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.
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.