By: Dazza Dawg.
Like any good coach Wenger once again has taken the pressure off the players after a below par performance in the north againt Boro. “I don’t like to speak about the players who are not here,” he said. “I always have confidence in the players who play. When you go into a season you know you will miss some players at some stage. “At the moment we miss players in the same area. That handicaps a little bit our creative potential.” However, I felt that the players weren’t able to match the home team in terms of desperation and eagerness to win the ball. Wenger rightfully pointed out the 4 away trips on the trot has taken it’s toll, and that also would’ve contributed to the loss
In our last 2 games our offense has been very ineffective without our two key playmakers Hleb and Fabregas. Diarra and Gilberto have taken their place, and both are defensive midfielders. Diarra is settling into the Arsenal side well since his summer transfer and you can see the potential is there for him to become one of our hard men in the midfield that isn’t afraid to pull out of a challenge. Gilberto on the other hand had a performance to forget. He didn’t look determined to chase the ball down and it looks as if he’s past his use by date in an Arsenal shirt. It seemed as if Gilberto and Diarra were confused as to whom was playing the holding role and who was pushing forward between the two of them. It looks as if Hleb and Fabregas will remain on the sidelines for at least another week, and the only option I feel Wenger has is to play Denilson alongside Diarra. Denilson offers much more going forward and isn’t afraid to have a shot from long range as he’s shown twice in the Carling Cup with 2 fine goals.
Our strikeforce has also looked a bit lightweight. Adebayor’s first touches were poor on the weekend, and he continues to be an erratic lone striker. Eduardo was used more as a left winger but was unable to link up well with Adebayor. In my opinion Eduardo is at his best when playing as a striker and getting good service. Missing key midfielders will mean he has to do a lot more himself, which I think is too big an ask at such an early stage in his Arsenal career. Looking ahead to the Chelsea game we need to resort back to a 4-4-2 formation and the striker I’d like to see start with Adebayor is Bendtner. I know they are both big target men, but I thought that when those two played together for the last 10 minutes of our last 2 games they have looked alright. They compliment each other quite well and are both pacy for big men. I’d save Walcott as an impact player if things aren’t working. He can inject some pace into the team if need be.
For our mid-week Champions League game against Steaua Bucharest we’ll have the luxury of resting key players, something we haven’t been able to do for some time. I’m expecting to see a Carling Cup side out there, and I think the team is good enough to beat our Romanian opponents. I’m predicting a starting line up similar to this:
Hoyte Song Senderos Traore
Eboue Denilson Gilberto Eduardo
——-Walcott Bendter ———
I’ve chosen Fabianski in goals because it seems Lehmann is on the outer and won’t get another oppurtunity for Arsenal. Hoyte and Troare are the two obvious choices as full backs. Both have good potential and will be fresh. Senderos will be itching to improve from his last Champions League showing against Sevilla. Wenger has shown interest in converting Song into a centre back due to our large number of central midfielders. This will be a perfect oppurtunity to show he has the goods to cover Toure’s loss in the African Cup of Nations.
On the wings I’ve chosen Eboue and Eduardo. Rosicky needs a break to refresh for Chelsea, while I’d play Eboue to give him a chance to redeem himself after another undisciplined performance on the weekend. Eduardo to start on the left wing isn’t desirable, but we are so depleted I feel it’ll be necessary to play him there.
Adebayor will be expected to be rested, while Walcott and Bendtner are the two likely striker to get the nod. It won’t be an easy game, but I’m predicting a 2-1 win to Arsenal. Bendter to score a double. This game will be the perfect oppurtunity to bounce back after our first defeat of the season and give the team some confidence going into Sunday’s blockbuster against Chelsea.