Friday, December 11, 2009
Finally Wenger stumbles on Arshavin’s versatility which is not good news for Liverpool
By 1970’s Gooner
So we had to drop vital points before Wenger finally played Arshavin through the middle. And what a revelation he was against Stoke.
Of course had it not been due to an injury to Eduardo we would probably be out of the title race by now because I do not see how Wenger would have picked Arshavin in the first place. He would have insisted on sticking with Eduardo I am sure.
Still that’s history as they say. Arshavin it is then even if the little Russian demon would prefer otherwise. This is what Wenger said after the Stoke game:
"I don't think he was a big fanatic to play centre forward.
"But I'm convinced he can play there because he has good body power, good movement and technique.
"I have to try it again to see if it works, at home and away from home, and to find a balance because I have many technical players around the team.
"We'll see, although at the moment we don't have much choice."
And indeed, for the game against Liverpool choices are at a premium as Rosicky and Eboue are out of the reckoning. At least Walcott got a run out in Athens (he looked rusty) and Diaby is back too.
But I don’t think Wenger will risk Diaby so soon after being out for the last two weeks. He is likely to be on the bench at Anfield with Denilson continuing in midfield alongside Song and Fabregas deployed in the more advanced role.
And Arshavin is likely to be flanked by the improving Nasri and the fit again Walcott.
Ideally you would not want to rush a player back so soon after an injury but the 90 minutes behind him and the absence of a viable alternative on the wing are likely to force Wenger’s hand as far as Walcott is concerned.
Vela was not up to standard against Olympiakos missing two very good opportunities in front of goal and generally opting to dive when he got into cul de sacs rather than play proper football.
He does not seem to have improved a great deal since he came to Arsenal from Osasuna in Spain.
Of course Wenger may opt for the more conservative approach and keep Walcott on the bench. He would then have a choice of playing Ramsey or Denilson on the wing instead. But I don’t think so.
Sagna Gallas Vermaelen Traore
Denilson Fabregas Song
Walcott Arshavin Nasri
Subs: Fabianski, Silvestre, Senderos, Ramsey, Diaby, Vela, Merida