By Tony Attwood
Yesterday we had a nice little debate about Arsenal’s forward line and midfield. Leaving aside my decision to include a player no longer with Arsenal (bloody typical that they should transfer someone just when I wanted to write about him), I thought the issues raised were interesting.
So what about the defence?
- Angha ??? perhaps one season too early
- Hajrovic ??? ditto
The obvious man to step up is Coquelin – giving us two players on the left and three on the right with two possible youngsters moving up.
- Squillaci ??? leaving
- Djourou ??? leaving
- Song – stand by in case needed
- Bartley – was at Rangers all last season
I am useless at seeing whether a player is developing well or not from the reserves, so the fact that I thought Miquel was looking good last season is neither here nor there. The key point was the sheer brilliance of Koscielny – another “clearly not good enough” player (eh Ian?)
So, if Miquel is ready, we have four players, even with Squillaci and Djourou going – plus Song as a stand by. As for Bartley, I watched him play for Rangers, but in the games I saw Rangers were chasing the game, and they all had a tough time of it. Whether he is up to Premier League standard I have my doubts. But as ever, what do I know?
The wonderful thing about the AAA is their terrific ability to jump from one crisis to another, leaving behind one “obvious disaster” when it turns out that maybe they knew sweet FA on the subject. Thus it was with goalkeepers – we so desperately urgently needed to buy one, until it turned out we had a terrific keeper, who can only get better year on year.
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It is what happens in the reserve sections that is an issue.
- Szczesny – obvious number 1
- Fabianski – only got a couple of cup games last year
- Mannone – played 23 games at Hull last season
- Martinez – the up coming man
I would suspect one of Fabianski and Mannone will move on with Martinez coming up to number three. He has already sat on the bench for the full Argentine squad, despite still being only 5 weeks old (actually my data might be slightly wrong there).
One thing is certain, we don’t need a keeper. (Which given that I said it, probably means that we do).
So what do we make of this?
The left and right backs took a hammering on the injury front last season – but you can’t really have six players with only two playing each week. The back up players are young and willing to be bit part players, with Santos having a unique ability to fool opposition and commentators alike by transforming himself from a defender to an attacking midfielder in a trice.
In the centre I think we will rotate a bit depending on whom we are playing, but much depends on whether Miquel really is ready. I think he is, but as I said, what do I know.
On this basis we are not buying anyone. But don’t quote me on it.
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