Olympiacos vs Arsenal: Last test for the reserves. Plus favourite line-up
Written by Chris on December 5, 2011 23:00
Arsenal tomorrow face Olympiacos in Greece knowing that their place in the next round of the Champions League is already secure.
Rotation will of course be adopted by our manager as we expect the likes of Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, Francis Coquelin and Ju Young Park to feature.
One player who will surely be rested in Robin van Persie and speaking of Robin I wanted to say something about the so-called “one-man team” statement that has been floating around in recent weeks as it seems that many are upset with these three words and frankly, I cannot understand why.
What one has to understand is that “one-man team” doesn’t mean that our captain is the only one who is performing consistently and doing well on the pitch, far from that. We all know that the likes of Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey and Gervinho have been supplying the Dutchman to perfection and without them he wouldn’t have scored as much as he did.
But, at least for me, “one-man team” means that if you take this “one man” away from the team, we will struggle and will probably not register as many wins as we do with him. And frankly, can you honestly look at me with a straight face and say that without Robin in the team we would be as successful as we are when he features?
Granted, Theo and Gervinho will still produce nice assists for whoever will replace him but with all due respect to our other strikers they will either not be in the right position at the right time or else will miss the target.
If for example we are to look at other players such as Thomas Vermaelen, Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott, etc. I feel they are players we can cope without but Robin is maybe, indeed, the only player who if out injured or rested, simply put, cannot be replaced and I see nothing wrong in admitting this.
Those saying the opposite are one, underestimating the importance of Robin in this Arsenal side and two, overestimating the contribution of Marouane Chamakh and Ju Young Park, two players who can never replace our captain in terms of movement, goals and assists, although in all fairness, who can?
But anyway, this is of course just my opinion, one that I hope that I never get to see whether it’s correct or not. After all, Robin has been delivering without injuries for months now and I’m sure we all want him to stay fit, healthy and in form.
To conclude, you may have noticed that over the last few days we didn’t publish as many articles as we usually do and this is because it’s decision time for myself and my team. Work has been keeping me incredibly busy and other key members of the team are in my same situation so don’t be surprised if we take a break from next year since as we always say, there are other, more important things in life than football.
As always, my favourite line-up is below. Remember you can submit your own at Arsenal Interactive and then share it on Twitter and Facebook.
As said, the so-called “reserved” will tomorrow have another opportunity to shine and it must be said, one that they cannot afford to miss.
Marouane Chamakh and Ju Young Park need to demonstrate that after five months they should be considered backup players for Robin and same goes for Francis Coquelin, Andrey Arshavin and Yossi Benayoun. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has already demonstrated how good he is so tomorrow’s game will hopefully be a confirmation of his talent.
The Gunning Hawk Coverage
As always, tune in for team line-ups, streaming links, half time and full time reports, post-match thoughts, video highlights and what the press is writing. And of course, do contribute if you want to by making use of the comment box available at the bottom of the post as it’s always nice to hear your opinion. And as a final note, if you want to go one step further than just leaving a comment and want to have your articles published on our website, take a look here for more information.
And of course, don’t forget you’re still in time to pick your preferred team for this game. And when the final whistle blows, don’t forget to rate the players, comment on their performances and share your personal ratings with your friends. All this and more, available at http://www.arsenal-interactive.com.