Welcome to the GunnersoreArse blog. Being blogged 918.74 kilometers (in a straight line) from the Emirates Stadium.
It was on the cards wasn’t it? We were all waiting for it weren’t we? It was inevitable don’t you think? It was a tragedy waiting just around the corner, and just as we least expect it, it leaps out and bites us in the ankle. Injury strikes once again, but not half way through the season this time, oh no, but just as the season fucking starts. The list gets longer: Gibbs, Diaby, Koscielny, Arteta, Ospina, Sanogo, Walcott and now Giroud. Add to that a suspension for Ramsey and our team is already at crisis point for one of the most important games of the season, the one that we need to win to get us into the Champions League group stage.
Just as Wenger was saying the team is well stocked with forwards, we hear that Giroud has damaged his ankle. In his press conference yesterday Arsene Wenger confirmed Giroud will miss tonights Champions League play-off second leg with Besiktas but added:
“After that, we don’t know how long he will be out for. It’s sad for us. Olivier will see a specialist, then we’ll make an announcement of how long he’ll be out.”
Sanogo is apparently fit to play but Theo isn’t back for another few weeks. This leaves us with Sanchez, Campbell, Sanogo and now that Wenger has said he is going nowhere, Podolski. All of a sudden our forward line isn’t looking so well stocked. If Koscielny is fit ( he was in the training video yesterday but Wenger didn’t mention him) then our back four should be more solid, Wenger could take a risk with him for such an important game or he may start on the bench. Add to that Arteta and Ramsey missing from midfield and the team for tonight, well, your guess is as good as mine, but it could look like this:
Bench: Martinez, Bellerin, Chambers/Koscielny, Sanchez, Rosicky, Campbell/Sanogo, Podolski.
It doesn’t look too bad. I’d put Campbell up front because he has the CL experience and I think he would be motivated, but Wenger will probably play Sanogo. The rest of that line up are familiar with playing together, and that’s what we’ll need tonight, a team who have already had substantial playing time together. Sanchez has been a bit too wayward in his first few games and shouldn’t be risked in my opinion. Flamini and Wilshere covering defensive midfield will give us more chance of keeping a clean sheet, which will be vital. If Besiktas score a goal we’ll be looking to score two to go through. The weakness in that line up is Santi on the left-wing and how that leaves Monreal exposed, but I would see Flamini covering that side to alleviate the pressure on the left back. Demba Ba will be up for it tonight and going all out to score.
If we get through I’ll be very relieved and I think we will, it just means I’ll be on the edge of my sofa for the whole game. But tomorrow will we see Wenger running down the Transfer Supermarket aisle with his trolley, trying to get it filled just before the shop closes. In his rush he could end up mistakenly buying a bottle of Château Plonk instead of a Château Haut-Marin. If the rumours on Giroud are correct and he is out for a minimum of three months, we need more than Eto’o on loan, we need something more than Remy! It’s interesting that when we had Giroud fit, Remy for me would have been an ideal back-up, now however, in this situation he just doesn’t tick all the right boxes. Wenger needs to go for a proven CF and this late in the window, that is going to be near impossible. Furthermore, teams knowing that we are now desperate, prices will rise, so we could end up with a bottle of over priced cooking wine, called Château Welbeck! This is assuming Wenger will even look for CF cover.
If Campbell is given a chance I think he can come good as a stand in CF, and if Sanchez can find his feet soon then the attack will be vastly improved. But these are big ‘ifs’ and what we need right now is a solid forward line capable of scoring. I don’t see that at the moment and even if we get a new CF to cover Giroud, as we’ve witnessed with Sanchez, there will be a bedding in period. And all the time there is always the risk of further injuries. Welbeck at £16m is looking like a very good gamble in my eyes right now. Has Wenger made a gaff by not buying earlier? Or has the problem been the fact that we didn’t have CL football yet? A bit of a chicken and egg scenario I suppose. What we do know however, is that we need another CF, another DM and possibly another CB. It’s a very large shopping list that perhaps Wenger will not be able to get into his shopping trolley before the supermarket closes.
I predict a very nervy 1-0 to the Arsenal. I’m not sure if it will be a match to enjoy, but wherever you are watching it…. stay calm!
Right, time for a glass of cheap plonk and some quality spicy chorizo….. hope you enjoyed your visit. Until the next time.
GunnersoreArse, the blog equivelant to a bottle of Château cooked cabbage, you just have to smell it to know there are better blogs out there. Not just a Sunday supplement now, but going to press every Arsenal match day. Get your order in while stocks last.
Painting credit: “The Scream” by Edvard Munch.