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The World’s Gone Wrong
By Walter Broeckx
Many fans are blaming everybody and everyone for the two defeats in the last two games.
A lot of them pretend they even knew it would happen before it all came to pass. In reply I normally ask them to give me the numbers of the next draw of the Euro Millions lottery – if possible sent to me via private mail.
But it really is strange to see that the same team that run riot in the opening months of the league and played opponents off the field, as with the 1-6 win at Everton, suddenly now unable to bring a 2-0 advantage home.
But is this the same team?
I’ll move on to this in an instant. But I think it is fair to say that every manager in the game is putting his strongest team out in the first game of the season.
No matter if you are Wenger, Ferguson or Brown, you just take your 11 best players to form the team for the first game. Only if you have injuries picked up in the summer or left over from the season before do you change that.
But in fact when we played our first game we had no real troubles apart from Nasri being out with the broken leg he picked up in the training camp in Austria.
So Wenger went for this team
Sagna Galles Vermaelen Clichy
Song Denilson Cesc
Bendtner Van Persie Arshavin
This is according to the manager the best team he could pick and I think this is not far of the truth. And yesterday of this team was left:
Sagna X X Clichy
X X X
Bendtner X X
Seven players out. And not just seven – seven of our best players out. Our complete midfield out, half of our defence out and 2/3 of our attack out. And worse we had even lost some the most obvious reserves who could replace these players, such as Ramsey.
If you would look at a team as a human body it would mean that we only would have two legs and one arm. No left arm, no head, and nothing that keeps the whole thing together: the body. If that would be what was left of your body, you would be a client to be buried swiftly and with style.
I can hear some people think : we are The Arsenal, we are a top team we should cope with those situations. So the question is, would every other top team handle this situation ?
Let us pretend that MIOU who should start with
Neville Ferdinand Vidic Evra (and they were left with Neville X X Evra) Carrick Fletcher Scholes (X X X)
Valencia Rooney Berbatov ( Valencia X X)
Or lets take Chelsea who start with
Ivanovic Terry Carvalho Cole (Ivanovic X X Cole)
Lampard Essien Mikel ( X X X)
Anelka Drogba Malouda (Anelka X X)
Does anyone dare to say that Chelsea and MIOU would be stronger if they would have been in that position? If they had to fill in the gap with seven first team players out and not just seven but seven of the best players out, would they be able to cope with such a situation?
For those who say : “yes they would”; I would like to suggest to give me the names that would fill the gap without any loss of quality. You can use the comment section.
I think they also would struggle because as I said before it is much easier to get a replacement for a player, than it is to get a good replacement for a player like Cesc, Van Persie, Drogba, Lampard, Rooney, Ferdinand, ….
Some will say: “you see told you so we just had to buy.” Yes we could have bought a player in the same category as Cesc. Let’s see… we could have gone for Xavi or Iniesta or Kaka. Yeah they would come any second to sit on our bench and wait for Cesc breaking a leg.
Or we could have replaced Van Persie with… Messi or Ibrahimovic or why not Ronaldo.
Once again would they come and be on the bench just waiting for some injury to happen?
I think even the most buy, buy, buy fan would agree that it is rather unlikely for any of these players to come to the Arsenal because we simply can not afford them for the moment.
That’s nothing to be ashamed of, it is just a fact. We can not afford those players for the moment and they will not leave their team. Why would they? World class players just don’t come to a team to sit on the bench. But to replace the world class players we have like Cesc, Van Persie, Gallas, Arshavin with other world class players is a thing that no team really can do.
Wenger does not use the injuries as an excuse, I hear some people thinking. I agree, but I am not Wenger and I can speak more free than he can. It is Wenger’s task to built a team and not to destroy a team. It is his task to give players confidence and you don’t give confidence to players when you say: well in fact I don’t want to play him but Cesc is out so we just have to do with him but he’s only second choice. This would undermine the players confidence and would do much harm to the players and the team.
So my conclusion is that no team could cope with so many injuries to such senior players, right at the crucial time of the season. The only thing that is so hurting is that even with all those players out during this season and for the moment, we still could have been challenging right till the last day of the season.
Elsewhere in our retrospective section….
The Origins of Corruption. How the football league has been corrupt since its very first season.
An analysis of statistics. A look back to the Tiny Totts game
Ten minutes of insanity. A retrospective on the Wigan game
Full index at www.blog.emiratesstadium.info
And you can read all about my book at www.woolwicharsenal.co.uk