A Few Things for Arsene Wenger to Mull Over During the International Break

1. Injuries and Formation– Arsene Wenger’s options look to be decreasing by the day for the match against Everton as key players have picked up injuries making them doubts for the match. Gallas has pulled out of the France friendly versus Tunisia with a tear to his thigh, Sagna too with a knee problem, Djourou out of his Switzerland game against Greece with a knock to his cheekbone, Bendtner an ankle injury and Van Persie a hamstring.

You can add to that Vela as he will arrive on Friday to London and any other possible injuries or those in need of a rest. If the strikers are not fully fit it is more likely a 4-3-3 formation will have to be fielded. Mikael Silvestre and Amaury Bischoff are back fit and could be in contention as could midfielder Abou Diaby.

2. Abou Diaby– Frenchman Abou Diaby is back in contention after the international break and the strong midfielder will look to stake his claim in the centre after Denilson’s indifferent start to the season. His presence on the deck as well as the air could be invaluable for the Gunners.

3. Corner Kick Strategies– The defenders need to be more aggressive but maybe they lack that bit of concentration and nous to get to the ball first. Bakary Sagna states it is up to the team to defend corners better which is true but a fact is the two headers let in where from men being marked by William Gallas. Introducing Diaby and Silvestre could help in this area if and when they are fit enough.

4. Impact Substitutes and Tactics- This is not an area that gets a lot of attention but when the Gunners are forced to try and get something out of the game, the substitutions and tactics have been lacking. In past seasons (mainly during the Invincible and early Wenger era) Arsene usually played all his strikers at one time to get a goal in what was essentially a 4-2-4 formation.

Theo Walcott now starts more but was the impact sub last season however against Sunderland was subbed to get something out of the game though when the game needs to stretched it is surprising to see him go off. Bendtner entered in the same game on the right essentially using the same 4-2-4 tactic as before but does he have the mobility or the dynamism to play there? Replacing Sagna for Eboue at right back would also be a good option (though losing some of the defensive capabilities) his driving runs and whipped crosses would be more danger.

Arsenal Column

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