With Arsenal’s defensive choices dwindling by the day, it seems that Arsene Wenger is hoping that Martin Debuchy can play as centre-back for the first time in his professional career when the Gunners team lines up against his old club Newcastle this evening.
Wenger only has Debuchy, Mertesacker, Gibbs as fit first team defenders, with either the inexperienced Hector Bellerin or the returning Francis Coquelin to fill the right-back role. It has given the Frenchman extra food for thought as the game approaches and he was specifically asked by Arsenal.com whether he had considered moving Debuchy to the middle. “That is what I have to decide,” Wenger replied. “I have asked him already.”
“Yes, of course it’s a big ask, but the solution I have to decide will not be ideal, it will be a gamble. But there is not a massive difference between right-back and centre-back.”
Hmm well actually there is a very large difference between those positions in modern football and require far more specialised skills then Wenger makes out. But an even bigger problem could be who else he can ask to fill the gap in the light of Calum Chambers suspension.
Whatever line-up Wenger finally goes with is going to mean yet another weakened defence against one of the most in-form teams in the Premiership. Arsenal will have no choice but to play a couple of midfielders much deeper to try and protect them, which could mean giving away too much possession in midfield.
Le Boss is stuck between a rock and a hard place, but if he comes out of this one smelling of roses he will definitely be hailed as a genius again!