By Avenell Dave
There’s been uproar this morning at the prospect of Arsenal signing Wayne Bridge on loan from Manchester City.
Anyone who has seen him play in the past year (and let’s be honest being behind Gael Clichy at Citeh says it all really) will know that his lack of pace, positional sense and all round ability underline why he wouldn’t be suited for the Arsenal game.
Yes, Arsene Wenger tends to play attacking full-backs who support the attack and we lack something with four centre backs playing in a line.
It’s not ideal, but the news that Bacary Sagna is running again suggests his return is probably the most imminent.
Do we really need a full back despite missing four at the moment?
Wenger has always looked at the big picture and of course we cannot simply ‘make do’ while the sides above us continue to win all their games. But if you look at Sagna’s injury record, it’s very rare that he misses matches and once he returns, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him play every game until the end of the season.
That leaves us with a void at left back and Keiran Gibbs is having a nightmare with injuries which puts him in the Abou Diaby crock collective. The loss of Santos has been huge but while Bridge may fill in short term, I still believe that a full back should not be a priority.
Laurent Koscielny and Thomas Vermaelen have both played at full back in the past and that awareness of positional sense has been the making of them.
I recall Dennis Bergkamp saying years ago that at Ajax, players were made to play in every position to get a sense of what was required so that they better understood the responsibilities and the movement of those around them.
So although he may not be perfect, why not let Ignasi Miquel play at left back. He is a fine player in the making and will learn more, to Arsenal’s benefit, playing at left back, than us bringing in a Citeh outcast.
If Wenger really worries about fielding him for one or two bigger matches, he can always switch Vermaelen over, even though that is less than ideal.
I’ve said it before but what we really need is a new forward to take the goalscoring responsibility off RvP’s shoulders, whether that is Lukasz Podolski or someone else. There was a time when we had Henry, Bergkamp, RvP and Wiltord and now our options look decidedly problematic. I’m convinced Wenger will sign a striker in January, and if he can get rid of one or two of the players who are not doing it for him, all well and good.
Of course, tonight sees us face a Villa side whose form has been woeful. We should beat them with ease, but football isn’t like that and we need to be at the top of our game to ensure we get a win.
The side picks itself of course, and with the older heads guiding the youngsters, hopefully we can do a professional job and close the gap on those above us.
Koscielny Mertesacker Vermaelen Miquel
Arteta Frimpong Ramsey
Walcott RvP Gervinho