Debuchy’s Injury: How Will the Gunners Cope in his Absence?
There are a lot of positives to take from Arsenal’s draw against Manchester City. Danny Welbeck almost crowned his debut with an excellent goal but the post denied him his chance, the goals are flowing for Alexis Sanchez, an outstanding Jack Wilshere performance and the team showed great mental strength to come back from a deficit to lead the defending champions doing being undone by yet another set-piece.
Despite all these positives, there were some concerns about Mesut Ozil’s outing and I’d advise the fans to read this excellent article by CanonCrested on the German before they bring out their pitchforks and torches for his head. There was also the issue of the poor defending from zonal marking that led to Martin Demichelis’ equalizer but that’s a story for another day.
Arsenal’s new recruit, Matt Debuchy, has slotted into the team like he’d be there for years. His defending has been top notch and per WhoScored, he has made 15 tackles (3.8 per game), seven interceptions (1.8 per game), 28 clearances (seven per game) and he has committed five fouls (1.3 per game). He was having a stormer against Manchester City before he injured his ankle in a rather bizarre fashion. Watching the replays made the incident look even worse and the Emirates held its breath as the medical team raced onto the pitch to offer the little assistance they could before he was stretched off.
According to French newspaper, Le Parisien, Debuchy has strained his ankle ligaments and he’s set to be out of at least two months, which essentially means that he’d miss the club’s three opening Champions League matches as well as the crucial away clashes to Tottenham and Chelsea. With the media and fans alike already voicing their frustrations over the Gunners’ failure to sign an extra defender following the sale of Thomas Vermaelen to FC Barcelona, Debuchy’s absence will put the Gunners in a precarious situation but as the team has laid their bed, they have to lie on it… till January at least.
As it stands, Calum Chambers will be the man to deputize in Debuchy’s stead and for a young and inexperienced lad that hasn’t seen much football in his fledgling career, he has made a good account of himself in the games he has featured. Having began his Arsenal career with a run of fixtures as a center back, he’d be back to his favored right back position, where he alternated with Nathaniel Clyne last season.
Starting with a feisty clash against Dortmund tomorrow, Chambers would brace himself for the games that can aid his steep learning curve and the fans would be hoping that the older and more experienced defenders, like Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker, will offer protection to the young lad, before he becomes a lightning rod for vitriol and abuse if things aren’t going his way.
With Chambers being promoted to the role of being the No. 1 right back with Debuchy out injured, it would also serve as an opening for a certain Hector Bellerin, that has been tipped for great things at the Emirates. He has only managed to make one appearance for the Gunners in a League Cup encounter, but he was sent to Watford on loan last season to gain some vital first-team experience. In his time with the Hornets, Bellerin notched up eight appearances and supplied an assist in the 3-3 draw with Leeds.
The young lad recently grabbed headlines for beating Theo Walcott’s sprint record, which made him the fastest player in the club’s history, but there’s more to Bellerin than just raw reserves of pace. He’s adept on both fullback positions (gave his assist against Leeds while playing as a left back), has a brilliant cross and he’s a very technically gifted footballer. In his Arsenal debut against West Brom last season, he played a cameo role as a holding midfielder and he put up an impressive outing.
If push comes to shove, the Gunners can utilize the versatility of Mathieu Flamini or Francis Coquelin but these are two players that won’t inspire confidence when they are on the pitch. All Flamini does is bark at his teammates like some Army general but this season he has failed to impress as a holding midfielder in Mikel Arteta’s absence. Watching him allow Sergio Aguero to get pass him like he wasn’t there for Manchester City’s opening goal wanted to make me remove some hair from my head.
And yeah, he has a penchant for picking up yellow cards with consummate ease and in just three Premier League games, he has been brandished twice. At this rate, he’d get his trademark suspension for picking up five bookings. I’m also in agreement with this article from Yoshiki Matsunaga of Rant Sports that Flamini isn’t good enough for an ambitious club like Arsenal.
Coquelin on the other hand, is still probably at the club because he’s home-grown and I don’t see him getting any appearances till his contract expires. My thoughts though.
Nonetheless, losing a quality player like Debuchy is a bitter pill to swallow but the Gunners have enough talent in their disposal to cope with the loss. I just hope that there would be no more injuries though – especially at the back where the Gunners are down to their bare minimums.
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