Midfield Congestion To Cause Charge For The Door


One of the advantages of being in a different time zone – I said, time zone not Twilight Zone dammit! – is that you arrive later on a slow news day  than everyone else. When the FA Cup tie with Middlesbrough being moved to the Sunday 4pm kick-off slot is the news, you get to understand how slow the day actually is. It means that barring the draw for the quarter-finals of that competition, Arsenal don’t leave the capital until they catch a flight to Monaco.

Yeah, not too sure where that’s leading myself either. The Premier League games are all eminently winnable and let’s be honest, games we can drop silly points in. As much as it is tempting to proclaim the turning of a corner and there is no denying four consecutive wins is a tremendous about-turn in consistency, it’s still a bit too soon. That said, three more points this weekend and the mood going into the North London Derby will be far more positive than pre-Christmas.

The season remains one of one step at a time. Returning players from injury give the manager options and reports already suggest that Gabriel will bring his angelic style to the squad this weekend. If he is anything more than a spectator though, it will be a surprise and perhaps an indication that Laurent Koscielny is being nursed through still. In an ideal world, I guess Arsène will look to gradually introduce the player, perhaps targeting the FA Cup as a match for his début.

Alongside whom is the question. We expect players to fit in and to build partnerships with any other player. It doesn’t always work that way, as we well know, and sometimes even the obvious complementary pairing fails. Having signed in January, it seems most likely that Wenger has identified the player as one for next season, with any performances this time as part of the ‘bedding in’ process. It’s a luxury, yes, but with the injury situation seemingly lightening, it allows the manager time to take a longer term view than planning one game to the next.

The summer will see remodelling of the squad. The first steps were taken with Mikel Arteta reportedly signing the new one-year deal he was offered a while back. Keeping the Spaniard has two advantages; it relieves some of the pressure to sign a new defensively-minded midfielder in haste. It allows Wenger to sign the player he wants. Midfield is going to be very competitive next season on the rare occasions that everyone is fit with everyone knowing that consistency is expected in their performances or they are going to be out of the side for some time such are the options.

Of course, that depends on the foolish notion that everyone will be fit.

Some will leave. Flamini is llikely to be the loser in the age stakes with a free transfer on the cards; Diaby too, with every passing week seeming to underline he is losing his battle to prove his fitness to the manager. But a new contract can’t be ruled out either.

I suppose Coquelin may ease the problem by not committing to the club, especially if he thinks they are going to sign an internationally experienced player for his role. Considering his future looked bleak as far as Arsenal were concerned, the manner in which he has set about changing his fortunes is impressive. He is a useful squad player to have for this role and with Arteta having just one more year, he has the opportunity to establish himself.

As he has seen this season, none of the senior players can take anything for granted and most likely he will feature in 20+ games per season. Whether that is enough having tasted ‘regular’ first team action and been one the catalysts for a change in fortune, remains to be seen.

It’s certain to be a case of more out of midfield than in next summer. Where this season finishes in terms of positions and silverware may dictate which priorities are addressed first by the manager.

’til Tomorrow.

111 thoughts on “Midfield Congestion To Cause Charge For The Door

  1. C says:

    Nor….nevermind Flamini’s mum might not like me getting on her boy

  2. MesutsLeftFoot says:

    I agree there’s a good blend of yotuh coming through! Investing in top class CDM and i think we’re sorted for the summer and can sit back and relax! This year, realistically it’s Cheslea’s title to lose, Jose’s team’s don’t usually drop that many points, but we can hope they drop points with Costa’s ban and Cesc’s injury! They’d lose him for City, Villa and Everton! Can’t work out if i want City to win or draw so we can close the gap on both!

  3. Wavey says:

    An extended contract for Campbell could be a very clever move. Wenger will know that he did a pretty good job at Real Betis and another good spell in the La Liga will do wonders for his transfer value.
    If he performs well we can wait the summer bids to come in, knowing we have him on a long contract that somebody will have to stump up to get him out of. If he turns out to be amazing in Spain we can try him again in the Prem next season to see if he can add something.
    To my mind it’s the former, Wenger’s is banking on Campbell to do well in Spain, that would give us a nice chunk of change to use in the transfer market when we have bigger fish to fry in the summer.
    It could all go wrong of course, but I think he will still have his suitors in the summer even if he has a so-so spell in Spain. We either sell him for sub-£10m, or get £20m+ for him if he proves to be exceptional over there. Given his age, there are those who will see him as a good punt.

  4. philmar says:

    Cesc a “cold-blooded mercenary” ?? Say it ain’t so. LG.
    The poor boy would have loved to come back to the red and white but Wenger didn’t see any room for him.
    So what’s a working man to do? take a massive pay cut and play for Betis?

  5. Pistolfish says:

    True Philmar, Cesc would have rather pulled on the red and white if he had been given the chance.

  6. Limestonegunner says:

    Agreed, but why did he have to move at all? He could have gone to RM then! Why not Bayern, PSG, Juventus? No, it had to be London for personal reasons. and why wouldn’t he do it the summer before when we were without Ozil and were potentially interested? He is a mercenary now, and that takes no blame away from AW for not trying to bring him back. Plenty of blame to go around on that one.

  7. Limestonegunner says:

    MLF, if the tickets aren’t too expensive, they could…

  8. C says:

    Arsene speaks and Sanchez has a hamstring issue. I wouldn’t even risk him and I would start him on the bench.

    “The squad will be exactly the same as last Sunday. The only uncertainty we have isAlexis Sanchez who has a hamstring concern, and that will be decided on Saturday. He might be out for Sunday.

    The only [other] difference is that Gabriel is available and we’ll check him how he is physically but he should be alright to be available.”

  9. C says:

    A quick note on the Cesc thing:

    So Arsene didn’t bring him in because we had Ozil, Santi, Jack and Ramsey. Well Ozil I get, but Jack can’t stay fit, Ramsey has struggled to stay fit this season and he could have sent Santi as a player +cash to Barca for Cesc and had a midfield of Ozil, Cesc and a DM.

    O well, he is a Chav now so fuck him and fuck Arsene for not consulting me on the topic because I could have helped him!

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