Jack Wilshere: out for two to three months.
Thomas Vermaelen: out for two months.
My reaction: siiiiiiigh.
It’s hard to keep a smile for more than a few days around here, isn’t it? We get thumped by Manchester United, respond with some of our most spontaneous and exciting transfer business in many a season, and now this!?
If this weekend’s match against Swansea marks the real start of our season — the first game since Wenger’s transfer splurge — it is a real shame that we will be about this pair. But it should not stop us getting three points against a promoted team that is destined to struggle through this season.
The bigger issue is how badly Wilshere and Vermaelen’s absence will hurt us over the next couple of months.
Following the exits of Fabregas and Nasri it is safe to say that Wilshere and Vermaelen’s importance is as high as it has ever been. Along with Robin van Persie and Bacary Sagna they are our two best and most consistent performers, as well as two of our best distributors of the football.
The biggest problem I see is that Vermaelen’s absence will slow the integration of new signings Per Mertesacker and André Santos. With two new defenders set to be thrown straight into the starting team, it could cause more of a disruption than we would ideally prefer.
It wouldn’t surprise me if Wenger has a word to Mertesacker and puts him in charge of matters at the back. He will undoubtedly be paired with Laurent Koscielny at the back and in my opinion the pair have huge potential. While Koscielny might have been at Arsenal for a season longer it will fall on Mertesacker to use his experience to take control to make it work.
Further forward Wilshere’s potential three-month absence robs us of the unique energy and heart that only he can provide. My view is that Wenger will opt for a midfield three of Song, Ramsey and Arteta but I fear they may be a little bit too one-paced. In my mind there is nobody to move the tempo up a notch and that could be problematic in the bigger games.
The best way to alleviate any concerns with pace in the midfield trio is by ensuring we have as much pace as possible on the flanks and by encouraging new signing André Santos to attack as much as possible. This would give us an air of unpredictability out wide, solidity and technical quality in the middle of the pitch and offer the best way to cope with the losses of Vermaelen and Wilshere.
Let me know what you think.
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LAST REMINDER: Pelé Sports Australia Competition — win free stuff!
Last Friday I launched a competition to win shorts, shoes and shirt with Pelé Sports Australia. That competition will be open until Thursday the 8th of September at 11.59pm. In other words, ONE MORE DAY.
One crucial thing I forgot to mention is that the competition is only open to my AUSTRALIAN READERS and those people residing in Australia. I’m really very sorry to those of you who entered the competition earlier who do not fit into this demographic, it was a complete oversight on my part.
To enter all you have to do is either:
- Follow Pelé Sports Australia (@PeleSportsAu) on Twitter and post an @reply with the answer to the question: “Which new Arsenal signing will have the biggest impact and why?”
- Become a Fan of Pelé Sports Australia on Facebook and post on their wall the answer to the same question: “Which new Arsenal signing will have the biggest impact and why?
The best 3 responses will win one of the 3 items shown above.
You can do also enter both the Twitter and Facebook competitions and it will give you a better chance of winning the t-shirt, shorts and shoes that Pelé Sports Australia have kindly offered me to give away.
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