You have to be a genius to do this – by Walter Broeckx
On November 14 the worst thing happened again. The international games took its toll and Van Persie was out for what seems to be now 4 or 5 months. Van Persie was the focus of our attack. He was scoring goals, he was giving assists. You name it, he delivered.
Now playing Robin in that position was at first for some fans, (in particular the D&G brigade), insane, crazy and ridiculous. And when Robin didn’t score in the first games Wenger was declared a lunatic. But we scored like crazy, we played amazing games and Wengers’ determination paid off in the end. Robin began to score and gave assists with his eyes closed.
With Robin injured the obvious person to take over in the middle was Bendtner who could use his height and ball control to fill the gap. Unfortunately Bendtner himself was already out with another injury. So the two players who could play there in the centre of attack out for a period.
And the third big guy we have, that can play as an attacker and yes I mean Diaby is still out with an injury.
So our 2 biggest strikers were out. A possible third also. Eduardo came, Vela came but they had difficulty’s to find their feet right away. Both aren’t the tallest of players and in two difficult games we couldn’t score. Enough to put the doom and gloom brigade up in full force.
Wenger said that he maybe would buy someone because of the injury situation in the January transfer window, but it would take us a long month of December before we could buy someone.
So came the game against Stoke on Saturday. Stoke: a team renowned for its big and strong players. Eduardo the most likely centre forward injured himself in the last training on Friday so it was all doom and gloom before kickoff.
Now I’m not a Arsene Wenger, but if I had been the manager of the team and given the opposition I would look at my Carling Cup team and see for the biggest player available to put up front in the centre of the attack. I would look for a Sanchez Watt, a Jay Emmanuel Thomas or someone like that.
But what does a genius do? He doesn’t look for the obvious solution. He goes for the unthinkable. I really think that some 99 managers would have chosen for a big player from the squad to play up front against Stoke.
I can imagine the amazement on the face of Andrey Arshavin when called him over and said: “You are going to play as a centre forward against Stoke. ” At first he may have thought Wenger was taking him for a ride.
Arshavin? Wasn’t he just the player that has said on his own website that they lacked some height in the attack after the injuries from Robin, Nikclas and Abou ? Come on you got to be joking!
But no, Wenger took the smallest outfield player and put him there.
Insane, crazy and ridiculous. I bet this was what a few of us were thinking at kickoff when we realised that it would be Arshavin that would play there. I can imagine some doom and gloomers telling that Wenger has lost it completely.
And then the Russian maestro just played his game and proved that he is a much shorter version of Robin Van Persie. Good and intelligent runs, good linkup between him and his team mates, good passes, a goal and could and maybe should have had more goals. But he is saving them up for next week I think.
He showed that being clever on a football field is better than being big and strong. I don’t know who was selected as man of the match but the Dutch commentator said that he was by far the best man on the pitch and should be called Man of the Match.
Well for me the Man of the Match sat on the bench for 90 minutes. It was the man that decided to play him there. It takes a genius to come up with this solution and this once again shows that all of us don’t know what goes on in the mastermind of our manager.
Making the Arsenal – the story of Arsenal in 1910 told through the daily diary of a Fleet Street – is available through www.amazon.co.uk or for a quicker delivery directly from the publishers. Details at www.emiratesstadium.info
- WSL 2022-23 Arsenal v Everton – Match Preview
- Which Arsenal transfer tale is being repeated the most often?
- How much have Arsenal’s rivals spent on transfers in recent years?
- Why is it becoming so difficult to find a sponsor for new football stadium?
- Corruption flares up again in Italy, as Premier League figures don’t look too clever