Sunday, 13 March 2011

Vermaelen latest - Bendtner to the Bundesliga? - Bob Wilson on Arsenal's season

Morning Gooners.

So yesterday's result wasn't what we were hoping for. In fact it was a very frustrating Arsenal performance and I can understand why Arsene Wenger gets so utterly disappointed with his players after games like that.

You can see the potential is there. But some of the player's really can't produce. They've the talent yet can't transmit that on to the pitch when it counts.

I fear we are in touching distance of something great but that object (winning a trophy) is always just out of our reach.

We really have to regroup in this next six days and refocus. We're now down to one trophy we can win and we've got a realistic chance of doing it. But now we have to find out the response of the players and we'll only know what the that will be after we've played West Brom.

Obviously a huge impact on winning the title will come down to what team we can field and the manager's options became even more limited in the centre of defence when Johan Djourou was ruled out for the season after dislocating his shoulder in a coming together with Bacray Sagna.

At present the manager's options are Laurent Koscielny, Sebastien Squillaci and Ignasi Miquel, none of whom have played a whole season in the league. 

Kyle Bartley is on loan at Glasgow Ranger and is another option. He can be recalled and his loan agreement ended early if both the player and the Scottish club agree. There could be a compensation fee payable to sweeten the decision - after all Rangers have had to pay Arsenal a fee for loaning the player from us. But I don't see this happening as Wenger doesn't recall players once they're sent on loan.

The other possibility is Thomas Vermaelen. He's just spent a week in Holland doing extensive fitness work in a bid to be fit for the last six Premier League fixtures of the season, according to the Sunday Mirror. But whether he'll be match fit enough to last the rest of the season remains to be seen.

Alex Song could play there but is then a huge miss in midfield.

The central defensive position now causes us a big head ache. The manager has got an interesting decision to make.

Also around this morning are questions from the media about whether Arsene Wenger has taken Arsenal as far as he can.

The Sunday Express carry a piece which questions whether the manager can go on after not winning a trophy for six years. Whilst the Daily Star Sunday says Pep Guardiola is waiting in the wings to take over from the Frenchman.

Personally I think it is too soon for us to be writing off the manager. We are close to achieving all that we want and I think he should have the right, after so much success at the club all ready.

We won't know what we had with Wenger until it's gone. And I'm not prepared to have a manager who has had the foresight to create a training ground and stadium which will stand us in good stead for years to come to be written off so quickly.

Wojciech Szczesny is keen for us to remain focused and win the league.

The goalkeeper, who will miss the next six weeks through injury, says his team mates have to prove the critics wrong and go out and win the Premier League.

Szczesny said:
"The only way we can respond is by going out on the pitch and showing people what we are made of.
"We are confident we are a very good team and we believe we can win the league this season – that is the only way to shut them up really."
The response now has to be massive. To lose the Carling Cup final, be out of the Champions League and to be knocked out of the FA Cup inside two weeks is disappointing. Now the player's have to give a response.

Some transfer news for you? Nicklas Bendtner, who was missing from yesterday's squad through illness, has been linked with three German clubs by the Sunday Mirror. Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Schalke are the clubs said to be interested.

Finally some Sunday reading. Bob Wilson talks to the Independent on Sunday about Arsenal's goalkeeping situation and also asks whether this Arsenal team can ever achieve their goals.

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