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Written by Mean Lean on Friday, 23 December 2011 16:24

Change may be the order of the day, well I say day but really mean the next few weeks. Our full back situation will change in one way or another.

Bacary Sagna is running again after his break at Tottenham earlier in the season. Sagna is the best defensive minded right back in the league in my opinion, I am sure that is not just my opinion. He is Mr consistency, tough, mentally strong and courageous. He is the type of right back that you need to win titles. He is better than both Lee Dixon and Lauren in my eyes and it is amazing that we have coped pretty well in his absence. In fact we have lost one league game at Manchester City since his terrible injury.

I have been waiting patiently to watch the Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen and Santos partnership develop and we may have three of them back ready to develop an understanding with each other. With Santos coming back later on and playing the 'false 3' I wouldn't be surprised if we had the best defence next season. You would have been thrown into a straight jacket saying stuff like that in August. With Santos joining our attacks and the other three super mobile defenders being able to cover each other makes me very excited.

In the meantime we are short of left backs, Gibbs now has to have an operation and continues to be dominated by terrible luck while Santos is no closer to a return so Arsene has hinted that he may have to bring in someone on loan. The media's football knowledge isn't very impressive so obviously Wayne Bridge's name has been thrown into the ring. This has quickly been batted out of the press room, thank you Arsene.

As poor as Bridge is defensively I think I would rather he joined on loan if no other player was available. Trust me, it took me a while of convincing myself to say that. Don't get me wrong, defensively Bridge is cack and Vermaelen who is currently our make shift left back is better defensively in that position but I want Vermaelen back in the center, I want the Kosmaelen partnership  back working together in the middle where they belong.

I am not quite sure how many games they have played together without checking every single match but I am sure it isn't that many. However in the games that they have played together, I am pretty sure our defensive record is pretty good and they seem to compliment each other rather well. People used to say that they are too similar and to some extent that is true but I see that as purely a positive. Koscielny is statistically our strongest in the air this season, he has improved a lot since last season in that respect and is immense on the floor. The same pretty much goes for Vermaelen so when two defenders have those strengths, is it bad to partner them together? I certainly do not think so.

This is no slight on Mertesacker who has been impressive in the short time he has been at Arsenal. A great player to push our first two defenders and a great person to add into the rotation mix.

Continuing with the subject of change, the transfer window is not very far away and we already expect a temporary fix to the left back spot but according to RMC radio in France, Arsenal and Lyon have made contact about bringing Yoann Gourcuff to Arsenal. Arsene Wenger has recently denied chasing the creative midfielder and if we can rule out Bridge then we should be ruling out Gourcuff, Podolski etc.

That said, I would imagine that Gourcuff would be the exact type of player that Wenger would be interested in. A player who has obvious talent and who has lost his way at another club. A player who has International experience yet would cost reasonable money. If that wasn't an Arsene Wenger signing then I don't know what is.

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Arsene said he is interested in a forward but he has not mentioned being interested in another creative midfielder. Jack Wilshere and Abou Diaby are still on their way back. In fact Jack Wilshere could well be jogging right now, not literally now but you know what I mean. I don't know if there is any space for one more game changer in that role but at this moment in time, I would love to see that type of player.

Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere are still young and are still inconsistent, at least that is the case for Ramsey. I think we have relied on Robin a little too much because we have lacked that spark from our 'number 10' at times.   

Speaking of Ramsey, you would expect that it may be time to rest him. He has looked a little tired in the last two games and our players will certainly not be able to play every game over Christmas. The same goes with the rest of the team and I really wonder how many changes will be made on Tuesday. It was this sort of time last season at Wigan where Arsene rested pretty much the whole first team and we should have won really but got a draw in the end.

I hope we keep some type of first team spine because too many changes will upset our rhythm but at the same time, not resting leads to fatigue and injury and we don't want that. At least Alex Song will play after missing our victory at Villa. Robin van Persie is two goals away from the calendar year record but I cannot imagine that he will play both on Tuesday and then next Saturday so that shall be interesting.

I didn't mention the van Persie dive on the post match blog and I seem to be the only person to think that Robin went down without being touched. His feet went over before a challenge was made. As I said, I seem to be in the minority not that it really matters.

Ok, well that is about that for now.

Back tomorrow.

Comments (23)

  • David  - Arsene to hit the shops???
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    Mean Lean, good articel again! Agree with you on young Rambo, he needs a few matches on the bench.

    I would love to see Wenger go buy Gourcuff - he is similar in style to Kaka (with a little less dribbling ability but better passer) and would be ideal for our side. As Risicky is likely to leave in January, with hopefully the waste-of-space Russian to, I can see this move going through.

    Wenger won't sign a central defender even though he needs one to add to the ranks as Djourou is too inconsistent, The Big German is just not good enough (he was hapless last weekend at City) to be a permanent partner for TV5 but is adequate as a back-up option; I just hope Arsene gives both Bartley and Miquel proper roles next season in the squad if he is not going to sign a new CB come the summer!

    Some may laugh but I would love Arsene to go and sign Douglas from Twente - he is an absolute denfensive beast in the mould of Samba., and like TV5, he can play a bit to going forward.
  • Mike Rowe  - JJDeede
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    I don't quite know what you mean by "feet went over...", but the defender was moving across his path, and Robin trod on the defender's foot, losing his balance, and the rest of the defender's momentum did the rest... he couldn't avoid the fall. The ref had to decide on the intent of the defender in terms of obstructing RvP's run, and instead took a lame home-crowd decision and booked our man. Very unfair, as even if he decided it wasn't a penalty, it was an inadvertant fall... not uncommon in football, as my muddy shorts would often attest. A pen would have been more justified than the booking.
  • natty  - Gourcuff
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    Why on earth would Arenal be interested in Gourcuff, he is the same player as Ramsey, Wilshere, Arteta, Rosicky, Benayoun. Why would a club with ONE credible striker buy a ANOTHER technically gifted midfield playmaker. The Belgium Ajax defender and a striker are imperatives. My money is on Hugo at Wigan, five million, that's our kind of price.
  • Arsenal  - Gourcuff
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    Gourcuff has not been able to hit form for Lyon. I would like to loan him for the rest of the season, and get an idea of wether or not he can cut it with arsenal, and decide in January wether or not we want him.
  • Red Sigmund  - The Window
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    Good article.
    I would love to see Wenger bring in Marvin Martin: he's a great passer and tough as anything despite his small stature. I'm not sure either Ramsey or Jack are suited to the out and out attacking midfield role that Cesc played.
  • ma_t14
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    It seemed like a dive to me as well, you are not alone...
  • hardychris  - master
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    i luv ur article, we really have 2 offload some players, people like chamahk, diaby, djorou, arshavin, and squillaci. This set of people r not helping us at all, and we need 2 replace them.
  • Kedus  - Replacement of Gervinho
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    We need player temporarily in his position..i say Henry because the our formation is 4-3-3 and ROSISCY Should be given more time by resting ramsey
  • Kedus  - Replacement of gervinho
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    It's henry cuz the formation is 4-3-3
  • dkgooner  - No doubt about it
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    He was going down before any contact - ref got it spot on for once. No protest from RvP either.
  • king gooner  - cover reqd
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    vertonghen from ajax & a bobby zamora swap for chamakh is a cestinct poss-though i heard on the grape that podolski is on his way!
  • Anonymous
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    P :twisted: h
  • ARMOUR
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    PODOLSKI CAN PLAY BOTH ON LW N SS...HE S TOP PRIORITY
  • Mauro tassoti  - Comment
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    Chamrk, squilsh, arshavn, fribg jour.must be swapet continues.
  • asnlfan26  - cbs n signings
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    i reckon tv5 n mertesacker shud be 1st choice cb's as mert's height n experience r very important..kos primary backup

    yeah excited abt d prospect of szczeny-santos-tv5-merteskr-sagna defence :) !!a loan lb and good striker sch as podolski shud be priority fr jan window.
  • Anonymous  - candyarse
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    in all fairness ive not seen miquel do too much wrong wen he plays. id rather see him at left back (temporarily) and have vermasacker through the middle. kos is doing a fine job down right. but we surely look impotent without our full backs. sagna is running again, santos is taking samba lessons to loose his extra flab.wen theyr back it'll be divine to watch them bombard the flanks.
    everytime arsene takes out gervinho or walcott i find myself drooling over the thought of watching the OX only to cripple like a post orgasmic phallus at the sight of the russian retard.
  • chokdee  - become more british again
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    Any player as long as he is british. Abroad we're a;ready known as the foreign legion. Few weeks ago we did set a new 'record' which even did hit the headlines from many newspapers (abroad). Game where we used 13 different players.......from 13 nationalities. Let's come british again.
  • ManBearPig
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    Can't agree w/ the view that RVP dived.... Watch that again... The defender was coming at him at full pelt... Also watch RVP's stride...his right leg was where his weight transfer was going as he was running... That means his entire body weight.... Had he not adjusted, and continued running, transferring his weight on his right leg with a Villa thug bearing down on him..... The thought makes me shudder as we all know how that goes... Fortunately for us, RVP saw it coming.
  • ricksta
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    I think at the moment we should give miquel a game at left back and play kosielney at right back. We should give rosicky a game and give ramsey a rest and maybe rest one of our wingers (gervinho and walcott) for benayoun. Otherwise szesney is doing amazing for us.
  • richie  - Multi Racial International Proud Gooner
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    Whats with the xenaphobic comment? I'm a proud Brit who's a even prouder Gooner. I was proud in 84 when we signed the first Black player to play in an international for England Viv Anderson. I'm proud we have the first foreign manager to have won the prem.

    Personally I like the idea! "If" we are called "the foreign legion" for me its a plus (Not a negative) that we have so many players from all around the world playing for us. 13 different players from 13 nationalities what a proud day for Arsenal! What a proud day for Gooners from all over the World! Sounds just like the good old British commonwealth, sounds like London. Sounds like Highbury. Sounds like the street in Highbury where I live actually.
  • richie
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    From one rick to another I couldn't agree more! Miguel deserves a chance if only for how well he did when he replaced Santos. In fairness to Arsene and the coaching staff I'm sure they must've tried everybody at full back in training and we are only getting the player who looks most competant in that slot. Ramsey looks like he needs a rest and Rosicky looks like he needs a game the perfect combination me thinks. If the boss doesn't want to give Tomas a full game then give him the 1st 45 and Ramsey the seconds. Same with Benayoun Gervinho/Walcott. Thats surely a way to both rest and keep players in shape.
  • Cefca  - Hmm
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    Most penalties you see given these days seem to involve players already being on their way down before contact is made but are called stonewall penalties.
  • samuel
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    British/Welsh or other UK players don,t have the technical skills of
    their European counterparts ,Rosicky,Arteta,Cesc ,van Persie ,Wal
    cott a prime example ,with woeful first touch and non existent goal
    scoring ability,so forget about rubbish British players,please ?
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