Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Van Persie Gang and the others

Against West Ham United, "that was the real Arsenal" claims Theo Walcott. It was a splendid performance from our team, with Van Persie getting his sharpness back and as a result we looked more threatening in the final third. Theo also chipped in with the scoring and secured a penalty which Van Persie neatly buried at the back of the goal. Overall it was also a good midfield performance which made life easier for us. The combination of Wilshere and Song is maturing in their understanding and it gives a perfect cover to Cesc who can pull the strings upfront.

The star of the match was Robin who now looks very much like his normal self. He's started to shoot from outside the box, score swivel-and-turn goals and create chances for his team-mates. With a fit Van Persie, no doubt the players look more confident with their attacking. If he manages to stay like this for the rest of the season, Arsenal will be like a heavy-weight boxer going for the KO.

Although with all the positives upfront, the major worry lies at the back of the lineup. In the West Ham game we saw what could happen if you play the same CB in every single game. Johan Djourou has been a rock at the heart of our defense and has given tremendous individual performances over the last few games. But in the last match, he looked jaded and made couple of errors. His errors were made to look more serious because of the irresponsible behavior of Eboue. Djourou has been made to work harder than normal because  in the last three matches which Sagna has missed, he has also performed the duty of a right-back. This makes it a two-fold problem, neither we have a good cover for Bac nor we have another good CB.

Looking at the latter, it's understandable that with Vermaelen and Squillaci out injured we look a little short in the CB department but still except for Vermaelen we don't really boast of a world-class CB. DJ looks like one in the making but his game is still maturing. With Verminator undergoing a surgery, Arsene calls it "a procedure, exactly a procedure", I don't see him playing any part of the remaining season. It will be too ambitious and foolish to count on his services in our title challenge. The logical step will be to buy a good world-class CB but everyone knows that Arsenal will find none during the winter shopping. But if Arsene is reluctant to buy someone, he should give a chance to Miquel to show his mettle in a crunch match and prepare him for bigger things. Rafael though being a young prick and horrible player, has done reasonably well for Man United and I believe that Miquel can also become a new young star. It will sound stupid but I guess he will start against Leeds tomorrow.

Right now we're going strong in four competitions and it is necessary to keep the players fit and hungry for win. The key for Arsenal will be the fitness of Theo Van Nasregas and the quality of the center-back pairing. You put in a hungry-to-win Russian assassin and you get a Barca thrashing team right there.

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