There was much doom and gloom after 2 poor performances against Tottenham and WBA only for the light to once again break through on Tuesday night versus Zagreb. The sense of frustration from the Arsenal supporters is tangible and real however and it is not down to performance levels as much as the continual injury blight that impacts our progress seemingly in the Autumn every season. I would be stating the bleeding obvious to observe that the majority of fans thought we needed more outfield additions in the summer and that Wenger’s reticence to buy squad players might be about to bite him viciously on his derriere.
That being said he may just have been fortunate that Manchester City have hit a wall and are suffering similar injury problems, exacerbated last night with Joe Hart limping off. Man City have also only taken 1 point from a possible 6 in the past 2 Premier League outings and despite seeing United and Leicester leapfrog the two title favourites I highly doubt the best bookmaker will be changing their odds.
So with Arsenal seeing key players such as Bellerin and Ramsey return ahead of the likes of Kompany and Silva the question is who has enough to reassert their credentials ahead of the big match on the 21st December? One of the main protagonists will enjoy Christmas more than the other and I suspect it may well be the Gunners.
My optimism and I am surprising myself in saying this is down to a renewed faith in our squad players over that of our rivals and particularly those on the blue side of Manchester. I am in no way condoning the lack of transfer activity, as we universally expressed concern at what may happen if Coquelin was out for any length of time but he timing could have been worse. I say that because Wenger has 7 matches between now and the opening of the transfer window to assess his alternatives and that process evidently began well this week. Of those 7 only 2 are against teams in the top half of the league.
I believe there 3 key decisions on positions and personnel that he has to make but the most significant has to be who will play in the centre of midfield in Coquelin’s absence? Now may Arsenal supporters would love to see Aaron Ramsey restored to his favoured role but a question mark hangs over His ability to form an effective partnership with Cazorla. Knowing Wenger and his is reluctant to tinker with a system he feels is working well so I suspect he will leave the Spaniard in situ and just slot Flamini in for Coquelin as he did on Tuesday in the Champions League. Continue reading