Good day and welcome to the weekend
We play Swansea tomorrow away and this is a game we could easily lose. We have seen the Swans become something of a bogey team for us, kinda like the way Bolton was at a time. I don’t think we’ve won against them in some 3 games. Last season we lost twice, downed by goals from the Gomis guy and that horrendous celebration.
But this is a team that has to respond in a sense. Losing two important players in one game is just bad and it could shoot down the confidence of a team and the team have to show that they will not be deterred and get a results against the Swans.
The biggest question is who plays on the right. We’ve lost as many as 6 options on that flank (which is quite ridiculous) Ramsey, Ox, Theo Walcott, Wilshere, Welbeck and Rosicky are all players that could have played the position and they’re all injured, so what to do? Santi Cazorla could play there surely, but I don’t think it’s a decision anyone will go for especially after seeing his performances in the center. Even Arsene agrees:
“Campbell and Alex Iwobi. Santi can play there as well but he has become very important centrally. The problem sometimes is that you can destroy two departments if you move one player out. We control the ball better with Santi in the middle.”
And he’s absolutely right. The team has been working on relationships to be so good. Koscielny and Mertesacker, Sanchez and Monreal, Santi and Coquelin etc. These are all relationships that are integral to the team and breaking them up could affect the team balance. You can make a case for Gabriel in defence but he’s more of an anomaly than anything else.
The thing is; if there’s nothing like an injury to break it up or anything, then there’s really no need to change the way things are. This leaves the right side open for one of the two players that Arsene mentions; Iwobi or Campbell.
You get the sense that Campbell will get the nod due to his superior experience and maybe his status within the team. To be honest this doesn’t inspire much confidence. He hasn’t set the world alight with his performances so far and one can’t be blamed for being worried, but we of all people should know what a run of games could do to a player’s confidence and what continued un-involvement could do. Just look at Debuchy, is he a bad player? I certainly think not, but he couldn’t see anyway into this first team and that’s mostly because he isn’t playing and when he does, he hasn’t done too well. One could argue though that if he was played a few more times, he would find his form back, then again that will reduce the involvement of Hector Bellerin and could bring him to question himself especially when you see someone you’re doing better than playing ahead of you… see the dilemma?
So this could be a big opportunity for the Costa Rican and he would do well to take the chance. On the other hand it’s also a chance for Iwobi and for him he needs only to look at Bellerin’s rise to prominence for reference. It will be an interesting competition and I feel it can only make the two players better knowing that this could be a career defining opportunity, hopefully they take it and it works out for us.