Swanning Around, Defensive Decisions & More
The Swansea fixture is now firmly on the horizon, normality in the football world restored after the rude interruption of internationals. Early team news is positive, Theo Walcott‘s hamstring never developed full knack and he is apparently ready, raring to go.
Kieran Gibbs meanwhile is also in contention although no doubt the medical team are also on standby for one of the most ill-starred players ever as far as injuries go. An interesting choice for Wenger is whether to let Gibbs rest further, rehabilitating fully or simply to go with Santos anyway in view of his greater experience.
Deciding on the central defensive pairing is Arsène’s biggest decision. Whilst I understand that the choice is for this weekend, there is a larger aspect, namely the Champions League and beyond.
Mertesacker must surely play against Dortmund having experience of the stadium and players, their style and quirks, nuances that a scouting report may not pick up on. The decision is therefore whether or not to start the German in his first game there, using training sessions for he and Koscielny to gain understanding. Or, is it more profitable to use them as a pairing in the Swansea match?
Personally, I would go with the latter.
Per Mertesacker has been the target of disparaging remarks already. No sooner had the ink dried on his contract than he was labelled a poor man’s Gary Cahill which is simply bizarre given the vast difference in their experience. Unless, of course, those who think that are bamboozled by the run of results that has seen England rise to the top of their qualifying group for Euro2012.
A number of the complaints have come from the rampagingly incoherence of tabloid radio and journalism, reports that condemn him for having ‘the turning circle of a barge‘ whilst not knowing anything about the player. If they had an original thought, his critics would probably find themselves on a murder charge.
Long gone are the days where performances for the club decide whether or not a player is good enough, now the instant judgement of a packet mix media form the opinions of the masses.
It is always amusing when players are criticised for being part of a side that concedes a high number of goals, as if they are solely responsible for that attribute. When critics get it wrong, it is even funnier.
Mertesacker has been tainted by that accusation on the basis that Bremen conceded 61 goals last season. If that is the case, Cahill is nowhere near the solution since Bolton conceded only five fewer. No wait, they are Premier League goals which are worth more than their Bundesliga equivalent.
Aaron Ramsey believes that things will improve this weekend. No doubt the team meeting that Tomas Rosicky believes will happen, will contribute toward that, as well as the newbies wearing a name tag so that everyone knows who they are.
Quite simply, it has to get better. There are still over one hundred points up for grabs and a gap that is not in double digits is emminently retrievable at this stage of the season. And if Mikel Arteta believes the title is on, perhaps we should give the man the benefit of the doubt, especially since his jib is cut in the finest way.
Posted on September 8, 2011, in Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip. Bookmark the permalink. 352 Comments.