More Injury Woes and Making a Case for a New DM
Posted by enigma106
The North London Derby turned out to be a feisty affair with both sides giving their all in what proved to be a pulsating encounter. Arsenal had the lion’s share of possession but as always, they switched off at the back allowing Tottenham to grab the lead through Nacer Chadli. After chasing the game in typical fashion, they got their equaliser through Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and it turned out to be a classic case of two points dropped rather than one point gained.
This Tottenham side wasn’t all that but Arsenal was pretty poor in creating clear cut chances all game long. Danny Welbeck fed on scraps, Alexis Sanchez came from the bench to no devastating effect and the No. 10s didn’t prove their weights in gold. The Gunners are now unbeaten in six games (first time since 2007/08 season) but with two wins from six games, the Gunners’ form isn’t encouraging.
However, there were some major talking points from the game and one can look no further than Arsenal’s ever-increasing injury list. Prior to the North London derby, Arsenal were without Matt Debuchy (ankle), Olivier Giroud (foot), Serge Gnabry, Theo Walcott (both knee), Nacho Monreal (back), Yaya Sanogo (hamstring). Three players in this aforementioned list are integral to the team but Arsene Wenger had to rely on the depth of his squad to mitigate the challenges.
We had barely gone deep into the game when Mikel Arteta sat on the turf and when Colin Lewin ran up the pitch to meet him, his reactions showed that it didn’t look good. My fears were compounded when Arteta walked up to his vice-captain, Per Mertesacker, and gave him the armband. At the half time mark, there was misery in the faces of Arsene Wenger, the players and the fans as the club’s Welsh Jesus, Aaron Ramsey, pulled up short and signaled to the bench that his time was up. Barely after the hour mark, Jack Wilshere went on one of those his trademark marauding runs and he twisted his ankle after a challenge.
Three members of the Gunners’ spine ravaged by the injury gods, as if the problems the team currently have aren’t bad enough.
Arteta, Ramsey, Monreal, Sanogo, Debuchy, Giroud, Gnabry & Walcott are all out injured and its only September. pic.twitter.com/bcWQWDNzTy
— Welé (@DareToGooner) September 27, 2014
Now the Gunners are set to host Galatasaray in a crucial Champions League clash with the three players that have been integral to the new look 4-1-4-1 which still looks like a work in progress. If the team suffered these injuries in defense, we would have been wailing more than those Brazilian fans that witnessed the 7-1 demolition in the hands of Germany this summer but thankfully, Arsenal is reasonably stocked in midfield, and Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla and Mathieu Flamini are the three players that are going to step in with the Ox and Alexis on the wings.
Speaking of Mathieu Flamini…
The 4141 formation requires a World Class DM. The problem is… we dont have a World Class DM!
— Welé (@DareToGooner) September 27, 2014
I’m no football scout but I can think of a couple of defensive midfielders (that are available in the transfer market) that would fit perfectly into Arsenal’s new look 4-1-4-1 formation.
- William Carvalho
- Morgan Schneiderlein
- Diego Reyes
- Victor Wanyama
- Chuck Norris and,
- Some random alien from Planet Krypton
Since the departure of Alexandre Song, Arsenal has failed to invest in a suitable replacement, as Arsene Wenger handed the role to Arteta. Flamini has always been a stop-gap solution but recently, he has shown how washed up he is and the way he lost possession for Tottenham’s goal made me remove some hairs from my head. For a player in a position where having a good first touch is key, Flamini failed to get a simple pass under control and his team was duly punished for it. Sadly, it was meant to be Flamini winning the ball from Eriksen to instigate a counter attack for the Gunners but it turned to be the other way round and Szczesny’s net was rattled.That’s the cruelty of football.
Even as the game progressed Arsenal’s midfield looked empty as the likes of Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen had the freedom to roam easily in the middle third because Flamini wasn’t doing his job adequately. If it’s to bark at his teaamates or get yellow cards with ease, he wouldn’t be found wanting.
With Arteta out injured for God knows how long, Arsenal will have to make do with Flamini or explore the possibility of playing Abou Diaby there, till January at least. I’ve shared my thoughts on Diaby playing as a holding midfielder and it’s worth a read. Early in the season, the gaffer made mention about playing Calum Chambers in that role as well but with the young Englishman deputizing for the injured Debuchy, I don’t see him playing as a DM.
It’s sad to see things pan out this way so early in the season and it’s more shocking to know that Arsenal actually had a chance to resolve the issue of signing a new DM but the club chose to fold its hands.
As you lay your bed, so you lie in it.
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