To "Fans" at the Shareholders' Meeting: Why Arsenal Deserves a Break!

Ankush GulatiCorrespondent IMay 17, 2009

09/10 will probably be the first time that Arsenal will have their entire squad together and available, neither of which was the case at the beginning of this season. Eduardo and Rosicky will both be ready to start the season and it doesn't look like there will be many departures. 

Let's look at the team that didn't start 08/09: We were without

1. Hleb
2. Flamini
3. Gilberto
4. Rosicky, absent whole season
5. Eduardo, impact limited to a limited cameo in the FA cup

While these guys remained absent, who came in? 21 year old Nasri and 30-whatever year old Silvestre. You can blame Wenger for not bringing more players in, but, then again, who knew that we were going to be missing these two for about four months each?

  • Fabregas
  • Walcott

Oh, and it doesn't end there. In the first leg of the quarter finals of the Champion's League, we lose

  • Gallas
  • Clichy
  • Almunia

The centre back and fullback stayed absent for the two semifinals we lost againt two heavy-duty sides, while Fabianski was unable to cope with the terrain and opposition at the semifinal against Chelsea. The injured three were present in the bulk of the unbeaten streak we achieved this season.

But never mind. I guess all the newspapers are right when they say that this season's shortcomings are all Diaby, Denilson and Song's fault.

Except they're not.

While admittedly Diaby and Denilson have had on-off seasons, Aleksandre Song has shown he is completely capable of being an part of a dominant midfield (albeit perhaps not all season long) along with the likes of Fabregas, Nasri, Arshavin, Rosicky, Diaby, Walcott, etc.

He's had two great performances at centre back at Old Trafford in the previous two seasons as well. I've been a huge Song fan ever since his brilliant Carling Cup performance against Blackburn when Eduardo scored those two goals in '07/'08, and his improvement since then has been constant and significant.

We have the exact same primary back four that were so brilliant for us in the first half of 07/08. Toure is at 28 and an important, experienced head, Clichy and Sagna are irreplacable at the moment, Gallas is a true winner who's primary focus is always on getting the job done, and still has a year or maybe two in him.

The defence needs no real change, it would be nice to get someone who can deal with Drogba however.

Adebayor. Adebayor just needs to get his groove on. I was never an Adebayor fan until the period in 07/08 a bit after the Spurs game, when he started scoring goals for fun, like the volley against Newcaste, etc.

Adebayor plays well when the team plays well. Of course he has his individual moments like against Villareal, but generally, if he's isolated on top without anyone being confident enough to occupy the hole behind him (the way Hleb did) he's not going to be a consistent goal scorer.

He needs a guy in the hole, that's a big part of the reason he had the maximum number of PL assists of '08/'09 right before his injury against Spurs, about nine or so, with RVP always lurking behind him to make a killer pass or shot e.g. his second goal at Stamord Bridge, when Ade won the header for RvP to score. I hope Ade stays.

Attacking-wise, well, just thinking of the names we have in our lineups, all the possible combinations, it's a manager's paradise. It's a paradise that we will get to see at the Emirates next season. And it's one that our manager fully deserves.