RVP injury is opportunity knocking on the pitch.

It’s the end of the world as we know it. / It’s the end of the world as we know it. / It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnne!

Let’s be honest, as Arsenal fans we were all waiting for the axe to drop.  That’s just the way it is.  And we should have known it would be RVP.  He’s just started to really do well; he’s had injury problems in the past; and, he was playing in a game that didn’t matter, so of course it was him.

Now we have to hear the doomsday pronouncements.  Even the Pundit has already jumped into the transfer fray –Gourcoff?  Alas, I worry the Pundit’s love of French food and wine may have gone too far.  I jest I jest.  But seriously, Gourcoff is more of a midfield type player.

But I’m going to buck the trend here and say RVP’s injury may, just may, turn out to be a blessing in disguise.  Hear me out.

First, my defense.  I like RVP and he has started to really come into his own.  He’s playing great for us and we will miss him, period, end of story.  I’d rather have him than not.  But lets be honest, RVP has been hurt before, a lot.  And for so long Arsene has been awaiting his return.  This final injury blow might finally galvanize the Professor to make some substantial changes come January.  Before this injury the Arsenal were in the market for a defensive type midfielder, especially to replace Song during the African Cup.  Now, with Bendtner, Walcott and RVP seriously hurt, we actually need to make some changes to the team overall.  This brings us to the second point.

This injury will force a reassessment of the 4-3-3.  Sure Eduardo can step in, but his game is as a straight striker, not the play-making of RVP; nor can Eduardo play the Bendtner target man with the insane work-rate (Bendtner compliment!).  Frankly, I’m not sure how Eduardo can play with Arshavin yet either.  Yes I know Rosicky or Nasri can play up front, but the dynamic is wrong.

This means real changes are going to have to occur this transfer window.  While I agree generally with Arsene’s policy of showing confidence in his (young) players, the issue now is the depletion of the squad from injuries, not developing the players’ confidence.  Our injuries are too severe, too long-lasting, too devastating.  And, the coming absence of Song weights too heavily.

This in turn creates an opportunity for Arsene, the Team and the Young guns -in that order.  Lets go through them all briefly.

Arsene.  The Professor’s policy of nurturing young talent means showing unqualified confidence in them, at all times, especially when the chips are down.  But now, an external force is at play: injuries.  Even the players must recognize that bringing in new talent in January is a necessity, not a criticism.  This means  Arsene has a chance to make substantial changes without harming the confidence of the young players or impeding the signing of new contracts.  In fact, Arsene is now free to make another Arshavin signing while stating boldly that he needs an older player that can step in immediately. (fingers crossed, please be De Rossi, please please please please please…I know it’s a dream, leave me alone).  A veteran  signing  would tell the team he cares, not that he doesn’t believe in them.  Speaking of the team…

The Team.  The real blow from losing RVP is his leadership, experience and camaraderie.  Its well documented that he works well with the young players, who look up to him; that he is considered a teacher of sorts (long-term Arsenal scout?) since he openly shares tips and lessons; and, generally, he provides a stabilizing presence on the team.  Simply, he’s one of our leaders.  Luckily for us, Fab has taken it to another level this year, Arshavin is well, Arshavin, Rosicky is back and Vermaleon will kill anyone that even thinks of getting out of line.  Nevertheless, the team has taken a sucker punch that only a veteran buy can fill.  As for the non-veterans…

Young Guns. Last, but not least, this injury puts the pressure on, and creates an opportunity for, many of the Young Guns.  Go ahead and pick one.  Ramsey, can you step into the leadership role, especially since a 4-4-2 appears to be in our future?  Afobe or Sunnu, can you explode onto the scene like Fab?  What about the Reserve team, anyone? Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

So while this injury is ridiculous for its predictability factor, don’t give up hope just yet Gunners.

Change is in the air…I can feel it…it has to.

Preferred Lineup

alumnia, sagna, gallas, V2000, the Kid (aka Gibbs), Nasri, Ramsey (time to step up), Fab, Song, Eduardo, Arshavin

yours,

the student

Coming soon transfer speculation, transfer speculation and more transfer speculation.  There’s just too much to say for one post.

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