Date:Friday December 21 2007
After watching the youngsters put in an impressive display against the tough-tackling, hard working Blackburn team on Tuesday night, it begs the question - Do we actually need to sign anyone in January?
I would be the first to say that we perhaps need a little more experience in our side but do you necessarily need that when you have the youthful enthusiasm and determination the team showed last night? The likes of Diarra, Denilson and Diaby might be having difficulty getting into the first team at the moment (who wouldn't with the likes of Fabregas and Flamini playing so well) but if we can keep them at the club, and more importantly happy, then our central midfield is looking in great shape. That's not forgetting Gilberto is there as well, although he has not been playing as well this season and plays as if his head is elsewhere.
Up front, we've got Van Persie, already looking almost back to his best, and Adebayor, who must go down as one of the best forward partnerships in the Premiership. Ade's certainly not had his best games for the club recently but despite his dip in form he's still the top scorer in the league. Need we say anything about Van Persie? To add to the equation, we've got Nicolas Bentdner and Eduardo, who have both impressed me in the short time they have been in the first team. In my opinion, Eduardo had his best game in an Arsenal shirt last night and has got to be pressing for a starting berth soon. Bentdner is another who is improving fast and is well on his way to being as good as Ade, if not better. Let's not forget Walcott either. He was almost certain to start last night had he not turned up at the team bus looking absolutely awful. He has come on leaps and bounds since his shoulder surgery and has been a key player for us already this season. He's won us many points when coming off the bench and terrorising the tiring defenders in the Premiership this year.
The defence is the one area of the team where we could perhaps do with some strengthening. Kolo and Willy have been immense for us this term, but when Kolo goes off to the African Nations Cup, who will play alongside Gallas? Senderos, despite having a decent game last night, looks shaky for me and has a little of the Cygan about him. Djourou is another who is inexperienced but has looked far steadier than Philippe and then there's Alex Song. Now, I will be the first to admit that I've never been a great fan of Song and the Fulham game certainly didn't help that. However, in the games he has played at centre-back this season, mainly in the Carling Cup, he has done well and has shown far more stability and confidence playing there than he ever did in midfield. Could he perhaps be the one to step into Kolo's shoes when he represents the Ivory Coast early next year? It would be a shocking turnaround of events for him to take his place in the team regularly while Kolo's away but perhaps he deserves it after his recent performances.
Sure, we'd all like to see the likes of Gourcuff, Dimitrov and Modric playing for our beloved Arsenal but with the likes of Diarra, Denilson, Diaby, Randall, Gibbs, Walcott, both Hoytes, Traore, Nordveit, Song, Merida and Barazite coming through, will we actually need them? It's certainly going to be an interesting couple of weeks in January, that's for sure.
Date:Friday December 21 2007
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