Squad Depth Will Be Crucial In Determining This Year’s Title Winner
Written by The Arsenal Kid.
Did anyone noticed how Chelsea performed without four first team players in John Terry, Alex, Mikael Essien and Frank Lampard? Yes they performed abysmally and were soundly thrashed by Sunderland 3-0 at home where they have only lost once all last season.
So let’s rewind back to the end of last season when we were playing without half of our first team in Vermaelen, Gallas, Cesc, Arshavin,Van Persie, Sagna and Rosicky for the last couple of games. Yes we lost games to Wigan and Blackburn. Yes, the criticisms came in about how we have again bottled our chances and always fade away.
Arsene has never used injuries to key players in the squad as excuses for these losses but clearly you can see how devastating injuries can be when half your team is decimated by them. Last year, everyone was saying how Chelsea can cope without Drogba, but clearly as Chelsea have now shown, when you lose all your best players, you will probably lose a match.
That is why I have always maintained that we could have made a run for the title last season if not for the injuries we suffered. This is now a critical period in the championship. With games coming thick and fast, injuries would eventually creep in to all squads. Chelsea, without Terry and Alex, looked very vulnerable in defence and could possible drop more points in coming weeks.
We are now only two points away from the champions and must take whatever opportunities come our way. We have missed out on two chances but finally profited when we won at Everton and Chelsea lost to Sunderland. Chelsea’s squad also lacked the depth so any injury to more of their key players would be detrimental to their team. Look at who Ancelloti threw into the match when they were down 2-0 in the second half again Sunderland. Whereas previously, he could count on players like Michael Ballack and Joe Cole, he now has to rely on Josh McEachran, Gael Kakuta, Daniel Sturridge. All unproven youths who again failed to influence the outcome of the match. Arsene brought on Denilson and managed to bring home the points.
If you looked at our bench against Everton, they were all internationals giving the manager options to change the team without losing quality. This is going to be an important element in this year’s title challenge and on which can propel us to the top!
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