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Next up Walcott?

The injury to van Persie while Bendtner is also out has the given the team something upon which to ponder when considering who to lead the attack against Chelsea.

Theo has apparently indicated that he is ready to take the role if asked. In a recent interview he ventured: 'It's a shame about Robin because he's done such a tremendous job for us this year,' said Walcott. 'We've got great strikers coming in for him so I'm one of a bunch of strikers who could do that job but again you'll have to ask the boss that question. I'd love to play up front but in this club I'd play anywhere.'

Should Wenger go with Walcott it will be the third change in as many games. Eduardo had seemed the obvious choice but a poor result away to Sunderland hasn`t secured his claim. While Wenger claimed after the game that our failure to create chances in the final third was our undoing he clearly wasn`t entirely happy with the teams attacking performance:

"I believe that going forward especially we lacked sharpness and desire to go behind the defenders. We had chosen the easy part of the game, that is always come to the ball and not to be exposed then with our pace in behind. In football, if you want to score goals, you have to go behind the defenders."

For the Liege game Wenger opted for Carlos Vela claiming before the game that Vela was the reason he didn`t replace Adebayor and likened him to a former Liverpudlian striker: "I believe he is a Robbie Fowler-type. He needs very little time to make a decision in the box. He is relaxed when he finishes and he has very short backlift."

Like Eduardo before him, while not playing poorly, Vela failed to stake an unshakeable claim to lead the attack. It`s unfair to judge any player on one game of course but Arsene probably isn`t any clearer as to who he should play on Sunday. It`s not an easy choice to make. Eduardo`s experience we might hope would pay dividends, Vela has quality but still largely untried only ever having started 2 premier league games for the club and Walcott has rarely played the central role despite Wenger insisting some time ago that would be where his future lies.

There is perhaps still a fourth prospect that Arshavin could be used in that role but he seems more suited to a freer role in front of the midfield. We may find that the bigger changes could come in midfield with Denilson likely to come back and probably partner Song and Fabregas leaving the choice for a front three, if that`s the format we will play, less automatic than it has been at any time this season.

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The Journalist

Writer: Amos Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday November 26 2009

Time: 3:00PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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Hmm...if Wenger does go for a front 3 of Eduardo/Rosicky/Arshavin with the aforementioned 3 in midfield. We're really gonna have to be on our game to do a number on this lot...really concerned about the physical presence of Chelsea's midfield and our attacking line compared to their defence.
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26/11/2009 15:33:00

Anyone but Ruud van Nistelrooy. (Don't read the Independent today.) Just kidding. I thought Arsene half benched half rested Eduardo for Chelsea midweek. So AA/Edu/Nasri for me, with Song/Cesc/Den behind them. I'm more worried about Traore/Silvestre in LB than up front.
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26/11/2009 16:00:00

I was saying on the way out of the game on Tuesday that I felt Walcott has to be a starter on Sunday- but on the right of the three. Chelsea have never, ever been worried about us playing pretty little triangles in front of them because they string a wall of muscle across the midfield. Rosicky and Nasri are not players I see getting through Chelsea. Walcott by virtue of his pace and constant movement is the best way to go (lest we forget he's scored twice against Chelsea and should have scored at least one when we played them last). I can see him worrying Chelsea and pushing them back, despite his eratic tendencies, Walcott still gives defences a lot to worry about because they rarely know how to handle him (only Evra really managed that). If we play Nasri or Rosicky on the right, we'll end up passing a lot and not getting anywhere.
Little Dutch
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26/11/2009 16:03:00

If Diaby is fit he has to play. Not my favourite player but he has the strength. Him, Song & Fabregas. Arshavin, Eduardo & Eboue is my guess.
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26/11/2009 16:23:00

it will be a shame that more are injured we must be injury prone
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26/11/2009 16:26:00

Diaby apparently had the strength in the Semi as well, did **** all, he doesn't use 50% of his physicality. The fact that he's injured for 3 weeks doesn't help either ;-)
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26/11/2009 16:39:00

I agree he is inconsistent, but when he wants to he can put himself about. I remember he had a decent game against them in the final of the carling cup before that thug Terry broke his foot with a disgraceful headbutt
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26/11/2009 17:16:00

Still though 'he knocked John Ter-ry out'
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26/11/2009 17:24:00

Good injury news guys. Gallas is doubtful for the game with a swollen eye whichis gre... oh wait a minute, we are fu****
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26/11/2009 17:38:00

Listening to Wenger on he says their is a Big question mark and that he cant get his contact lenses in. I would hope that by Sunday the swelling will reduce. How things have turned from having Lampard, Drogba and possibly Terry out, to having them all play but missing RVP, a left back & possibly Gallas.
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26/11/2009 17:49:00

I absolutely agree with LD - playing triangles in front of their defence isnt going to worry Chelsea. We need pace and width - something which only Theo provides right now.
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26/11/2009 18:48:00

Of course, Gallas will play, Paul. He is not the kind to pass up on such a game just because he can't get in his contacts.The swelling will go and in he comes. Such games helps to keep the other team guessing, as Chelsea i doing to us. I like the thought of Theo coming in, but only as a second half sub, to 'terrorise' A. Cole as he tires out. A front 3 of Nasri, Arshavin and Edu is bound to keep Chelsea's full backs pinned back; Nasri is a handful, defensively and offensively and is not afraid to shoot. Arshavin will always be a threat in a free role upfront. I still suspect Arsene will bring Eboue into this game, somehow; very likely at LB. Heavens!This game is getting me tense already.
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26/11/2009 19:17:00

* Such mind games help.......
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26/11/2009 19:21:00

If it's not Song/Cesc/Den in midfield i'm gonna cry. Everytime that's been the case we've looking good going forward whilst maintaining a healthy mind in defence. As for the forward 3 ...well at the start of the season we were bragging how many attacking players we have. And we do still have the likes of Nasri/Rosicky/Eduardo/Walcott/Vela/Arshavin ...Physically it's going to be tough, but on the other side of the coin they're gonna struggle to keep with our pace and skill if our boys turn it on. If we play like did against Sunderland, we're *****ed. If we play like we HAVE been playing most of the season, they're *****ed. I think this is our game to lose and the Song/Den/Cesc part is gonna be crucial, the cogs have got to be well oiled in that machine.
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27/11/2009 03:12:00 Great article from ACLF.
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27/11/2009 03:33:00

Walcott on the right sounds good, but I'm afraid he will do more harm than good. With his poor ball retention skills, its ok if he comes on for 20 mins, but not so when he's on for 70 mins. So Eduardo, Arshavin, Nasri/Rosicky to start and Theo to come on as a sub. I'm sure Eduardo has taken criticism well, and will come back strongly. At LB, I guess we will see Silvestre which is ok.
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27/11/2009 10:41:00


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