Arsenal stars ruled out of Europe
Tuesday, 23rd Aug 2011 15:30
Absentees will only make the heart grow stronger.
Thomas Vermaelen has proven what outstanding performances can be given in adversity and a number of his colleagues have shown that they too are ready to step up to the plate. We need as many of these players as possible to prove their heart in Italy tomorrow evening.
Jack Wilshere has failed to recover from an ankle injury despite rumours he could feature and Samir Nasri has all but sealed his move to Man City by asking not to play. We take a lead into the second leg and circumstances are ideal for a potential rear guard action which we have not seen in years from an Arsenal team. We have struggled to find any attacking fluency in recent matches but our defence has looked much improved and without our two best playmakers, we could be under pressure for large swathes of this vital qualifier.
However, Emmanuel Frimpong’s impressive debut has given us a slightly different option. He could partner Alex Song with Aaron Ramsey enjoying a more attacking role further forward. The energetic Gervinho and Walcott could then patrol the wings, helping to support what has so far been a very isolated Robin van Persie. Hopefully with a more secure midfield partnership behind him, Ramsey will be able to get closer to our new captain and give him the quality service he needs.
Injuries to Koscielny and Johan Djourou threaten our defensive stability but Vermaelen, Sczcesny and Sagna proved that they can organise a strong back line against Liverpool, we just cannot afford to go down to ten men again.
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