The injury to van Persie while Bendtner is also out has the given the team something upon which to ponder when considering who to lead the attack against Chelsea.
Theo has apparently indicated that he is ready to take the role if asked. In a recent interview he ventured: ‘It’s a shame about Robin because he’s done such a tremendous job for us this year,’ said Walcott. ‘We’ve got great strikers coming in for him so I’m one of a bunch of strikers who could do that job but again you’ll have to ask the boss that question. I’d love to play up front but in this club I’d play anywhere.’
Should Wenger go with Walcott it will be the third change in as many games. Eduardo had seemed the obvious choice but a poor result away to Sunderland hasn`t secured his claim. While Wenger claimed after the game that our failure to create chances in the final third was our undoing he clearly wasn`t entirely happy with the teams attacking performance:
“I believe that going forward especially we lacked sharpness and desire to go behind the defenders. We had chosen the easy part of the game, that is always come to the ball and not to be exposed then with our pace in behind. In football, if you want to score goals, you have to go behind the defenders.”
For the Liege game Wenger opted for Carlos Vela claiming before the game that Vela was the reason he didn`t replace Adebayor and likened him to a former Liverpudlian striker: “I believe he is a Robbie Fowler-type. He needs very little time to make a decision in the box. He is relaxed when he finishes and he has very short backlift.”
Like Eduardo before him, while not playing poorly, Vela failed to stake an unshakeable claim to lead the attack. It`s unfair to judge any player on one game of course but Arsene probably isn`t any clearer as to who he should play on Sunday. It`s not an easy choice to make. Eduardo`s experience we might hope would pay dividends, Vela has quality but still largely untried only ever having started 2 premier league games for the club and Walcott has rarely played the central role despite Wenger insisting some time ago that would be where his future lies.
There is perhaps still a fourth prospect that Arshavin could be used in that role but he seems more suited to a freer role in front of the midfield. We may find that the bigger changes could come in midfield with Denilson likely to come back and probably partner Song and Fabregas leaving the choice for a front three, if that`s the format we will play, less automatic than it has been at any time this season.
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