The two bits of key news that came out yesterday included a bit of a blow, injury wise, as well as a bit of clarity on where Le Boss‘ mindset is with regards to who will occupy the right-wing spot for the immediate future given our lengthy injury list.
Firstly, the injuries, which are a bitter pill to swallow. The Sheffield Wednesday defeat can be shrugged off, but none of us can shrug off the disappointment of losing both Theo and The Ox in what was essentially a needless competition. Arsene confirmed that both will be out until after the international break which wouldn’t be so bad if we didn’t already have a series of quite difficult games coming up.
We’ve struggled away at Swansea since they’ve been in the Premier League, Bayern away from home will be a steep hill to climb (steeper now we’re missing another two players) and the North London Derby is always going to be a tough game. I’m just glad it’s at home, because that will at least give us some advantage.
This is also a crucial stage of the season. It feels like we’re on the verge of being able to break away from the chasing pack along with Moneychester City. I can’t really explain why, but to me it feels like a series of back-to-back-to-back wins in the league would start to give us daylight with the rest and so this minor injury crisis coming as it has at this time could not be worse. I’m in no doubt that City will beat Norwich at home tomorrow, so we have to keep pace with them, which means our margins for error are quite fine indeed. We’ve worked ourselves in to a position where we’re on an even footing with City and now we need to be able to keep pace with them whilst our injured players recovered. Unbelievably, this is the first time when I’ve wished an international break to come quicker than it actually is!
What we also got from Arsene’s comments on the official site yesterday, was an indication on where his thinking is for who will play wide right. There has been much debate raging amongst many of us that he might shuffle some players around. There’s been talking of moving Bellerin forward and slotting Debuchy in at right back, of moving Santi out wide, or Ozil even. But with Wenger’s comments that he does not want to disrupt the current balance of the team too much, it has pretty much left the door open for either Campbell or Iwobi.
Perhaps that is the most sensible option. The players have developed a rhythm and form in their positions over the last couple of months and to shuffle a few of them around would probably leave us a little disjointed as a team. Why change a winning formula so much, when all you can do if pushed in to it is give it a little tweak?
So as I said in yesterday’s blog, somebody has to step up, which looks like it’s one of Iwobi or Campbell and I’d be very surprised if it wasn’t Campbell. This is his moment, he’ll have three very big games in which to play and he simple must show that he can rub shoulders with the likes of Alexis, Ozil, Santi & co.
I haven’t seen much of Iwobi, but he looked a little lightweight on Tuesday. He had a couple of half decent chances, but he faded in the game, so whether or not Arsene will decide on the guy with more international experience and a little older in Campbell, remains to be seen. No doubt we’ll be given more information about his thinking when he does his pre-match presser today.
There’s not really a lot else going on today. Well, until Arsene gives us some soundbites, so I think I’ll say “that’s yer lot” and see you tomorrow. Laters.