We`re very close to find the best possible line-up with the players we have
Written by Chris on January 4, 2009 19:00
The first match of this season’s F.A. Cup campaign can be archived after a comfortable 3-1 win over Plymouth Argyle. It was also the first match of the year and ahead of these last six months of the season, it’s decision time for Wenger who has to decide who to sign and find the “ideal line-up” for this Arsenal squad.
Time to stick with one set of centre-backs
During the course of the season Toure, Silvestre, Gallas and Djourou were all rotated at the back and it just didn’t happen often to have the same set of centre-backs for a number of consecutive matches. Now I believe yesterday’s duo – Billy and Johann – should be our regular set of centre-backs. A lot has been set on William’s past, present and future but I honestly believe that he can still give a lot to Arsenal. I also believe Toure can give a lot to the side and he would be very useful when we face fast strikers as Gallas gets outpaced easily when we do. After all, if they are sold and replaced, what makes you think that whoever will replace them will settle in the side straight away? That’s a big IF, you know.
Time to stick with the same midfield
Likewise, the midfield has been rotated way too many times. Granted, we suffered injuries and suspensions but in action we’ve seen Denilson, Fabregas, Song, Diaby, Nasri, Vela, Eboue, you name it. Even here, it’s time to take a final decision as it’s funny that four months into the season, there are still question marks asked on who should play. This is where I believe we should sign a player, an experienced player, hopefully with Premiership experience.
My ideal line-up
Sagna – Gallas – Djourou – Clichy
Nasri – Ramsey – [New Signing] – Vela
Adebayor(Eduardo) – Van Persie
I don’t think we should sign any defenders, we’re fine as we are. I am assuming that both Gallas and Toure will stick with us until the end of the season here, if not, then of course they have to be replaced, but again, there would be no guarantee that the replacements will settle in the side straight away.
In midfield, if Nasri plays as he did against Plymouth and Vela becomes as influential as he was against Pompey, then the only issues we would have is in the center of midfield. I think Aaron can become a regular, provided he learns to be less selfish but Diaby, Denilson and Song were not convincing so far and therefore that is the only position where a new signing is required, who incidentally will definitely NOT be Xabi Alonso as he suffered an injury which will probably keep him out for a couple of weeks. We wouldn’t have signed him anyway.
Up front, injury-free Van Persie has been terrific and I believe if Emmanuel wakes up and finds last season’s form, we could be unstoppable there, especially when you consider that Eduardo will soon make his long-awaited comeback. Bendtner can always sit on the bench and pull a Kiev-winner, if required.
Don’t hope, but believe
With the new year, I want to be more optimistic. I want to believe we won’t see performances like those against Stoke, Hull, City and Boro. And, in a way, I don’t want to give-up on the title race, not yet. I hate to read that the F.A. Cup is our only shot at silverware, as if we’re not good enough for the Champions League. If the day is right, we can beat any opponent, and that’s what the Champions League is about, focusing and delivering on a two-match basis. And believe me, we can do that!
Bolton, Hull City, Everton and West Ham. That’s January for you and simply put, we have to win them all, we have to keep the momentum going and hopefully we’ll see Arsene signing someone to help in the mission.