Thursday, August 27, 2009

UEFA Champions League 2009-10: Arsenal in Group H

In Group H of Champions League 2009-10 the four clubs are:

Arsenal, AZ Alkmaar, Olympiakos and Standard Liege

Arsenal has made an excellent start to the new season, winning all the four games with sheer comfort, netting 15 goals against 3 conceded. It is definitely inspirational to start off a season in such a fashion. Before the start of the season, there were many who were skeptical about Arsenal’s performance this season as the Gunners lost some of their key performers like striker Emmanuel Adebayor and centre defender Kolo Toure.

Well, I think, Arsenal has already got a quality defender in their only Summer signing Thomas Vermaelen who started making his presence felt since the first game of the season. I am really surprised to see how quickly this Dutch Belgian adopted to the style of Arsenal football. Actually, I do not think Arsenal has a lot to worry about until the club has its major players fit. In fact, injury has been a big concern for the North London club over the last few seasons and they lost the premier league title in 2007-08 season for a series of injury concerns.

The good news for the Gunners is that all of their injured players are gradually coming back in action, and there is no new long term injury casualty at this moment. Theo Walcott will be back within a month, while captain Cesc Fabregas’ injury does not seem very dangerous at this moment.

The biggest strength of Arsenal is their midfield from where comes their trademark counter-attacks. Andrei Arshavin and Fabregas are there as playmakers, while the squad has a talented holding midfielder in Denilson who has improved a lot over the last season. There is an attacking-minded midfielder in Abou Diaby who has been in good form too. Well, Arsenal’s central defense is pretty much strong too in the presence of William Gallas and Vermaelen featuring an excellent youth-experience combination. Long-term injured Tomáš Rosický is also on his way to make a quick come back, while talented Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey are always there to come off the bench as a quality replacement.

I do not think that Arsenal would suffer a lot because of the absence of Adebayor. Eduardo has been in excellent form recently, while Robin van Persie has been impressive consistently. Nicklas Bendtner’s impressive form of recent would also add to the strength of Arsenal’s forward line up. Youngster like Carlos Vela is also there to show his skill and talent whenever needed.

I think, Arsenal has a balanced squad. However, as I mentioned earlier, a lot of things would rely on the fitness of the Arsenal players and how well they would be able to avoid injuries.

No comments:

Post a Comment