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By Walter Broeckx
A few weeks ago Wenger told on Arsenal.com that this squad was the strongest he has ever had.
After that we had 2 losses in a row and rather painful ones. One on a dreadful Saturday in North London and the other in Portugal, where for some reason Arsenal never has a good game. Is it the climate over there?
You could hear the laughter in the media about that French manager who hasn’t won anything for 5 years and who suddenly was pretending to have the best squad he has ever had. And then losing two games. Let’s have some fun with him.
And of course those of you who go to other blogs and Arsenal websites have all read the ‘sack Wenger as he has lost it’ headlines after his statement that were followed by those two defeats. But I really do think that most of those other blogs actually don’t understand what Wenger is saying. Or maybe they don’t want to understand what he really was saying.
Wenger was not saying: “oh, with this squad I will be winning every game from now one.” No, this is what some thought he was saying but I think Wenger has been around long enough to know that it doesn’t work that way. Even the best team in the world, and let us presume that it is Barcelona for the moment, loses some games. Even in a league where you have only 2 real good teams, 3 a bit average teams, and 15 poor teams. And poor in every sense goes in fact for all of those teams in Spain.
What Wenger was saying that he has so much players available at every position he has a very big choice. And certainly when all the players are fit. Let us take a look at the players and form some teams with them to explain what he means.
Let us start with the defence:
Fabianski or Sczcesny(Almunia)
Sagna-Djourou-Vermaelen-Clichy or Eboue-Squillaci-Koscielny-Gibbs
Now we all can have our favourites in defence or the one we don’t like that much but all 8 backs are replaceable at any time without losing to much quality. Last year when Vermaelen and Gallas got injured we had to play with Campbell and Silvestre. And however big a player Campbell has been for us, he was just a bleak shadow of that player. Some might call it blasphemy but they were a very poor partnership and I even wrote an article about their weaknesses. But now I really feel confident about any combination Wenger might pick from those 8 players. I do have my preferences which I wrote down a few days ago but I feel comfortable about them all.
Lets go to midfield and there we have even more options. Let us start from a 3 man midfield trio with one defensive midfielder. Different types for different situations but I take them both.
Song or Denilson.
And let us go to the offensive midfield positions:
Cesc-Wilshere or Nasri – Rosicky
And while we are at it, let us roll out the attack:
Walcott – Chamakh – Arshavin or do you prefer Van Persie – Bendtner – Vela
Those are two teams of 11 players who might start any game for us and I feel we are in with a good chance of winning it. And the best part is you can change any player in these different teams without bringing the quality down that much.
And I do realise that there are midfielders who can be played in attack, like Nasri or Rosicky and in fact you could also drop a player like Van Persie or Arshavin to a midfield role if needed.
And on top of this we still didn’t mention Diaby who was having a good season until he got kicked off the field by that Bolton twat and then again by Essien from Chelsea.
And we still got Ramsey who will be back very soon and hopefully back to his best like he was when he got kicked off the field by that thug Shawcross.
And then we got some youngsters coming after that like Nordtveit in defence who can play in the centre and at right back.
And then we have Frimpong who was so impressive in the preseason until he injured his knee.
And then in January we are awaiting some young guy named Wellington Silva who has been on the field some 17 times as a 17 year old for his club Fluminense in Brazil. Fluminense who just has been crowned champions in Brazil. So he will be another player to fill in somewhere in these teams.
In fact the squad is so strong for the moment that very talented youngsters like Jay Emmanuel Thomas, Eastmond and Lansbury hardly can get in to the squad for the Carling cup.
So every where in the team there are at least 2 players for each position and in some cases even more who can replace each other. A lot of players can hardly get on the bench for some games and they are full internationals for their country.
In recent months we have seen Wenger rotate his squad at times with 7 or 9 players and still the team was as good as the game before and capable of winning any game. Not saying actually winning any game but never been outplayed by the other team. On occasion being outdone by our own failures. And if all our players are fit Wenger will have the option to replace his full team and put another team on the field and change it over and over. And even then there will be some players unhappy because they have to sit on the bench.
Does this mean we are unbeatable and will win every game? It would be nice, but as we are playing real football and not some kind of computer game this will not really happen. Because players are human and can make mistakes. And sometimes it doesn’t work out like you planned in a game.
But that our squad is strong and has depth is not just wishful thinking. As I have just told and showed you we have two full squads (if everyone fit) and you can play them in any kind of combination just as you like it or need it.
The only thing is that some of these players are still rather young and still need to grow a bit. But just look at this wealth in our squad (and with many still so young and only starting to come nearer to the best period in their football lives between 23-24 and 30). If we can keep this squad together for the next 10 years and only replace the older ones when their time has come, with some new fresh talents we will see great things.
Political note: if you are a UK resident and you agree that it is wrong that government funding should be cut while Vodophone, Topshop, BHS, Dorothy Perkins, Barclays Bank, and most recently Cadbury, should avoid UK tax by utilising tax loopholes that the UK government refuses to shut down, please visit UK Uncut
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