Archive for September 10th, 2010

Walcott’s injury could open the door for other English youngsters

8 comments September 10th, 2010

So yesterday saw the ludicrous optimism of Theo Walcott’s “two weeks” prediction dashed on the rocks of reality as it was confirmed that he, like Robin van Persie, will miss four to six weeks.

It’s a significant blow, as he’s been our most in form player at the start of the season.  His pace and goals have added much-needed variety to our attack.  Too often last season we lined up with a trio of tiny tots – three clever players like Nasri, Arshavin and Rosicky, whose similarity made them easier for defences to deal with.  Bringing the height of Chamakh and the direct running of Walcott into the equation trebles the problems the opposition have to cope with.

In his absence, the more obvious replacement is Ivorian Emmanuel Eboue, who has made just one appearance this season – an unimpressive outing at Anfield. There are also likely to be opportunities for Carlos Vela and Tomas Rosicky to show what they can do.  It was interesting, however, to see Arsene talking up the ability of a couple of our other English youngsters:

“We are short on the striker front when you have two strikers out but [Carlos] Vela is in good shape and we have Jay Emmanuel Thomas who has made some big improvements, we have Benik Afobe, a young player who can play striker and has shown big quality, so we still have some reserves.”

If anything were to happen to Chamakh, JET must surely be ahead of Arshavin in the queue to play as centre-forward.  He is, after all, more than twice the side of the little Russian.

Interesting too to see Afobe mentioned.  He and Chuks Aneke have been playing with JET as part of an impressive attacking trio in the Reserves, and are probably in line for some Carling Cup action this season.  I’d hope to see at least one of them on the bench this weekend.

As we speak, Arsene is doing his pre-match press conference.  The early news filtering through is that Thomas Vermaelen will miss the Bolton game through injury, so Sebastien Squillaci will make his Arsenal debut up against Kevin Davies.

Welcome to the Premier League, Squelchy.

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