A bridge to nowhere. With Thomas Vermaelen out with a calf strain, there is officially no left back specialist left on the Arsenal senior roster. In the match Wenger subbed off Vermaelen replacing him with Francis Coquelin who looked a bit suspect when tracking back but looked in his element pushing up the channel. This of course opens up a debate whether Arsene needs to dip into the market to get a full back.
Vermaelen maybe out for about three weeks with a calf strain and he's been quite outstanding although the wide game has suffered as he's rather more stationary than Kieran Gibbs and Andre Dos Santos. The former is expected to return at the end of the month and the latter is due back in March.
The buzz is that Wayne Bridge maybe on the short loan list to tide over Vermaelen's absence. If that is the thinking, we're better off with an incontinent one toed sloth drugged on valium and fattened on Cheetos. Plus, do we really need the locker room distraction of someone who reminds us of John Terry's peccadilloes? The real issue is Bridge will give us nothing in terms of going forward or tracking back. He has not played competitively a single minute this whole season with Kolarov and Clichy ahead of him. Plus, he's kept himself fit motoring on the greens in a golf cart on Saturday afternoons.
Another reason is that by this weekend, Gervinho will have left for the ACN which means if Thierry Henry deputizes for him, the left flank stands to be exposed for its lack of mobility, if Bridge is picked up. No knocks on Henry but at 34 years, he's lost a yard or two of pace and although he is a better finisher than Gervinho, tracking back will be hard on him.
A better option would be to retain Coquelin for the Premiership matches against Fulham and Swansea as well as the FA Cup showdown against Leeds. By the time Man Utd roll into the Emirates, we should have Vermaelen back. At the end of the month Gibbs will be back and then Wenger will have a few more options whether to reunite Vermaelen with Koscielny in central defense or to keep him going at left back.