Comparing Strength in Depth of Top Four Squads – Part 2

I had earlier compared the goalkeepers and defenders of the top four clubs. Since then Mannone has shown that he is not out of place in a premier league game. Now let’s have a look how the midfielders and attackers stack up


List of Midfielders in top 4 squads

Midfielders in the Top 4 Squads

I am not a big fan of Denilson or Diaby. But when the competition has the likes of Fletcher, Carrick, Anderson, and Lucas can there be any reason to berate our players. I ask myself a simple question – would I be happy if Wenger had spent ₤18 Million on Nani, Carrick or Anderson? The answer is a resounding “No!”

Anyone who still doubts Song has no clue what football is all about. He can hold his own against any similar player in that list including Essien. It does not mean that Song has become the best as there is some room for improvement in his performances. But his present form is enough to get him into the United or Liverpool midfield for sure. Considering his age and the rate at which he has improved I won’t be surprised if he soon becomes another player associated with big money transfer rumors.

Cesc, Rosicky and Nasri are proven world class players. Wilshere, Ramsey and Merida are the most exciting youngsters amongst the whole group. So the question is where is the lack of strength in depth?

Some people complain that we don’t have a back up for Song. But I don’t see a back up for Mascherano either! The point is anyone can miss a few matches due to injuries or international commitments or any other reason. We can’t always look at buying players as a solution to that. Suppose we buy a player to cover for Song in January, and he gets injured at the end of December. Do we also sign a back up for that back up and wrap him in cotton wool till January? The manager has to balance the squad and tactics depending on the availability and that’s the best we can ask for. Sometimes we fail in getting the tactics right but that has nothing to do with SiD so I will discuss that in another article later.

I am not saying that we have the best possible midfield. But we are not talking about utopia either. We are talking of the real world and we seem to have a real midfield that doesn’t look weaker than the others that are higher rated and more respected.


Strikers in the Top 4 squads

Strikers in the Top 4 Squads

If people want to say that squads with Macheda, Welbeck and a misfiring Berbatov or Voronin, El Zhar, N’gog have more strength in depth than Arsenal, you cannot really argue with them. It would be a waste of time and energy. It would also be an insult to our attack.

I don’t think we need any statistics or explanation as to why our attack is easily the best out of the top four. Rooney, Drogba and Torres are fantastic players but we are talking about SiD so just consider an injury to one of them and see how their respective squads weaken.

Final Comment

I can understand why someone would have said we didn’t have strength in depth at the beginning of last season. We didn’t have Arshavin, Eduardo and Rosicky were not fit, Walcott was still raw, Gallas was unconvincing after his collapse in the previous season, and Denilson and Song were unproven players. But to drag the same argument even today tells me that people tend to get stuck on ideas and forget to incorporate the changes that have taken place into their thinking.

I am certainly not saying that we don’t need any new players. We do have something missing from our game. But we did lose in Manchester with our first choice defence and Song in the team. So even if we had a couple of extra players on the bench I can’t see any difference in the result. I think we can do well with a couple of additions. But the point is that so could everyone else. Consequently, writing us off because of a perceived lack of SiD only highlights a lack of perception in the observer.

Anyone can say that XYZ club will not win the league. If anyone says that about all the clubs in the league they would have a guaranteed 95% success rate every year. Point is, we can’t win is the easiest thing to say. And the second easiest thing is to say that we must buy more players.

Chelsea have such a strong squad. But they still didn’t win the EPL or the Champions League. That is enough to prove that even the best of squads can fail. Being champions is not about having twenty five great players in the squad but about getting results even when you have to put out a relatively mediocre side due to injuries or anything else. I think we are learning that.

8 Responses to Comparing Strength in Depth of Top Four Squads – Part 2

  1. Goonerbeall says:

    Fantastic comparisons. Analysts do worse job they get paif hundreds of thousands pounds for. Its interesting to see that we have a team that is not so bad. But can we win EPL, CL? Can we? How I would love to hear a yes but know what I mean, dont you?

    • desigunner says:

      Thanks Goonerbeall. Well I can say yes to knowing what you mean 🙂 But this season is definitely much better than last and with some luck flowing our way there can be good chances. I think our attackers have to remain fit if we have to compete as the only way we can defend is if we keep the ball in the opposition half.

  2. Stu5 says:

    yeah nobody is saying all our players are the best in every position. but it’s pretty fair to say depth-wise we can at least match anyone if not better them.

    the only better dm right now than song is essien. torres and drogba are both better than van persie in my opinion, but how much in the overall contribution to the team? only a little, not much. i think on paper anelka and drogba means if both are fit they have the most potent frontline, but we have more players who play just slightly worse so we out-do them in that regard. cesc, gerrard and lampard are all similarly excellent in my opinion, naturally i prefer cesc but reasonably all of them come into a similar ability bracket. out wide our options are easily the best with rosicky, arshavin, nasri, walcott, vela, wilshere all individually good enough to challenge for first team spots in all the teams around us. arshavin on his day is the best winger in the league hands down. rosicky is top class and nasri is like a clone of rosicky but still improving and very young.

    i do rate chelsea as favourites for the title, but i think a couple of injuries to drogba and anelka for example could entirely cripple their season whereas similar injuries to van persie and arshavin could still leave us with a frontline of eduardo/bentdner/vela/walcott. who would they play? kalou and sturridge…. hardly awe inspiring

  3. Stu5 says:

    also how well will those around us cope losing gerrard or lampard? if we lose cesc we have loads of similar options.

    i barelyt even mention united because going forwards rooney is their only world class player. if rooney gets injured united will be up the proverbial stream without a paddle

    • desigunner says:

      Yes we just need some luck with injuries for our players to be fit and some others to get a date with the treatment table.

  4. t says:

    i would love to see one of those “arsenal is so shiit, we need to BUUUY ” cry babies write a comment here. Oh you cannot? someone completley TRASHED your i wanna buy, wenger go buy we wanna buy all the best players and have backup for the backup players strategy? Oh i get it, you crying boys wont let yourself get defeted that fast. Well, i dare you, come on. Bring it on. Tell us again how our squad lacks depth and lacks any chance of challenging anything. I can guarantee 100% you wont manage to trash this guys analyse. He is your king and god idiots. you whiners should all read this and try to do what rest of us proper fans does. namley support our team and cheere them on not feel skadenfreud when they loose.

  5. x3qtr says:

    Well If i remember right a lot of people were crying out to wenger to buy a defender and not someone in attack..back then no one and i bet none of you knew the verminator would turn out to be so good(thank god he did)..also till the end no one knew if senderos would stay..if he didnt, with djourou out due to injury, our backup CD would have been silvestre.. thats hardly encouraging..
    with no one knowing about the verminator at the start of the season, just imagine what you have been writing today if he didnt make the impact he did.. think about that before you go criticizing everyone who were crying out to wenger to bring in a defender !!
    I agree about the strength in depth we have, but then again so is our penchant to getting injured..

    • desigunner says:

      Yes a lot of people wanted a defender and I think a lot of people still want a defender and a DM. I am not criticizing them but my point is that no one can say we have a weaker squad compared to the other big teams.

      Even if TV had not been so successful he would still have started most games so another defender would not have made a difference by being on the bench.

      Senderos probably stayed because we couldn’t or didn’t sign another defender. I don’t think we would have let Senderos go and not signed anyone to cover.

      Injuries is my biggest concern. I am with you on that one. But we can also have problems like we had with Diarra if we just sign players as cover for injuries.

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