We’re nearly there folks. The interlull is nearly behind us and I don’t know why, but this one has felt waaaaaay longer than the last few. It’s like we’re being punished for finally seeing an Arsenal side click – Burnley aside – after about a year and a half.
The reality is probably more to do with the fact that Arsenal’s fine form has made my hunger to see them again quite insatiable, so seeming to stretch the interlull beyond the realms of what is acceptable to my tolerance levels.
I guess at least we have the smiley-faced comments of Santi Cazorla to feast on. He’s been giving the benefit of his experience as an elder statesman in the team and whilst it depresses me that he’s a veteran despite being two years younger than myself, what he was saying about younger players looking after themselves physically made eminent sense. Especially when you look at some of the younger players who we’ve seen pick up injuries in our team. Jack Wilshere springs immediately to mind.
In Santi’s interview he talks about how players need to rest, to listen to their body because years of football take its toll, and it’s hard not to look at the Wilshere situation and agree. We all love Wilshere’s tenacity. It’s great to see him get stuck in and when he goes for the ball and wins it the crowd will always give him a hearty cheer. But he’s also been guilty of overdoing it too at times I think. Of trying to rush back too soon and doing himself more harm than good. And it’s only now, as he’s hitting his mid twenties, that we’re seeing the adverse affects of that.
It’s a shame because I thought he’d be the heart of our midfield for the next dozen years or so. I still hold the hope that he can come back stronger, but his star is fading, so I just hope he can do the business at Bournemouth and give Arsène/next season’s manager something to think about in May and June next year.
Ramsey too, has had his problems, but his last injury he received has also got me wondering whether Arsène too should be heeding the words of our tiny little Spaniard, because Le Boss has been guilty of overplaying players, or even not taking a strong enough stance when he gets told by a player that he’s fine when he’s not. The Ramsey injury at the start of the season was a frustrating instance, because Arsène has admitted he knew Rambo wasn’t right at half time. Yet he let him start the second half, which didn’t last long for the player and whilst I appreciate this is with the benefit of hindsight, our injury record should have had Arsène tripping alarm bells when Ramsey was hobbling before halftime.
The good news now is that we have a better depth of quality to replace injured players. We are no longer a side who needs to play a half-fit Thierry Henry returning to injury, because we have players available who can fill in, so we should see less of the reliance of a few key players and more sensible decisions from the manager.
That’s why I’m already speculating that I’m not sure Alexis will start on Saturday. He won’t return back to England until some stage today and probably needs tomorrow off too, so how on earth would he be ready for a game the day after? The answer is he won’t, so this is an opportunity for the manager to name the Chilean on the bench and ask his other players to step up against a struggling Swansea side. Although let’s caveat that by admitting that they’ve got a good record against us at the Emirates and we’re a struggling side last season when they sucker-punched us to win 2-1.
I think that as we go deeper in to the season, we will see more rotation than we’ve seen so far, although there has already been a bit. I can’t see Santi getting through the whole season injury-free and Walcott is sure to have his break down at some stage, but my hopes are that we start to see rotation not based on necessity, but based on pre-emptive action that avoids longer-term injury.
Anyway, that’s it from me for another day, because there’s not really a lot else going on. Chamakh’s comments about Arsène not respecting him are pretty moot if you ask me; if you’re a player and you find yourself behind the most in-form striker in the world, you just need to work harder to force yourself in to the managers thinking. He can hardly say he did that on the pitch when he was given the chance.
Right, definitely off now. Catch y’all tomorrow.