Arsenal Players That Will See Less Playing Time Following New Signings
After an inactive offseason and a less-than-stellar preseason, Arsenal fans were understandably questioning the strength of their team heading in to the start of the new EPL season. Following the results from their first three fixtures, panic was definitely starting to set in.
Obviously with Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri departing, the team was already weakened. Add in the fact that a number of players were either suspended or injured for the Manchester United game, and the 8-2 drubbing made it ridiculously clear how thin and vulnerable the Arsenal squad was.
Arsene Wenger must have gotten the message as he stepped it up before the transfer window shut earlier this week and brought in some desperately needed reinforcements.
With the addition of experienced players such as midfielders Mikel Arteta and Yossi Benayoun, along with defenders Andre Santos and Per Mertesacker, a number of squad members will be seeing less playing time this season.
Here are the players that are most likely to be affected by the addition of the new Arsenal recruits.
Marouane Chamakh: The out-of-Favor Striker
With the addition of Gervinho from Lille, Chu-Young Park from Monaco and 18-year-old Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Southampton, Marouane Chamakh is sure to see less playing time.
Last summer's signing from Bordeaux, Chamakh has fallen out of favor and was not even used in Arsenal's embarrassing loss to Manchester United.
Add in the fact that young Japanese forward Ryo Miyaichi has joined the roster after being granted a work permit to play for Arsenal on the grounds of being an "exceptional talent," and Chamakh may end up having to prove himself when given the chance.
Abou Diaby: Midfielder
Midfielder Abou Diaby seems to spend more time on the injury list than on the pitch. He is currently out for at least another six weeks.
Diaby has also shown lapses in judgement and has had his mental strength for the game questioned. One huge example was Diaby's sending off against Newcastle last season after reacting to a bad challenge by Joey Barton (who else?).
At the time Arsenal were up 4-0 but eventually surrendered four goals in a game that most Arsenal players and fans would rather forget.
With the addition of experienced players such as Mikel Arteta and Yossi Benayoun, along with the emergence of Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey, Diaby may not get many opportunities.
Andrey Arshavin: The Little Russian
Andrey Arshavin's Arsenal career couldn't have started better. Unfortunately, he experienced a drop in form last season and often found himself relegated to the bench.
Many fans considered him lazy and fat and accused him of not always having his head in the game.
Competition for midfield playing time will be strong this season and Arshavin is going to have to show some of his past greatness and quickness to earn more playing time.
Tomas Rosicky: Little Mozart
Tomas Rosicky joined Arsenal five years ago from Borussia Dortmund with the nickname "Little Mozart," making an impact and becoming an integral part of the Arsenal squad upon his arrival.
Unfortunately, he suffered a hamstring injury which caused him to miss all of the 2008-2009 season.
Since his return, Rosicky's form has been nowhere near his best and he has often lacked the pace and skill that had made him a strong midfield presence.
At the age of 31, Rosicky is one of the older players on the team, and as most Arsenal fans know, Arsene Wenger favors players under 30.
This will be an important season for Rosicky to display his value, as transfer rumours have surrounded him in the past several transfer windows.
Johan Djourou: Not Up to Par
It's no secret that Arsenal's biggest weakness of the past few seasons has been its leaky defense.
The days of Tony Adams, Nigel Winterburn, Lee Dixon and Martin Keown are long past and Arsene Wenger knew it was imperative to try and solidify the defense.
With the additions of 6'6" German Per Mertesacker and Brazilian Andre Santos, several defenders will have to take a back seat. Bacary Sagna and Thomas Vermaelen are both solid and should make a strong back four alongside Mertesacker and Santos.
Djourou has been exposed on many occasions and does not instill much confidence in Arsenal supporters.
While he is still only 24 and may improve, he should not be a part of Arsenal's core defensive unit.
Laurent Koscielny: Many Questions
Laurent Koscielny joined Arsenal last summer from French side Lorient. With the season-long injury to Thomas Vermaelen and the departure of William Gallas, Arsene Wenger often paired Koscielny and other newcomer Sebastien Squillaci at the center of the Arsenal defense.
The pairing often proved disastrous—though to be fair, Koscielny improved as the season went on and was definitely the stronger of the French pair.
However, with the additions of Santos and Mertesacker, Koscielny will most likely not be a regular part of Arsenal's starting 11.
Sebastien Squillaci: The Most Unpopular Gunner
Sebastien Squillaci joined Arsenal along with Laurent Koscielny last summer and the two were often paired together in the center of Arsenal's defense.
There really isn't much more to say other than most Arsenal fans believe he is a terrible player that does not deserve to wear the Arsenal shirt.
Outside of a goal he headed in to give Arsenal a 1-0 victory over Stoke last February, Squillaci was responsible for so many defensive mix-ups and mistakes that it's not worth listing. Suffice it to say that many supporters were hoping that Squillaci would be off-loaded this summer.
Squillaci remains with Arsenal but is sure to see very little playing time with the new defensive signings brought in by Arsene Wenger in the transfer window.