The snow, and the cancelled games at the Emirates and all around the country has left Arsenal fans with very little to discuss, and more time than they need to sit inside and look out the window, counting down the days until Christmas.
But if they looked instead at the Premier League, they would see one of the Premier League’s top clubs has plummeted this season without their reliable manager, Martin O’Neill. That team would be Aston Villa, who finished sixth last season but are currently in 14th, and are out of the Europa Cup. Nice one Houllier!
They have some very capable players, ones who could do a job at Arsenal. Perhaps not start, but be capable substitutes. In this slideshow, I’ve looked at five players in their squad who Arsene Wenger could take a closer look at, come the end of the season, or even in January.
And please: Think of this as food for thought, a kick-start to debate, not direct instructions to Wenger that he should buy all these players immediately.
In alphabetical order:
Agbonlahor is one of the fastest players in the Premiership, but also someone who has intelligence, can finish, and would bring something new to Arsenal’s attack: an all-around threat. I like the potential that, if Chamakh isn’t able to find a hole in the defence, that Arsenal could bring Agbonlahor off the bench and hit them with something different.
He did sign a new contract last month, but given that he’s only scored two goals this season, and Aston Villa will probably finish in the bottom half of the table, there is a chance he could be available.
The brightest spark of Aston Villa’s season has been the form of Albrighton. More or less unknown outside of the midlands before the summer, he has made the loss of James Milner a lot easier.
The right wing is not a position we need to fill desperately, but he looks like a player that could adapt to play further up the field like Arshavin, or perhaps even cover for the right back – in a Flamini style, although Flamini was covering for the left back, if I’m not mistaken.
This is how experienced Friedel is!
“What?! A goalkeeper?! But Fabianski is playing so well, and Szczesny looks so promising!”
This is true, but let’s look at it from a different perspective. Almunia probably won’t be an Arsenal player in January, he’s not happy sitting on the bench while Fabianski plays. Meaning the combined age of our two Polish net protectors is 45, which is barely older than Edwin van der Sar.
Friedel is nearly 40, he started his career when Szczesny was five. I’m not sure how much longer he will continue playing, but I am sure that he would enjoy the role of helping to coach all the young goalkeepers at the club, while also showing them how it’s done when we need him to.
Whether or not he’d accept that role at Arsenal remains to be seen.
Arsenal need more of this sometimes.
The inclusion of Reo-Coker is not because of his skills as a footballer, but instead his tenacity and the position in which he plays. Alex Song could definitely use some help in defensive midfield, and somebody like Reo-Coker could give him that. Even if it's from the bench.
Given Song’s new found eye for goal, the two could even play together and cover for each other in the way England fans have been dreaming Lampard and Gerrard would for years on end.
Had Fabian Delph not been injured, I would have said him instead. What little I have seen of him, he looks very tidy, it was a shame he got injured.
Last but not least is Ashley Young. There are some comparisons that can be made with Theo Walcott, but while Walcott is still discovering and adapting his position, Young is definitely at his best on the wing. He has pace, can dribble well and can cross. He also has enough finesse to take free-kicks and corners for Villa.
Young is a player who doesn’t play as well as he should, more than you would like. If he did play as well as he could, he would be a regular in the England team, no doubts about it. He is also handy as a second striker, and can you imagine the defenders working out how to deal with a triple threat of Young, Walcott and Chamakh, with Nasri, Fabregas and van Persie playing behind them?
The other thing I like about Young, is that he has supported Arsenal all his life, and his younger brother Kyle even plays for us.
Should Heskey have been on the list?
Would Dunne be a solid investment for the Gunner’s defence?
Or is Delfouneso the player you want to see in Arsenal red?