Whenever I read an Arsenal blog and its following comments, the concern over the fitness of one man stands out like a sore cruciate.
The fortune of our great club seems to be very much tied up with the health of our Dutch maestro Robin Van Persie.
As the January Window approaches we are all concerned about the wellbeing of our talisman, whilst hoping that Arsene Wenger brings in a quality striker to help carry some of the load from off of the broad shoulders of our Captain Courageous.
Who though, in truth, could supplant him in the team and do the job that he does?
The Coach of Borussia Dortmund was full of praise at the way that Robin ‘Led the Line’ or did so, by often dropping deep into midfield.
A revival of the ‘Revie Plan’ maybe from the mid-1950’s when Don Revie, as a deep-lying centre-forward, copied those revolutionary tactics first viewed in England at Wembley in 1953? The original tactic was brought to England by the famous Magic Magyars from Hungary, when they visited Wembley and inflicted a record 6-3 hammering on the hosts.
That result reverberated throughout English/British football and brought about changes not seen in British football since the change to the off-side law in the 1920’s.
The fulcrum of that great Hungarian team was it’s centre-forward Nandor Hidegkuti, who would drop deep into midfield, leaving the opposition centre-half [ only one in those days ] marking empty space. Meanwhile inside-forwards [ attacking midfielders ] Ferenc Puskas and Sandor Kocsis ran amok in the space that Hidegkuti had vacated.
Fast-Forward 58 years and we see Robin doing a similar job for Arsenal, dropping deep to link up with the midfield whilst Gervinho & Walcott run into the empty space. Robin then joins the attack, usually unmarked, to wreak havoc.
It takes a player of supreme quality and intelligence to play such a role and we are lucky to have him but it also leaves Arsenal in a right pickle if Robin is unavailable.
So where does Arsene find an apprentice to our captain?
Not an easy task, but something that Wenger has to face and that Gazidis simply must finance this time.
No prevaricating in this Window this time Ivan…!
Finally, Wenger has taken a U-turn on signing a full-back, having suggested he would sign cover in January, he has now said he doesn’t want to be paying a player for four years, especially as we have enough cover to get us through until our injured players return.
Written by Allezkev