Merida & Sagna Aren’t Off Whilst Gibbs & RvP See A Bright Future
A typical international week thus far. Injuries dominate the headlines and judging by the numbers of fallen at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea will be struggling to put out a side at The Emirates in a fortnight’s time. A lot of suspicion should surround these reports since it is highly likely that most of their walking wounded will make the biggest comeback since Lazarus, being fit and ready for action once kick-off comes.
For Arsenal, you know it is quiet when the headlines concern the one-armed girlfriend of Nicklas Bendtner. The usual denials of leaving and pledges to sign players abound from other clubs. This time though, the players themselves are being quiet, except for Fran Merida who emphasised his involvement with the first team, leaving the backtracking from his Mr20% to be put down to the “falsehoods” which “abound in football“.
FIFA is tackling this problem head on. Their solution? Stop regulating agents. It has been a pretence all along and explains why clubs such as Barcelona can run around tapping players up with impugnity. For the media, it is manna from heaven. The complaints from Arsene about the unsettling effects on his charges likely to be put down to querulous behaviour on his part as the rill of spurious claims becomes a raging torrent portrayed as the truth. Summer’s may have seemed so peaceful in the past.
Bacary Sagna‘s determination to stay at Arsenal was made clear on his behalf by a “source close to the French international” who spoke suspiciously like his Mr20%.
Wenger should have little concern about his current players though. Kieran Gibbs believes that the Academy borne from the Frenchman’s vision of the future is bringing to fruition the improved technical abilities of English players. Has this boy not read the media or listened to football’s administrators? Wenger is the Devil incarnate, evil for bringing foreign youngsters to the club whilst discarding native talent.
Gibbs observations mirror those of Merida in that Wenger and his staff are bringing through generations of technically adept players, eager for first team action and generally speaking, ready when called upon. Perhaps better prepared than any other club in England. Their development does not stop there however.
Robin van Persie emphasised the continuing improvements that the manager seeks in training with the first team:
The coach (Wenger) is particularly keen that I add something to the tactical play of the team, both offensively and creatively, that I use and combine with the players around me.
Talking of his own position in the team, the Dutchman observed:
I don’t see myself as a true out-and-out striker. Guys likes Torres and Drogba, they are real killers. I feel I play between a target striker and a supporting striker – I am a combination of both and that’s just fine. I try to bring my own dimension to the forward position.
The obvious comparison is with Bergkamp, a role model whom van Persie does not deny basing his game upon. However, the advanced nature of his play this season in terms of position on the pitch makes him more of a composite Pires / Henry than fundamentally creative like his compatriot. van Persie recognises this:
In the league I have now contributed seven assists and I am just as proud of these as the seven goals I have scored. I find it crucial to be effective in both spheres for the team.
Pires famously said that he derived more pleasure creating than scoring. van Persie is not so content with that element but he is perhaps the new style of centre forward that football craves at the moment.
Fans demand a 30 goal per season striker but whilst there is a place for that type of player, more effective for Arsenal this season will be a central forward who scores 20 or more and creates a similar number. Wenger has an abundance of creative talent that demands someone put the ball in the net. van Persie making space allows the midfield as a whole to strike their share, more than compensating for one striker doing that as is the case with other teams.
Whilst each side has a major goalscorer, Arsenal has numerous, evidenced by the number of games where multiple goalscorers have found the net. It is advantageous in that opponents struggle to contain them yet how will it function if a drought occurs. That is when the depth of talent available to Wenger will become apparent, with the bench able to provide a similar threat. Provided injuries do not intervene of course.
Posted on November 14, 2009, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Bacary Sagna, Football, Fran Merida, Kieran Gibbs, Premier League, Robin van Persie, Soccer, Transfer Gossip. Bookmark the permalink. 148 Comments.