By 1970’s Gooner
While chatting over dinner the question was put to Arsene Wenger by some of the Arsenal directors:
“What would you do if we gave you £100m to spend on new players?” His answer was of course very revealing: “I would give it back to you”
Judging by last night’s excellent performance against Newcastle he was right.
You are only as good as your bench. This old football saying is very true in today’s highly demanding Premiership where the road to deliverance is like a marathon where every bit of each team’s components is tested to the full.
The components necessary to win trophies include not only ability, strength, determination, will and tenacity.
What is also required is a pool of players who although not usually expected to be named in the first eleven every week are nevertheless capable of performing at the highest level when they are called upon.
This is vitally important when you take into consideration injuries, loss of form, suspensions and international tournaments like the Africa Nations Cup which inevitably force managers to rely on all of their squad.
This was therefore an important match for Arsenal Football Club.
It was the litmus test that the young guns had to go through so that they could convince Wenger that there is strength in depth in this squad and that there is no need to spend any of that £100m that was offered to him by the Board.
And these young guns will be called upon on many occasions this season as the injury list will not go away and the Africa Nations Cup is slowly getting nearer.
One aspect that seems to characterize this new Arsenal side is the real strength in depth that exists in the squad. And by real I mean that this squad has quality replacements in all positions.
Take for example the forward positions. Bendtner’s wonderful performance last night culminated in another excellent headed goal for the Arsenal.
He has proved that Adebayor’s departure for a month at the Africa Nations Cup will not be that painful. The same goes for Eduardo who will need these games to acclimatise himself with English football even more by then.
Look at the wide midfield positions where along with Hleb and Rosicky there is Eboue who has shown last night that he is a wonderful and powerful winger on an equal if not higher footing than them.
He would of course fill in at right back when required. And there is young Walcott who will, with more concentration and experience, be more than a viable alternative.
Consider central midfield where Diarra is the snitch of the year at £2m! Not to mention Denilson who is fast becoming the next star after Fabregas.
Song who although played in central defence is to me a very promising central midfielder. I rather rate him in that position having watched him put in an excellent performance for Charlton away at Man Utd last season.
Look at Traore and you think that you are seeing double. So mush resemblance to a young Ashley Cole and Gael Clichy is uncanny!
There are indeed a lot of choices open to Wenger.
When I suggested in one of my preseason postings titled: “Strength in depth eases Wenger’s team selection worries for the coming season” that there was a lot of strength in depth in the squad there was a lot of negative reaction from some readers who wanted Wenger to buy big.
Now no one is complaining.
I do not need to go on. But this performance last night has convinced me that Arsenal will win trophies this season.
Please note the use of the plural.