Arsene Must Err On The Side Of Excess

Earlier this month I was worried about our injury problems, especially in midfield. These were my exact words,

“Last year we ran out of strikers, the year before that was plagued by defensive injuries and my stomach is in knots about midfield injuries this season.”

Well, that was before Nasri went under the knife and Frimpong did his cruciate. It’s a minimum of four weeks for the Frenchman and pretty much the whole season for the youngster. And while we haven’t had any bad news about the regulars, it hasn’t been rosy either. Denilson is still struggling, Song and Cesc haven’t had much game time, and Diaby barely survived the first game.

Sometime in the summer I’d done an article that said we should not rely on Ramsey and Djourou this season. The main argument was that they will be returning from serious injuries and we’ve seen with the likes of Rosicky, Diaby, and Eduardo that it can be a difficult process marred by niggling, recurring injuries.

Putting all of that together leaves us really short in midfield. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the guy who keeps finding an excuse to say Arsene must buy or spend big. In most cases I tend to support Wenger and on occasions when I’m not convinced I prefer to give Le Boss the benefit of the doubt.

In this particular instance though, I’m genuinely concerned about us running out of options as it seems like a vicious cycle. Right now we have many midfielders missing. That might force us to play a couple of players who are not really ready. In turn their bodies will suffer and might break down a few weeks down the line. It seems like a compromise situation where we might get away with it but the risk is huge.

For instance, I don’t think the next few games are that tough. We could get some good results even with more than half the midfield missing. But we really have to learn from the last two seasons. If this problem returns at the business end of the season or during the winter months we could lose those 6-8 points that can make all the difference.

I think we are so close to being a phenomenal squad that Arsene should not risk it all this year. It would be much better if he errs on the side of excess and gets another experienced midfielder in.

Obviously, there is chance that we could have all our players fit and some of them might be unhappy on the bench. I guess I’m not alone in saying that is one problem most Arsenal fans would love to have. In the recent years only Diarra showed his displeasure at being on the bench and left. In hindsight, that looks like a stupid decision as he might end up on the fringes at Madrid. But it was understandable because he was already frustrated at Chelsea. I don’t think we will have a similar problem with one of our home grown guys or a new singing.

The other argument is about the development of young players. I think we see plenty of injuries and play enough games each year for these young players to get a chance. In the worst case, if they are good enough, they can always go on loan to a Premier League side like Wilshere did last year. I think this issue can be sorted out once this young squad gets the first trophy.

The 25 man rule could be an issue for other teams but we are very well placed. We can comfortably sign two or three without worrying about the squad limit.

I don’t pretend to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of current footballers so I won’t comment on who we should sign. I’d be happy if we get a big name and equally happy with another typical Wenger unknown. But with all these injuries we really need another midfielder, preferably in the Song mould.

PS: We also need a Keeper and a CB. The club are definitely working on those so I decided to ignore the topic that has already filled millions of web pages.


24 Responses to Arsene Must Err On The Side Of Excess

  1. bc says:

    Stekelenberg and Vertonghen please with a little a bit of Suarez on the side.

  2. eirik says:

    I dont see what you are moaning about. We only have 4 injuries now.. Ramsey, Nasri, bendter and Frimpong. Player who are 26-33 Recover badly from injuries, but younger players recover better (Diaby, Nasri came back strong)

    We have , Denilson, Wilshere, Rosicky, Fabregas, Diaby, Song and Eastmond all available. I cant really see the problem with our midfield.

    I think you are either

    1: Obsessed with signings, and when you see a new face on arse.com you get a mental relief
    2: You are depressed over the frimpong/nasri injury you feel they are haunting us and they will eat us up

    • Wilsheres dad says:

      Eirik, you’re right, we have them now, but before Nasri or Ramsey are fit to play again the liklihood is we’ll have another 3 or 4 injured.

  3. Mide Tha DreamWright says:

    True words,Desigunner.
    But,i guess all we can really do is hope that AW pulls his head out of the sand and see that the squad desperately needs to be strengthened.
    Other than in attack,we are really short of quality and consistency in midfield & obviously,in defence and btw the sticks.
    Like you said,i think AW is on the brink of achieving the success we’ve all so longed for with this squad,but he needs to wake up to reality and begin to show some serious desire and ambition by acting decisively & fast too b4 the transfer window closes.
    As things stand,this is no time to fuss xcessively over money or take risks that can be avoided.
    I’d rather he spends now rather than we rueing what could have been,come May next year.

  4. Filip says:

    There is nothing to worry about.Denilson , Song , Fabregas and Diaby are back.Wilshere and Rosicky are fit.Nasri will be out not for long.Bendtner will be back soon.Arshavin is having some problems with injuries but he has been useless for a while so I would rather have gibbs or vela playing on the left wing.I dont think we will have midfield crisis.We dont need more midfielders.We need defenders.I think two but Wenger will buy one and probably use Nordtveit as 5th choice if needed which isnt a great idea but I dont mind.I have seen Squillaci and I dont think he is very good.He is 6ft0 and I dont think he is a“fighter“.Although I know nothing about Emir Spahic and he is short , I would take him for his leadership qualities and the fact that he has made such a difference for a poor side like montpellier.It looks like he is a late bloomer and we should not be missing on him.

    • desigunner says:

      Well Denilson isn’t back and even the others aren’t match fit. That’s exactly my concern. We’ve already started stretching players. For instance, Diaby played a lot against Liverpool without any match practice. By the time Nasri and others return we could see some others pick up an injury.

      Ideally we should be alright but our luck has been horrendous and it doesn’t seem like a good idea to stretch it any further.

  5. pires is king says:

    Interesting thoughts. I think part of Desi’s point is not that we are in trouble right now, but that the same kind of planning that has bitten us in the past is still being utilized, and that it would be refreshing to see the past problems being directly addressed. I for one (with zero inside information) think Wenger tends heavily towards the ‘nurture’ approach to his players and team, always working to coax the best out of them, something he is quite good at and a reason why so many talented young players dream of playing for Arsene. From my perspective, this has come at a cost for a more competitive squad within its own ranks, as well as leaving us open to injury crisis. If it is important to show faith in a player, than he can’t be left on the bench all the time. However, then we are left with no bench… so I would love to see a shift in this approach by having a strong, competitive bench and the willingness to sit some players who are not performing, though I think this may run against the grain of what Arsene has developed in team culture. Just a thought. Thanks again for a great post!

    • desigunner says:

      You got my point.

      I think Wenger will leave players on the bench once we have a consistent run with most players fit. Over the last two seasons we have really struggled on that front.

  6. Phil23 says:

    I agree that we need another midfielder. I would have been happy with a Vertonghen type signing that can cover both midfield and Defense but I can’t see that happening now. I can see us coming up with 2 signings but in what positions I’m not sure. Kwadwo Asamoah looks like the goods to me. A central midfielder with unlimited work ethic and a lot of strength from what I’ve heard. Although I admit that I only saw him in the world cup. Hes left footed too so adds the balance to midfield supposedly he has played out in Left midfield as well so he could be the answer to your defensive situation down the left!

    • desigunner says:

      I’ve not seen that much of Asamoah so it’s difficult for me to comment on him.

      BTW did you see the goal Vertonghen scored againt Kyiv? It was a real beauty. He also looked clueless against a long, high ball down the middle. Looks ready for Arsenal 😀

  7. WingedBlackLion says:

    I too thought AW needed to sign one attacking midfielder who could cover up for an injury to either one of RVP or fabregas. I have always thought amazing talents like marek hamsik and yoann gourcuff should come to arsenal but i guess their price would be too high for wenger. he should go for someone younger who wouldnt mind warming the bench for a bit like miralem pjanic. He would be around 5m and would fit into the team style really well. Hoping for Shwarzer and Squillachi deals to go through. Micah Richards would be an awesome addition with his versatility.

    • desigunner says:

      Getting someone of the quality of RvP or Fabregas would be extremely tough. Personally, I rate Nasri, Arshavin, Wilshere, and Rosicky above Hamsik or Gourcuff.

  8. T2T says:

    If we need a midfielder, it must be a defensive. I would love for Flamini to come back and fight it out with Song who should start. I also think we need to “never” play our best team but always rotate 2-3.

    • Gunner Young says:

      I agree, it is not just the case that we need a central midfielder, it needs to be a defensive midfielder to give us balance.

      Madrid is letting Lassana Diarra go, he would have been a perfect player for us. Unfortunately, his relationship with Arsene was non existent.

      I am pretty sure we will sign a midfielder actually.

      • desigunner says:

        Hope you’re right. Diarra didn’t show any patience or class. I’ll be surprised if we show interest in Flamini or Diarra.

  9. arsenalvideo says:

    Nasri, frimpong, Ramsey all out but Denilson, Diaby, Rosicky, Wilshere, Arshavin, Walcott, Fabregas, Eboue and Song, I think with the actual 4-3-3 formation, bringing another midfielder will block someone and so why spending years in developping some young guys to block the year they may come into light? I think we definitly need a CB and a GK, we are really short at the back and a new GK because taking that many goals in pre season is definitly not good for us and the confidence

  10. Total idiot says:

    Arsnl is fkn cursd wat te fk, fk me.

  11. Mulugeta says:

    i dream melo for a year but i gave up yesteday night when i saw him playing for juve for european league. he is cup tied so there is no possiblity to come.

  12. critic says:

    what’s ur take on so much injuries concerning arsenal, i refuse to believe it’s down to pure bad luck. There must be something wrong in arsene’s training method or with the medical staff…what do u guys think???…rosicky will be out soon….hopefully i am wrong….

    • Wilsheres dad says:

      Fast passing game by (often) slighly built players invites more late challenges from less technically gifted players.
      Training & playing (at home) on near perfect surfaces & then playing away on what must in some cases be the equivalent of a ploughed field can’t help.

    • desigunner says:

      I think it’s a combination of many reasons.

      Wilshere’s dad identified a couple of important ones.

      I also think we tend to ask a lot of our players. For instance Frimpong played at a higher level during the pre-season without any rest. I think that broke him down.

      We also get a lot of contact injuries. RvP last year, Nasri broke his leg and even his present injury was a result of a tackle (according to Wenger), so that’s always a problem.

      Personally, I also feel there is something wrong with our footwear. I know that’s a strange thing to say but I see more Arsenal players slipping and falling, even at the Emirates, than other players. Against Liverpool Arshavin lost his footing quite often.

      We have also been caught in a negative spiral. Few players available, so they get stretched. By the time others are back these guys get injured. So we are short again and can’t rotate. It goes on.

      There could be a question about the medical staff but even the other doctors haven’t been able to get it right. Holland screwed RvP, Denmark didn’t do much about Bendtner, and so on.

      It’s a complex issue but we desperately need a solution.

  13. oyek says:

    Injuries r inevitable, d outcome at d end of d season will determine how u ve bin able to manage ur injuries. What we nid r utility players. I think in dis situation we shld let flamini come back because he’s already bin part & parcel of the team & also d price is in order. Its just dat we r paying for letting him go. Then Mr Wenger can den go ahead & sign a keeper & CB. Thank

  14. bunmsco says:

    I think flamini is d real solution here. Get him back & ur midfield is ok, he can play allround. Forgive him & let’s ve a gd season. Then a CB & GK

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