Arguably the return of a re-invented Coquelin in the latter part of last season was the biggest factor in our improved defensive stability.
Many (including me) would have put the procurement of another top quality DM at the top of our shopping list last summer.
It didn’t happen and we may now have to wait and see how costly that will be with Coquelin sidelined for the next 12 weeks.
Rather than keep moaning about what could have happened, I thought I’d fantasise about the influence my favourite Arsenal player would bring to the current side if he were that missing signing and at his peak of 27 years of age.
What our current team really needs is the Patrick Vieira of 2003/4. In my opinion, he would make this current Arsenal side considerably better than it is now – and it’s not too shabby at the moment :). Don’t get me wrong, when the team clicks as it did against Zagreb the other night (not the strongest of opposition) having a Vieira in the side would be a luxury rather than a necessity, but it is when we are under pressure that a player of his stature would come into his own.
He possesses all the qualities we need to make the team complete. A natural leader, fearless, strong, skilful, powerful, tall and elegant. A player who could tackle, who could defend, who could see a defence splitting pass, who could go forward and score a goal. He wouldn’t allow his teammates heads to go down. He wouldn’t sit back and watch our players get bullied.
But then I thought maybe there may be another ex Arsenal player of the EPL era who would make a similar or maybe even greater impact in a different position.
Some among us had been calling for a top striker over the summer. Would you prefer to see a TH14 at the peak of his powers instead of PV4 (I’m only allowing you one fantasy). Or maybe you think DB10 as our greatest ever player would have to be the one?
What about a proper winger; Mark Overmars, or the massive presence of Sol Campbel in defence. Maybe you’d prefer Seaman in goal in place of Cech – or the calm control Gilberto brought to our midfield? Dare I ask if Ashley Cole or the underrated hard man Lauren is what our current team really needs? What about the artistry of Pires or the Arsenal DNA of Tony Adams.
These are the rules: you can only choose one ex player from the EPL era to bring back to our current squad at the peak of his powers. The player has to be the one you think would bring about the greatest improvement to the team.
I’m going to list the most likely candidates, if your preferred choice doesn’t feature on the list, tell us in comments who and why.