What The Hec: Bellerin’s Injury Causes Problems & Offer Opportunities

“All Out Politics follows the news. Adam, what will you be discussing this morning?”
“Well, we’ll be talking about Brexit with half-a-dozen MPs, drongos and loons about how Westminster and the country are out of goosestep with each other, and whether this ends with World War 3? After all, the 1919 Peace Conference was an abject failure…”
“Thanks, Adam, can’t wait. So, today is Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year…”

This morning’s welcome from Sky News really fired up the enthusiasm for the day like no other news organisation can. All we needed was Clive Dunn sitting in for Bonecrusher Boulton with Ian Lavender as his sidekick and we’re good to go.

Thank God we beat Chelsea.

The Premier League enters hibernation for a week or so with the FA Cup moving front and centre. But not before we find out the extent of damage suffered by the unfortunate Hector Bellerin.

Saturday must have been mixed emotions for the Spaniard; a good performance, back in the XI without skipping a beat and generally at his marauding best. Arguably, for the hour or so, he thrived with the pack mentality of pressing Chelsea into mediocrity.

Injuries never come at a good time but Bellerin’s was untimely from Unai Emery’s perspective, coming minutes after Ramsey and Lacazette were withdrawn. Would it have changed his thinking had it come before the first change? I’d like to think so, leaving one of the subbed duo on the pitch and not ceding so much possession and territory for the final quarter of the match.

Opportunity Knocks

A lot of ifs, buts and maybes. The reality is we expect the worst news about Hec’s knee but hope for the best. Even the ‘best case’ seems to involve him missing a couple of months while the worst points to a September return, around the same time as Rob Holding.

Still, if you want to find some comfort in their misfortune, it means there won’t be any transfer gossip about Bellerin or Holding this summer. No big clubs swooping on plucky little Arsenal.

As is always the case in these circumstances, someone always gains from another’s misfortune. Ainsley Maitland-Niles is that man, even though he recently stated without skipping a beat that central midfield was his favoured position. Full-back is better than not playing at all.

Unai Emery’s options are thin on the ground. The inconsistent Lichtsteiner or the erratic Jenkinson are the other choices; it’s hardly encouraging but not all doom and gloom.

Just doom.

This comes down to the composition of the squad. Lichtsteiner was viewed as a good short-term option. Maybe as a right-back he is. Most of his harum-scarum defending came in other positions, e.g centre-back or left-back, so I’m not so overly concerned if he pitches in for the Europa League or a ‘gimme’ FA Cup tie. Bigger, more important matches are best left to more capable defenders. Or Ainsley Maitland-Niles, as he is known.

Jenkinson, who would run through walls and every other obstacle known to man for this club, is likely to be released on loan or for a nominal fee this winter and sacrificed at the altar of FFP.

Blue Sky Thinking

All of which points to a headache for Emery and whomever is deciding on transfers come the summer. We’re in ‘make do and mend’ mode at the moment; we can’t even land a loan deal with Barcelona for a midfielder they do not want. Expecting us to land a right-back in the remainder of this window is a step too far, surely?

Which is something of a problem. According to the media, we’re looking to appoint Marc Overmars to the technical director. It seems we find recruiting suits easier than players which is definitely not a healthy state of affairs for a cash-strapped club.

There is another internal solution being worked on by the club, I think. Recent photographs showed Mesut Ozil working hard in the gym, bulking up and getting ready for a role on the right-side of the defence.

Let’s face it, most of the players we stick out there only have a loose understanding of defending as a concept, so Ozil should feel at home…

’til Tomorrow.

20 thoughts on “What The Hec: Bellerin’s Injury Causes Problems & Offer Opportunities

  1. YW,

    The concern is YW….I’m in the building trade…so maybe my cowboy emoji isn’t the best choice!…but it makes me chuckle🤠

  2. Great result Saturday. Chelsea were over-hyped, Arsenal written off. We’re a force at home.

    Emery got the tactics spot on at last. The fullbacks were given cover to roam forward by Guendouzi and Torreira covering the spaces left. Chelsea couldn’t handle the constant pressing in the first half.

    Props to Koscielny who worked well with Sok and plenty of cover in front of him.

  3. Bellerin will be a big miss. Looked like a ruptured calf/achilles. Ouch.

    There are plenty of candidate to fill his boots:

    AMN has to improve from his showing at WHam.
    Lichtsteiner is the natural deputy.
    Jenko – I doubt it.
    Mustafi played there for Germany.
    Monreal has covered the position before

    Start against United with AMN and use Lichtsteiner as a sub if he’s getting roasted by Martial and Rashford.

  4. I don’t agree with your comments on Jenkinson. He did well enough at West Ham over two seasons and hasn’t been given an extended run in the team since his return. He is competent if not flamboyant. Remember Monreal in the early years? It took Karen Gibbs numerous injuries to bring out the his dependability . I say give Carl a chance before writing him off on the evidence of his youthful performances of times past.

  5. If CJ was that good, West Ham would have come back for him after he was injured. As it is, no club bar Crystal Palace has made an offer to sign him. And he shot himself in the foot by asking for too much money.

    The reality is that CJ isn’t of the level Arsenal need.

  6. Sagna is a free agent.Experienced premier league player,trophy winner too !
    My personal preference would be to give Jenkinson a run of games.AMN as backup,Lich last resort.

  7. I don’t hate CJ as a stop gap, he’s quicker than Lichsteiner over the turf.

    I do like some of the “naughty” stuff that Lichsteiner has in his locker and appears more than happy to bring out. I’d say we need to use all three at RB (includng AMN) and rotate depending on the opposition left wing.

  8. We have many options of players who can play at RB. It is just that none of them are likely to help our cause of getting into the top 4 and could cost us a chance. The way Emery has us playing, the fullbacks are crucial. Without Bellerin, we’ve been pretty poor in attack especially on the right side. I suspect AMN will get most of the chances, but we will be the weaker for it.

  9. Bring back Sanga from free agency. Not sure how well young Ainsley will fair starting against united & city in the coming weeks. Laca was on fire the other day, may that continue. A good match set us all on the right pace for the weekend, i was all smiles.

    cheers all, up the guns

  10. So Mislintat is leaving and reports say our top scout of Spain and Portugal is taking over with possibly Monchi coming as Technical Director

  11. I am in the CJ camp too
    Good engine
    Whips in a mean cross ( I am getting flashbacks weirdly of Bendtner but must have been Giroud)
    Vs Leech who has been abject
    AMN has not really impressed in that position…yet

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