Welcome to the GunnersoreArse blog. Being blogged 918.74 kilometers (in a straight line) from the Emirates Stadium. Thought an extra post was appropriate this week to start off the Champions League campaign.
And yes, Champions League football once again. And a trip to Turkey once again. And a weakened side through injury once again. Reports are a bit vague but it would appear that Gibbs is out, Koschielny is out and Per still isn’t match fit… or is he still on holiday? I had my team selection all ready and now there’s uncertainty. Besiktas should really not give us any problems but with such a weakened defence, who knows what may happen. After Saturdays late, late win against Palace and some fairly poor performances, you have to wonder what tonight may bring. Below is the team I was hoping to be fielded.
But now fate has intervened, the injury Gods have not smiled on us kindly and just after only one Premier League game, Wenger is having to ‘make do’ once again and juggle the team around with youngsters and players out of position. I know there are still two weeks left of the Transfer Window but the problems in our defence have been obvious for some time and it’s very surprising that a Centre-Back hasn’t already been purchased. Perhaps Wenger was starting to think that Callum Chambers would be the one and perhaps he will be eventually, but that belief will be severely tested tonight.
Going out in the Qualifier is unthinkable. Because what it means is Thursday night football along with the Spuds. But with such an inexperienced defence that could well be a possibility…….. it would be ironic just as people are talking about us having one of the strongest sides we’ve had in years, that we fail to make it to the group stage. Not that that is likely to happen, but it’s a possibility. So we could end up with something like this for tonight’s game.
I would see Arteta and Rosicky in defensive mid-field duties and Ramsey just ahead of them, feeding Campbell, Alexi and Giroud. But if the team sheet ends up like this then we are in crisis already. What cover for the back four will be on the bench? Will Mert be brought into the team early when Wenger has been saying that if he returns too soon there is the risk of injury? Questions are being asked already of the lack of movement in the Transfer Window after our first four signings. TV5 looked as if he was always in the frame for a move so CB cover was clearly a priority. Chambers has commendably covered for the BFG but there was always a risk of Gibbs and Kos getting injured. So despite some reinforcement up front with Alexi and Campbell, the defence has been left out of the equation. On Mertesacker, Wenger has said:
“I planned to bring the Germans back in contention for Everton but, in case of emergency, I will take Mertesacker to Turkey,” Wenger said. “It’s a bit early for him – ideally he would need one more week preparation but he’s willing to play, no problem. We are a bit short.”
Koschielny was in training yesterday so the panic may be for nothing, lets hope so.
I think we’ll see Wenger quickly dipping into the market over the next two weeks. A new defender has to be a priority, who I don’t know and really I don’t care. We need cover for the two central defenders. I’m looking forward to tonight’s game but with a little bit of trepidation.
Enjoy the game wherever you are and let’s have faith that we can get a win.