There’s only One Song and he’s gone. Arsene must win this game with tactics

Arrrrrrgh. I’m a positive person by nature, glass half full and all that. And I truly was looking forward to the match at Nou Camp tomorrow. Fear of no one. But I have to say, even my optimism took a hit when I heard Song would miss the barca game. One of my favorite players, Song has been a rock for us all season. The only positive I can find, is that the loss of Song might force Arsene to change his approach to this game. Absent our One Song, we will now be asking less to do more. Forget men against boys: we need Arsene to win this game through management and tactics. The beautiful game is secondary.

Arsene is known for sacrificing tactics for philosophy. But this game means too much. Absent RVP, Fab, Gallas, Arshavin and now Song, the complexion of our team has completely changed. Song is the keel of the team. His marking and stability in front of the back four have saved us to many times to count. Defense may never have been our strong suit, but we’ve officially lost much of the field leadership.

My fear is that Arsene will continue to pursue a philosophy instead of reality. With Gallas and Song out, we are defensively weak, period. With Fab, Arshavin and RVP out, our passing is weakened, period. I have faith in the other players, but the tactics and strategy the players are accustomed to, no longer exist.

Against a lesser team, even manu, I wouldn’t be as concerned. Offense is often our best defense, through sheer posession. But this won’t work against barca. Instead, we are counting on a potential balkline of Sagna, Sol, Vermaelen and Clichy to absorb a huge amount of pressure.

I’m hoping we see a 4-5-1. I know Arsene hates it, but playing away in the Nou Camp, some respect for the opposition is in order. Here’s my hopeful lineup:

Almunia

Sagna, Sol, Vermaelen, Clichy

Denilson

Eboue, Nasri, Diaby Rosicky

Bendtner

It clogs the middle and puts more pressure on their midfield. It also allows us to protect our back four.

Here’s the lineup I fear:

Almunia

Sagna, Sol, Vermaelen, Clichy

Nasri, Diaby Denilson

Walcott Bendtner Rosicky

Two final comments. First, Ramsey’s loss is hurting us now more than ever. This was just the type of experience he was developing well for. Second, a what if.  What if Merida had signed the contract? Instead of sitting on the bench and wasting a year. Now he’ll be on the bench in Nou Camp; but had he signed the contract, he might have ben playing in the champions league quarter finals against barcelona.

– the student

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1 Comment

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