Sherlock Holmes said that whatever is left once you have removed the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
What has this to do with our midfield? Well, ….. the impossible is that we will have a fully fit midfield to choose from, we have physical fragility in spades – Diaby, Wilshere, Rosicky, Ramsey, Frimpong, Coquelin and Arteta have all suffered long term injuries over the past few seasons and there is no reason to think this will change.
And what is improbable? That less than half of them will be fit at any one time. Add in the as yet to be damaged Ox, Arshavin and Cazorla and we have lots of choice, some might say, too much choice. At a time when all three of our Goalkeepers are under the age of 23 and two of them are crocked, it could be said that we lack squad balance – but that is another story and another post.
I would need RA mathematical qualities to work out the possible combinations of our midfield, all I know as there are too many to count on my fingers. Even if we take Cazorla and Arteta as starters there are 8 possible partners for them. But should they be automatic starters? Is a midfield of Diaby, Wilshere and Coquelin worse? Or Ramsey, Ox and Rosicky? etc etc etc
Should Oxlade- Chamberlain be considered as a future midfield linch-pin or a prettier Peter Beardsley?
My point is that what is left is the truth and the truth is we have too many midfield players. The skill sets of Ramsey, Rosicky, Coquelin, Wilshere, and Ox are similar – not identical but similar. I would be happy for any of them to start against any opposition, Cazorla is exceptional. We have no player who can replicate the skills of Arteta but should he be injured we will change the balance of the midfield to be either more attacking or more defensive.
What do you think will be our best midfield assuming all are fit? And what do you think it will look like in 2014? My take is:
2012 Diaby Cazorla Arteta
2014 O-C Wilshere Cazorla Arteta
Because I believe to maximize the potential in this squad we have to play 4-3-1-2 with Ox being the 1.
The difficulty will be juggling the fantastic talent we will have behind the first eleven. Wages can be a recompense – it works for Nasri, Kolo, Cahill, Malouda, Nani etc but a truly ambitious player will want first team action and many of our squad players are highly talented lads who have yet to fulfill their potential, something I feel sure they will agitate for.
Lost in the Midfield
For the first time I can recall we have an area of the pitch which is flooded with exceptional talent. How would you sort it out ? I have no idea but then I am not paid £6m a year.
( pic c/o Didit )
Written very quickly by Big Raddy