Nasri Breaks His Leg & A Discussion on Footballing IQ

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Samir Nasri has broken his leg in training. Just as Rosicky has come back from his injury troubles; another player in a similar position has been ruled out for about three months. Do you think we need to bring in another attacking player now to compensate for his loss? Vote above.

My short answer is…No.

With Rosicky coming back, Walcott, Arshavin, Van Persie, Vela and Diaby still around – our options are plenty. That is of course if we accept that the likes of Bendtner, Diaby and Eboue are good enough for the team. Hopefully we can start to see a bit more of Jack Wilshere this season so I am happy with the number of players we have to occupy the attacking areas.

However, in defensive midfield we still only have Song and Denilson. At the end of last season we started to see Wenger play Nasri in a deep lying holding role so perhaps his plans for Nasri were the reason we haven’t seen a signing in that area yet. With the money we have made on Adebayor, it is crucial that we get in a good quality central midfielder who is strong, athletic and crucially; one that commands presence on the pitch. Melo looked like a decent player since he had 17 yellow cards and 3 reds last season. That was enough for me to say – please come to Arsenal Mr. Melo. Unfortunately, he has signed for Juventus since then.

As much as Song improved at the end of the season and as much as Denilson had a relatively “decent” season “for his age”, these options are simply not enough any more. I actually think we are very close to a championship winning side if we literally bought in a couple of players. Vermaelen has been bought in and if he is anywhere as decent as his price tag was, we should be relatively sound at the back. However, a team’s defensive ability is not just down to the back five. The first line of defence starts from the front. Rooney personifies this notion at United. We need a player who at least does that hard work in the centre of the pitch.

We lost Diarra, Gilberto and Flamini and not one player was brought into cover their absence. Most would agree that last season our biggest weakness was our lack of presence in midfield. It was just too lightweight. Wenger started to lose trust in Denilson to hold a four man midfield so he played five across the park, often with Van Persie being wasted on the flanks.

The basic maths of it means that we have got weaker as a squad year on year for about three seasons. But surprisingly, I’m very happy with most of our team; I’m looking forward to seeing Arshavin, Fabregas and Eduardo playing week in week out on the same pitch.

Three of the smartest players around with real footballing intelligence should be fascinating to watch. Collectively, I don’t think there is another team who possesses players with the same footballing IQ as these three do. Some teams are lucky to have one genius who reads the game a step ahead of those around him; Liverpool have two. United lost one in the summer and Chelsea are a different story altogether. Man City are trying their best to get into a position where they can attract those genius footballing IQ players.

Right now they are just splashing out on talented strikers but none of them are on the same level as our E-A-F (Eduardo, Arshavin and Fabregas) from a footballing intelligence perspective. So, don’t be so glum Arsenal chums. We have some amazing players at the club but they are being held back by a manager who has allowed the balance of the side to shift too much. A few seasons ago I wrote an article on Wenger’s 10 Year Anniversary at the club.  I am his biggest fan, he has done things at this club that no other manager has done in the history of football. But he is fallible and stubborn like most humans are. However, it takes a great leader to realise and tell his troops what they already know deep down. It takes a courageous and superior human being to tell his players who look up to him as their second father that some of them may not make it at the club and to allow the ones that aren’t needed to leave the club.

He has got rid of one time waster in Adebayor at least. Adebayor is simply a superstar-playboy-wannabe and he will become best friends with Robinho at Manchester City so good luck to him; we didn’t need him on a footballing level and definitely not on a collective harmony level. Eduardo is three times the striker Adebayor is and is loved by the fans five times the amount Adebayor was.

The bottom line is – we need to update ourselves. Get rid of what is not needed and bring in at least one player who is a top class defensive midfielder. Our attacking options are as good as anyone’s. E-A-F are the three most intelligent players in the league and sometimes intelligence brings out the raw talent of the youth around them.

If we can bring in one super player, I think the rest of the league may be in for a huge surprise. I can’t wait for the new season, can you?

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