Can we get it done without Cesc both on the field and in the transfer market? I don’t really know. But, as usual, Arseblogger sums it up far better than I am able to… primarily because I get halfway through the first Arsenal-related paragraph and then want to throw my laptop through the wall.
Make no mistake, his absence from the team is going to be sorely felt, particularly as the potential replacements aren’t exactly setting the world on fire at the moment. He is a truly world class player and even a team with proper depth to its squad would miss him. How we’re going to cope without him is truly worrying. Yes, he’s just one player but he’s by far the best midfielder we have.
It makes the manager’s job in January even more difficult. I think we all accepted that he needed to buy a midfielder to play alongside Cesc but now he’s got to think about buying somebody to replace his creativity and craft. Let’s be realistic, Diaby is not up to the task, Denilson, as the manager has been telling us all season, is being groomed as the new Gilberto, Alex Song is a defensive midfielder with not much in the way of passing ability, leaving only 17 year old Aaron Ramsey.
So instead of one midfield player we now need two and we do need them. No doubt about it. We need to bring in that player who would have played alongside Cesc anyway and we need someone who can do what Cesc does. So a proper partner + 1 and the thing is it’s so difficult to see Wenger doing that. I can understand it in a way, he’ll think that he’s buying somebody but then in 3 months Cesc is back and what does he do with that player.
But those 3 months are vital for this football club. We’re in a massive scrap for 4th place at the moment, never mind the title, and if we sit on our hands and hope for the best then we could find ourselves in real trouble.
Finishing outside the top 4 is a green light for other clubs to come and cherry pick what’s left of the talent at Arsenal. Champions League football next season is the absolute minimum and if that means the manager has a selection headache in March, when Cesc comes back, then so be it. That’s a much better problem to deal with than the one that sees you slip down the league table because you don’t have enough quality in your team.
It speaks volumes about that very issue though that one player being injured, even one as good as Cesc, is so utterly devastating. In the past if someone like Vieira had been injured he’d have been a big loss but we had good, experienced players to fill the gap. Now we have guys who are still developing and are a long way from being the finished article – and that’s leaving aside the issue as to whether that finished article is even good enough.
What do you think? Can Arsenal get it together on and off the field long enough to still qualify for the Champions League next season?