Injuries will determine Arsenal’s season

WTTGT Writer: John Montanye – Follow me

Complain all you want Arsenal supporters, Arsène will simply continue to dance to his own tune. At the end of the day, the people responsible for the results in games are the players. The person responsible for Arsenal to be competitive now and in coming years is one Arsène Wenger, and he is set to do what he always does; spot young talent.

This summer Arsenal has signed Bellerin and Toral from the famed La Masia. He has signed Carl Jenkinson who looks to be a steal, already challenging incumbent Sagna and proclaiming to be ready to play anywhere in the back four he is needed. Another young player Alex Oxlade Chamberlain is now on the books…

In essence the call for more experienced players has gone unheeded.

In his eyes, Arsenal are one or two players from contending and finishing the season with trophies. His logic should not be discounted as it has been so far by pundits and supporters alike. One look at the injury log for last year shows that we were without various components of our starting eleven for lengthy periods of time last year. RVP, Ramsey, Vermaelen, Cesc, Song, Diaby and more all missed upwards of months of the season.

This is one of the big reasons in these last years we have failed to challenge until the end. Injuries have decimated us time and time again; Wenger seems to be gambling that this year will be different. Time will tell if he is right or wrong.

This is a gamble that only a well established manager with total confidence in his place at the club can make. While he continues to build for the future with shrewd acquisitions, he will only spend the largest amounts on players he deems both of great quality AND bargain buys. That combination does not come along very often and that is why we have not seen the movement we all expected; or at least not yet.

Add to the hope that injuries will not be as abundant as in the past, Wenger is also looking to count on the re-emergence of Andrei Arshavin and Tomas Rosicky. Arshavin looks slimmer, faster and motivated compared to last year. Rosicky also looks sharper and better ready for the upcoming season than last year when recuperating from major injury.

My belief is that we will sign one “experienced” defender to compliment TV5. In the case that Cèsc Fabregas and Samir Nasri are sold my contention is that we will see another midfielder arrive to take their place. I do not believe there will be any signing in that area if only one of the two is sold.

I am neutral on Wenger’s decision not to sign established players. I am of the belief that you have to make a determination on a manager’s decisions at the end of the season and not before it even starts. Arsène is in a much better position to make the decisions necessary than you or I. That does not make me an AKB; that makes me rationale. One can never know a selling team’s tactics or thinking, the breakdown of negotiations and all the rest. No one knows the players better than their own manager.

Had Arsenal won something last year, it would have been a great achievement considering the injuries sustained and the lack of defensive continuity, and one more centre-back signing might very well fill the need Arsenal have. One thing is sure; Arsène thinks we are one or two players away, and for now, Wenger IS Arsenal. Like it or not.

The story of how this season goes will determine if this is a major triumph defying critics or the downfall of the greatest manager Arsenal have ever known. Time will tell. 

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2 Responses to Injuries will determine Arsenal’s season

  1. steveflynn@topmail.co.za August 10, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

    Agree wholeheartedly with your comments. My only addition would be concerning injuries, and my reservation is the skill and ability of our medical personnel within Arsenal. We seems to suffer an immense volume of long term injuries as well as repeat injuries. This has decimated our last few seasons, and I am stumped as to how this keeps re-occurring. If all our present squad remain fit and injury free, we will certainly be challenging. (on that note, we need a new captain regardless of whether Fabregas is retained)

  2. dirty_soc@hotmail.com August 10, 2011 at 2:02 pm #

    What does AKB stand for?

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