Written by Mean Lean on Monday, 08 October 2012 19:29
By the time you read this, much of this article would have already happened but given that I now (then) have to entertain myself during a journey along the whole entire Jubilee line, I thought it was the best way to help the time fly a little quicker. Sorry for dragging you into this.
This evening Bacary Sagna, Emmanuel Frimpong and of course Jack Wilshere will be or rather would have played against Reading in the under 21 league. I am sure I read that Andre Santos was also in line to gain some much needed match fitness ahead of what is likely to be a run of games for our happy go lucky Brazilian. Rumours have it that both Sagna and Santos have been using the up to date version of Photoshop to forge their birth dates. I don't know how many over 21s we are able to use but Sagna will certainly be one of those players according to Arsenal.com
If Arsene felt it necessary to turn straight to Sagna then we could be in the position where we change 50% of our back four in one fell swoop. I am not sure how good that would be for the understanding that has developed since pre season, but funnily enough if I asked at the end of last season as to what I expected our back four to be then I probably would have gone for..
Sagna Koscielny Vermaelen Santos
That just shows how quickly football changes, not only fitness, form and confidence but the perception from watchers. You get the suspicion that Koscielny is now being looked at as slightly dodgy after his performance against Chelsea. Giroud is now the real deal and Walcott must be in the team where as the feeling after Chelsea was that he didn't care one jot and should be shipped out as soon as erm, the ship is available.
I don't like talking too much about Theo Walcott because he just confuses me. That flip flopping on players is deep within me when it comes to our number 14. Even more so now that he is only a few months away from signing a pre contract with another club.
While it was only FC Koln, I found myself getting rather excited at the prospect of Santi Cazorla playing in and around Theo Walcott. Walcott had missed someone like that last season, Aaron Ramsey for all his underrated qualities was not always one for sending Theo free early when that split second presented itself, often taking one touch too many before his head was lifted and Walcott was back on his heals, having to come to the ball instead. Once that moment is lost in a move, it is very difficult to get it back at that moment as defenders are able to reposition themselves.
We saw how effective it was when executed, I think back to our 3-0 victory at home to West Brom. I think it may have been our first goal when Ramsey sent a daisy cutter through to the sprinting Walcott. Walcott cut it back to... ah! memory blank. Forget it, I cannot remember but we scored anyway.
Against FC Koln we got a taster of what Walcott could do in our new look side. Cazorla found his runs on a couple of occasions and Walcott looked very sharp.
As is often the case though, when space no longer exists then Theo becomes redundant. All his strengths are nullified and his weaknesses are there for all to see. Does have the dribble to beat his man, isn't able to pick out his man and there is nowhere left to run.
However teams dropping off to cut off Walcott actually helps the best player in our squad. The back four dropping deep allows Cazorla areas outside of the opposition penalty area to play decisive passes or even left footed screamers into the top corner. Theo also opens out the pitch and has always done so when he plays, left backs are not able to tuck inside and congest the middle because they have to stick close to him.
Well this is all well and good but as long as Walcott decides not to agree to our terms then I really have wasted more of my time writing about him.
We seem to have a collection of attacking players who have key deficiencies along with a collection of great strengths. Well, all but Cazorla of course.
Walcott is the fastest player around along with a wonderful finish but cannot dribble, whilst improved, needs work defensively.
Gervinho is the best dribbler at the club, works hard and quick but is erratic with his finishing, shooting and also appears to have issues playing on the right.
Giroud has great movement, great team player, hard worker also devilishly handsome but Walcott and Gervinho probably have more pace running backwards.
I think we should invest in one of those teleporters from 'The Fly' and stick all three players together, it is 50/50 though, you may end up with a slow, non dribbler who cannot finish and doesn't work very hard. That said, you could end up with a 27 year old Thierry Henry. Bloody eck, that guy was good wasn't he and when you think about all the above strengths combined, he had it all. Unfortunately you do not see Thierry Henry's dangling down from tree's on a regular basis.
Just incase you were not aware, this post has zero structure or indeed point and I don't intend to go back and give it any but thank you for keeping me company during my torturous tube ride.
Fingers crossed that the boys came through without injury and also looked as sharp as they could possibly do.
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