and how well he links up with them. when our finest goal scorer is out we have to bring our 2nd finest, Nasri, more into the danger zone, real simple.
Oh, come on, Rosicky carries plenty of water. Too bad it's all in his head and his knees.
Anyone seen the team selection for tonight v. Orient?
I was worried we might not win this match. Now I'll be surprised if we do.
Is Mr. Wenger throwing away the FA Cup now?
I do not see how we're going to open them up with that midfield. No creative passer there. And the front three typically require service.
Only hope is set pieces methinks. Gulp!
Reckon I'm eating my words.
Good performance from the lads tonight.
Perhaps I should express my doubts before every match. Would be chuffed to eat crow every time I'm proven daft, if it brought us silverware :)
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