I am very perplexed and unhappy at Johann Dourou going to Brum till January, when presumably he will be back to cover for Kolo.
If we discount the new guy Nordtveit (and you have to as he has only just turned 17), I think we are worryingly short of centreback cover.
We now only have Philip Senderos as proper backup for Kolo and Gallas (now that Connolly has gone to Colchester). No problem if they all stay injury and discipline free, but its taking one hell of a risk in my opinion. Sure we have guys who can play at centre back in an emergency – Gilberto, Sagna, even Justin Hoyte – but the key word is ‘emergency’. We hardly want to break up the flanks and midfield if things are going well when we normally have such good cover. Perhaps Johann particularly asked for more first team action – and it will do him no end of good playing every week in the Birmingham side – but I still think it’s a bit risky, especially as our new captain hasn’t the best of record of staying injury free.
Or has Arsene got another signing lined up to surprise us all. Diarra perhaps, so that Gilberto can move back from midfield on a permanent basis?
On a further bright note Arsene seems to be nearing sorting a new contract out – sooner rather than later thank goodness.
So what’s the team for tomorrow then?
My guess is Lehmann, Sagna, Kolo, Gallas, Clichy, Denilson, Cesc, Diaby, Rosicky, Hleb, RvP, with Eduardu and Walcott used as an early substitutes. But I could be wrong.
The main thing is that we get off to a winning start, ideally keeping a clean sheet, and even better scoring three goals.
Can’t wait can you?