Saturday, July 17, 2010

Thoughts about Chamakh, van Persie & Bendy...

Chamakh, van Persie, Bendy - we've suddenly got three centre-forwards competing for the one spot. It's quite comforting considering that van Persie is injury-prone, Bendy is young and still inexperienced, and Chamakh is a bit of an unknown quality. In the best case scenario, we're going to have to shoehorn three quality players into one spot. In the worst case scenario, van Persie gets injured for the rest of the year, Bendy is STILL too inexperienced to carry the forward line, and Chamakh isn't up to standard.

Probably what's going to happen is that van Persie will get injured somewhere around the January crush, Bendy will be sporadic, and Chamakh will be good, but not great. We'll still score goals like fun, but when the going gets tough, we're going to fold like laundry. It's what you get when you're not willing to stump up £60m for a world-class forward.

There's speculation going around that we're going to change our formation to a 4-4-2 again. I don't think this will happen. We switched to a 4-3-3 because we didn't have the box-to-box midfielders to play 4-4-2 anymore. We still don't have those players, and we won't until Ramsey, Frimpong, JET and Coquelin grow up. We've got a DM in Song who sits in front of the defence and who can cover for our rampaging centre-backs, but who doesn't have the aerobic capacity to go upfield (and hence, should stay put). We've got a CM in Fabregas who's been converted into a Frank Lampard type goalscoring midfielder. We spent the whole of last year breaking up the midfield into two separate lines of attack and defence, and I doubt we're going to go back after just one season.

If worse comes to worse, I think we'll reprise the tall-striker-on-the-right-wing experiment from last season. It worked reasonably well last season as Bendy won a lot of free headers. And Chamakh would be even better, because unlike Bendy, he's reasonably quick and mobile.

For me, the bigger question is who's going to replace Song if he gets injured. He didn't have genuine backup last season, and heading towards the new one, he still doesn't. And I don't see Eastmond as being ready, or Denilson or Diaby as being suitable. We need someone in this position, pronto.

So on the 282nd last day of my 20s, I went to work. There was this guy with a raging toothache from two teeth, who decided against treatment because he had to play footy later in the afternoon, and he wouldn't be able to play if I took out those teeth. So I numbed him with enough anaesthetic to last him through the match, and sent him on his way. He's going to be in the worst possible pain until Monday when he comes back, but he'd rather endure that than let down his team mates.

And I'm just wondering, would our Arsenal boys play through pain for the team?

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