Time is indeed a great healer, you know, because after disappointment of not collecting maximum points against that lot, I find myself much more at ease than I thought I would. After all, we have just come through a difficult week and still find ourselves level on points with Moneychester City, with the international break now stretching ahead of us in the hope that it will bring not injuries but reinforcements of returning players.
I am also buoyed by listening to the radio yesterday and hearing the question asked: “is there a power shift in North London?”
I like it when the media trot out that line. I’ve heard it before and it serves to make me smile. Off the back of a draw away from home and because they had a good sixty-odd minutes in one game, the Spuds are now shifting power away from our beleaguered squad. Let’s ignore the fact we were missing players. Let’s ignore the fact that we’re still joint top in the league. Let’s ignore the fact that Arsenal travelled away to Bayern (and I’m not having the ‘Spurs played in midweek’ rubbish. It was at home against inferior opposition). And let’s ignore the fact that this wasn’t even a defeat for Arsenal. There’s definitely a power struggle though.
The only struggle that has come out of the game at the weekend, is the one in which Debuchy seems to be dealing with, which is that when somebody faster, better going forward, younger and more in form, is competing for your place, you probably need to accept it. He had a good game on Sunday and it was more like the player we’re used to seeing for Newcastle and then pre-injuries last season. But Hector has done the business and provided he doesn’t suffer some sort of ‘little bit setback’, he’ll most likely return to his place. Debuchy has been talking about seeing what his situation is like at the end of December, but the reality is that Arsenal would be crazy to get rid of him in January given our propensity for injuries.
Arsène is Jose, however, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see him give Debuchy an out via loan or similar to ensure he gets game time. I understand – I think we all do – why he wants to get games and is perhaps a little more impatient this season than he normally would be, but the needs of the Arsenal team are greater and so Wenger will have a really difficult decision to make come January whatever way you look at it.
I suppose Chambers could fill in at right back, but he’s a centre half to me and we’ve had that problem before with too few players covering too many positions. Still, I’m starting to get a little bit too anxious given our current circumstances. As a fan you want your team to have depth and we have that right now. It’s up to Arsène to find the balance between player happiness and team harmony and performance. Right now, despite a couple of poor displays, you have to say we have a decent blend.
Also, it helps to have a Mesut Özil, who’s even getting the praise of pundits like Graeme Souness (ignore the fact the article gets the wrong station he works for). I do love that other non-Arsenal affiliated people are starting to appreciate what Özil gives to teams. He’s always been quietly effective, it’s just that now that the goals and assists are coming so frequently, the lazy ‘I’ll just watch Match of the Day and base my judgements on two minutes of highlights’ brigade are also taking notice now. Let’s hope that Özil’s form continues, because he is a vital component in our team’s aspirations of winning a title and keeping him in this imperious form will go a long way to seeing us get close.
Catch the in the morrow.