Thank you Nahn – ~I love it when people quote Dylan at me. Although it has nothing to do with football, I run a little Bob Dylan blog which slowly records commentaries on the meaning of Dylan’s music.
But meanwhile back in the real world, how about starting to talk about next season now? Perverse, bizarre, stupid, irrational, untimely and strange, so it is just right for this blog.
I doubt that many of our players will be childishly ignorant enough this year to listen to their agents and think of trotting off to WC Milan or Bar Bar Barca Sheep to follow the great career development plan of Hleb or Flamini. Maybe Ade will go, which would be a great shame, but even without doing anything to replace him we have four great strikers plus one more moving up from the reserves.
What’s more we always have one or two break through from the ranks – just as Denilson and Song have done this year. By next August Vela should be joining those two, and so will Bischoff, Wilshere, and Merida be pushing up from behind. Plus pushing up from further below are the likes of Coquelin, and maybe one or two of the guys on loan…
Elsewhere Diaby and Ramsey look certain to become more regular players (to me that is) while I would expect to see Lansbury and Murphy from the kiddies team stepping up to the League Cup squad.
If we compare this situation with that of the start of this season, in which the untried Ramsey had to do his stuff in the Champions League qualifiers, what is clear is that we are developing not just a maturing team, but a squad that can cope with the ravages of injury.
The question then is, can the team cope with the rotational timewasting that is now central to the English Premier League. I’ve pondered this (while playing me Dylan albums) and I think the trick is twofold: the change of position and the substitution.
Playing for 0-0 for a whole game is very tiring, and rotational time wasting is an attempt to remove the tiredness from such matches. But the way to beat this is a sudden switch of tactics. The movement of the player from midfield to centre forward, the change from the big loping centre forward to the perfect finisher, or the guy at the edge of the box.
The extra number of players we are now allowed on the bench gives the option of this – as does the fact that some players can move position – as can Arshavin, Nasri, Bendtner, Vela.
So I think that not only is the squad looking interesting, but I spy a change in tactic to overcome the growing number of 0-0 teams. And don’t forget you read it here before it cropped up in the Guardian or football 365.
Now where’s that bloody chauffeur gone, I’m ready to go to Zebra Land.
(c) The Great Soothsayer of Arsenal 2009
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