After a summer of unrest, Cesc finally leaving for Barca, Nasri on the verge of going to Man City, the Gunners had a lot of questions to answer. Over the summer, the struggling Denilson and the effervescent, versatile Eboue had also departed. Wilshere, Rosicky, Gibbs were out injured. Song and new signing, Gervinho were serving suspensions. As if that was not enough, the improved Koscielny injured his back 10 minutes in the game. There was no lack of effort from Arsenal. Theo Walcott, Arshavin tried to make runs, but could not quite penetrate. Nasri starting the game was surprising to me. But, Wenger did say that "Samir has been 100% committed ever since he joined the club". I don't think the fans should berate players looking for a transfer. Would you not go to another employer if he offered you twice of what you are earning? "Part of our job" is how Wenger described the Nasri situation. Can Wenger convince Samir to stay just like the United gaffer did last year with Rooney? Unlikely, but possible.
Back to the game. Frimpong came in for Song and had a decent game considering that it was his debut and he is not even 20 yet. Carl Jenkisnon and Ignasi Miquel, another couple of teenagers had impressive games and would definitely be good backups to Kosh and Gibbs (although Jenkinson is a right-back). Arsenal competed well with a really depleted team for 70 minutes before they lost Frimpong, who got a deserved red card. (another red card on debut for a gunner after Gervinho and Kosh). With 10 tired men on the pitch, Arsenal finally went down to a freak own goal from Ramsey. 'Rambo' certainly did not have a good game and the own goal summed up a bad day for him. Looking for an equalizer the Gunners committed men forward and were punished by Suarez. The gunners lost 2-0.
Arsenal's best player on the pitch was Vermaelen. The Belgian was a ROCK and kept Carrol ( and the Liverpool attack) quiet for the most part. Along with Sagna and a fit Gibbs, and an improving Kosh, Arsenal seem to have a solid back four. Schzeny has been stable. With Wilshere coming in, I believe there is still light at the end of this tunnel. With the current squad of players (assuming everyone is fit and Nasri and Bendtner leave), our starting eleven would be:
on the bench:
I think this is definitely a top 4 team. If Wenger can pull out a creative midfielder or convince Nasri to stay, we will be right in the mix for a push for the title.
I would still urge all the gunners to get behind our team. Wenger said before the game. "You can question my decisions for the club, but not my loyalty towards the club"
With some caution I say, "Bring on Udinese"