Easy and expected win, but we need everyone on top form.
So I decided to hold my views until after Saturday’s game against West-Ham to test whether some theories I have are correct, beginning with our game against Leeds. I looked at our lineup which included the likes of Denilson, Rosicky, Bendtner, Eboue; generally our second string players and despite having my reservations I still felt it was a good enough line up to put them away. Apparently I was wrong as we needed a last gasp goal from our captain, a substitute, to force a replay.
After this, I was immediately interested in knowing whether or not Le Boss would tweak things for our League Cup semi-final against Ipswich whom incidentally had been pummeled by Chelsea. Wow they picked a relegation threatened championship team with a more important game in mind to show they could score goals and win games, aren’t they just the classiest club?
Well Arsene did, just a little and the outcome was…well….we all saw it. It’s not that the team on paper shouldn’t have steamrollered Ipswich; they should have without the gaffer having to tweak anything. So it’s quite obvious the gaffer had/has a few problems on his hands.
Now make no mistake about it, Le boss knows his starting eleven and I think it’s absolutely fantastic that Le Boss has selected them based on their form and not based on name, evidence of this is Walcott being put before our misfiring Russian or little Wilshere replacing Denilson or Diaby. Now this automatically means that players whose positions have been taken are going to start the cup games, save for the Champions league, they start these games because of our obvious need for a trophy, bearing in mind our trophy drought will run into its 6 year should we fail to get one this season.
Arsene realizes this and has therefore taken these competitions more seriously. Anyway I digress; these players start because the starting eleven cannot conveniently play in all four competitions. The problem is, some of the bench players are just not up to the task.
Denilson: He isn’t the kind of player you can rely on for a whole game, his positioning is suspect, his one on one tackling is…well…what got us into trouble in the Leeds game, his decision making is questionable. He is the kind of player that you bring in when we’re well up which is what was done in the West-Ham game.
Rosicky: I think is still a good player, he actually does understand what it is to put the team first. Agreed, he’s not what he was when he first signed for us but he knows his role and when he’s playing these games you can’t really point at many faults. His faults are only glaring when he plays with the starting eleven as he’s not quite on the same wavelength with most of them.
Bendtner: I have always stood by him but now I’m really beginning to question whether he’s actually ever going to be ‘that’ good. I mean I know he’s come off a long spell on the sidelines but the progress he seemed to be making last season before the injury seems to have stalled and I’m sure even Arsene’s getting a bit tired. We only need him to be 70% of the player he thinks he is and we will complain no more.
Eboue: As a right midfielder, he’s a bit mediocre, just above average as a right back, his defensive positioning is woeful. We are spoilt for choice in every attacking midfield position, so we have to make do with him as second choice right back. Now, this is the scary part, isn’t he meant to fill in at this same position for the first leg of the Barcelona games? And even if not, what if something happens to Sagna? Can you actually imagine being stuck with Eboue at right back for say a month? We might as well walk into every game with a red dot on our head!
There has already been a post on Arshavin, so I won’t bore you with that.
Fast forward to the West-Ham game. Our best eleven, bar Vermaelen and Sagna, and a tame West Ham team means probably our least stressful game all season. We didn’t even have to hit top gear! Now the dilemma is simple but not easy to solve. Does Le Boss try again inserting some starters into the game, risking injury and further fatigue, or does he just give the bench players another chance to redeem their images?
Now with regards to the game played over the weekend, I really don’t think there is anything to talk about; it was more or less a training ground session in my opinion. That’s the Arsenal we want to see, the one which puts bottom teams to the sword and gives no chance of an upset. Do the same to Leeds and Ipswich and we’ll be ecstatic!
Have fun wherever you are reading this from.