Don't blast Wenger for Nasri gamble - but we must mind the gap

By Avenell Dave

I have to admit that Twitter has become something of an addiction and it gives a great insight into the minds of fellow Arsenal Addicts both at games and watching at home.

When Samir Nasri got injured with half an hour gone of yesterday's gruelling win over Huddersfield, the internet was packed full of people saying it was foolish playing such an important player in such a winnable game.

Yet the talk around me before kick off was that the more senior players we played, the quicker we could get the game wrapped up and take it easy before Tuesday's game against Everton.

There are many fans who believe that making minimal changes to the side is the way to maintain consistency and continuity and I have to say that I agree with them.

The spanner in the works as far as that is concerned is how many games we have played in January - nine. And we have eight coming up in February as well.

That means that players have to be rested where possible, but when you rest Cesc Fabregas, the creativity has to come from someone like Nasri.

The midfield that we ended up with after his injury - Tomas Rosicky, Denilson and Abou Diaby, is simply not good enough to cope with many teams.

The evidence was there for all to see in the manner in which we toiled against League One Huddersfield.

Yes, the Terriers gave a good account of themselves and deserve some credit, but when you have two internationals in midfield, one of them a captain, plus a Brazilian who Arsene Wenger rates more than most of us, it should be enough to cope with any challenge that comes through.

Denilson was woeful, missing tackles, making poor passes and having none of the zip or drive that players need if they put on the red shirt of The Arsenal. If he had jockeyed and made a decent tackle as is his job, perhaps the red card Sebastien Squillaci earned would not have happened. When Frimpong comes back, I just can't see him getting a game.

Diaby and Rosicky's input could be best highlighted by the impact Fabregas had when he came on. Yes, our captain is one of the best players in the world, but these two should have enough about them to break down a third tier defence.

I've been saying it for years - these three are simply not good enough for Arsenal and it shows the huge gap between the first XI and the rest.

I really believe the likes of Henri Lansbury would make more of an impact for us than Rosicky or Diaby - and don't start saying that it's down to them not playing much recently because that would only wash if you could recall a single game in the last 12 months that they have changed positively. The fact is, they are not winners, and that's what we need.

My final complaint goes to Manuel Almunia.

Many thought we'd never see him again in an Arsenal shirt and the fact that we did speaks volumes for how much he has dropped down the pecking order - and rightly so.

But the way he did not come for the ball, made simple mistakes and lacked any of the command or authority a goalkeeper in his position should naturally have says it all. Yes, he made one good save, but the rest of the game was a car crash when he was called upon.

Kieran Gibbs also had a shocker by his standards, so let's hope that doesn't become a habit, but at least Andrey Arshavin showed the sort of determination needed to turn his own personal nightmare form around.

Thank heavens for Cesc, eh?

Let's hope Sami Nasri's hamstring doesn't keep him out for too long and that Cesc doesn;t get any more injuries this season. How much we rely on him is frightening.

Orient are my local club and I'm desperate to get a ticket but I bet they'll be hard to come by.

For now, we have to focus on Everton on Tuesday night and hopefully another three points.