An interesting story about our backups by Briantole
A lot has been said about Arsenal’s lack of depth and proper squad players. These are what we call backups. So where do we stand in terms of our backups? Backups can play different roles depending on the team’s philosophy. For example: They can be youngsters being groomed for the future i.e. Barcelona.
Players who alternate with first team players and provide competition i.e. the Manchester clubs.
Players who only play a bit part in the team. They are only included when first team players are missing i.e Real Madrid, PSG, etc.
So who are Arsenal’s backups and what are their roles in the team? Let me analyse them from the defence to the striker….
Ospina is our backup goalkeeper. He was bought from Nice due to his impressive World Cup performances. He came at first as the backup, but due to Szczesny’s howlers against Southampton he displaced him from the team. He put in a very good shift and played pretty well, putting Wociechch on the bench until an array of mistakes started costing the team. People questioned his ability to reach for the ball due to his small stature. To his rescue a much improved defence arose, but the club saw the need to buy a new goalkeeper who is much much better.
Debuchy: He came in from Newcastle as a replacement for Bacary Sagna who left for Man City. He did pretty well in the world cup. He in fact benched Sagna from the France national team. He did well at the beginning. His talent and experience put the team in check until two long term injuries put him out of action for an extended period. He remained a trusted player at the club even at this difficult period ,being tipped to regain his place on his comeback, but the electric form of Bellerin and his impressive performances reduced his role to a bit part player.
Chambers: Came in from Southampton for a hefty fee. During preseason he was our best player earning himself applause from the Emirates faithful. He got on with his strong performances into the new season earning himself an England call up. His great form earned him comparisons to the legendary Tony Adams. But his inexperience did him no good.
Poor decision making reduced him to play a bit part role on the bench. Now deputising for Merts, Gabriel and Koss as last choice backup.
Gabriel: Came from Villarreal for a sizeable fee. His inability to speak English put him on the bench for a while, but on his debut against Middlesbrough he put in a strong performance rating himself highly among the supporters, he started a number of games later on and continued to impress, though Wenger does not seem to trust him much, putting Koscienly and Mertesacker ahead of him.
Kieran Gibbs: A player coming from our very own Arsenal academy. Given his debut as a youngster, he was very decent on the pitch. He became our first choice in some previous years, but after Monreal was given his place on the left after a period of time the Spaniard was nothing short of sublime and made the position his own, with Gibbs deputising him.
Flamini: Returned to arsenal after his stint spell at AC Milan. He is a versatile player capable of filling centre back, full back and midfield positions. On his first season after returning he proved an important member of the club, helping the team lift the FA cup. But due to his old age he became injury prone and inconsistent. So a young and more energetic solution was sorted and it paid off. Coquelin has been a starter since then, and Flamini his deputy, though Flamini has had his moments with a tale to tell. The brace against Tottenham being the best of it.
Campbell: Came in as a youngster at Arsenal. Has been sent on loan on a number of occasions due to his ineligibility to play because of passport issues. He was to gain important experience. So the loan spell at Olympiakos proved his best. Scoring 8 goals in the league and a Champion’s league goal against Manchester United. He then came back to Arsenal after a strong World Cup campaign and everyone expected him to find a place in the team, but Wenger had other ideas in mind. He has had to wait all this time for his opportunity to arise so let’s hope he takes it like others have done.
The Ox: Once described to be our most promising youngster as he gained comparisons to Walcott. He was very impressive for England scoring that goal against Brazil. He started almost every game in the first part of last season and everyone was praising him. After another injury he made a good name for himself, including the thunderous goal against Monaco and that assist against Manchester United. But he dug his own grave with his costly mistakes, making wenger use Ramsey ahead of him on the wing despite it not being his natural position.
Olivier Giroud: Well he causes a split of opinion among Arsenal fans, just like Wenger does. Some say he is a very viable centre forward while others see him a very bad player and have been demanding a more mobile centre-forward. Well he still has an impressive return of goals and assistsand has also been capped many times by France providing cover and as an alternative to Benzema. Now the manager doesn’t seem to trust him anymore putting the speedster Walcott ahead of him in the pecking order – for whatever reason Le Prof might have. But Walcott’s injury record compared to his puts Giroud at an advantage over the season.
Well it seems pretty harsh for the manager to bench some of these players so let’s hope they can push the first teamers to perform even better