Arsenal vs Blackburn Preview: No Robin Van Persie, Theo Walcott at Striker?

Andrew PreglerContributor IIIFebruary 3, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 29:  Theo Walcott of Arsenal (14) celebrates with team mate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as he scores their second gaol during the FA Cup with Budweiser Fourth Round match between Arsenal and Aston Villa at Emirates Stadium on January 29, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Just when you thought things could not get more hectic at the Emirates, Arsene Wenger's recent comments only make the lack of deadline deals all the more frustrating. 

According to Rob Kelly and the club's official website:

“I will rotate a little bit because many players have given a lot, [With Van Persie] the temptation is there.

“We are in a situation at the moment where he is the main goalscorer, so I will maybe have to build a team that works around him.”

This seems reasonable seeing that Van Persie has started 11 of the last 12 and has played significant minutes all season. But without Marouane Chamakh, fans would think that the Arsenal bench is slim. Not according to Wenger. 

"We have [Ju Young] Park, Thierry Henry, we have Walcott who wants to play through the middle - he has not done it,"

Yes. Theo Walcott may start at striker for Arsenal. This game against the Rovers is one Arsenal cannot afford to drop points in and Wenger is going to potentially play Walcott? 

Thierry Henry would be the natural choice at starter but his fitness is not at the level necessary to play a full match at the Premier League level.

Unfortunately from what (or rather what we have not) seen from Ju Young Park, the Korean striker is just as ill-prepared due to an adjustment to league play. 

More than likely, Henry and Park will struggle through the game, and if Arsenal wins it will be because of a 1-0 miracle. 

However, Walcott is an insane yet interesting proposition. The move sounds more like a EA Sports FIFA move, but it could work. The only hesitation I have to the move is that when given the opportunity to finish, Walcott has struggled to put the ball in the net and his most recent goal was a fluke.

Moral of the story: while adding a big name player at the January deadline is risky and often seen as foolish, the Gunners needed to add depth at striker for situations like this.