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Vela or Eduardo – Who should start on Sunday against Chelsea?

November 26, 2009

And why? Note the question again. It doesn’t ask who you want to start, but who should start. The sentiments of the heart cannot overrule the reasons of the mind.

When one door is closed, another is opened. RVP’s injury gave one of Eduardo, Vela and maybe even Walcott for now to stake a claim. That is now well established. Eduardo and Vela have started one game each so far. We could say neither of them have heard the phrase ‘Carpe Diem’, otherwise I would not feel the need to make this issue of who starts vs Chelsea an issue to debate.

After the Sunderland game, I found myself defending Eduardo wherever I could. People seem to forget that our Croatian has had setback after setback since that fateful afternoon in Birmingham. Did he deserve criticism, as much as that for one off game?

Perhaps retrospectively you might revise that view. He is the most natural instinctive finisher we have. Look through the goals he has scored and you can see the quickness of thought when he is presented with chances.

Look through more Eduardo footage and you will see that the Croatian has been part of the “lucky” Arsenal goals – the goal he scored off his knee vs Liege in Belgium, the Wolves own goal, the tap in vs Everton and the deflected goal vs Wigan. All of those happened so far in this season. Right man, right place, right?

Add to that the dribble attribute which can take out a couple of players in an instant and the intuitive flicks that draw in our other players.

Eduardo will start because he has experience. This is largely true considering the Croatian is the older professional, but how much of that experience gained is recent? I can’t be sure on this but Vela has arguably had more minutes on the pitch if you include the loan spell since 2007.

Vela started on Wednesday against Liege and from what I saw he impressed me. He was skillful, direct and although his finishing left a lot to be desired the positive was that he was in the box.

I was equally if not more impressed when shortly after losing the ball, he chased back and won the ball back. Meek Vela? As if. Did we underestimate his physical attributes? There is always a player like that who surprises you with his unperceived strength. You’ll find them everywhere, maybe even in your local 5-a-side games.

If those moments from the Liege match didn’t convince you, I’m sure there is more Vela footage out there that shows his strength on the ball, ability to hold off defenders and link up play. And you can hardly forget the stunning finishing in those goals against Sheffield United and Wigan. If he can do that at 20, what he could do when he is older and wisder is frightening. Let us focus on the present, however.

Eduardo or Vela?

That is the question.

Both can’t start. That would be a luxury for this game. Neither have had many substitute appearances and neither have sufficiently impressed in those appearances. Of the two, Eduardo would make a better sub.

Would that send the right message to Eduardo, especially after he had no involvement against Liege? Do you drop Vela after his fairly impressive performance vs Liege?

Tough questions. Tough answers. Tough decisions. Lucky we don’t have to make it. But we sure can discuss them.

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. November 27, 2009 00:30

    We watched Ed’s game against Sunderland and it was Sloppy with a measly 18 passes… But that isnt something that is inherent to Eduardo.. He was once the coolest marksman in the PL.. Its just that he is about to overcome an enormous setback and a game against Liege would have helped him sharpen his movement a bit .. But he has the quality, guile and the experience to go past Jt and Co that is for sure.. Vela despite putting up a quality performance against liege doesnt yet have what it takes to play in the big games.. Based on this argument its an absolute gamble to pick either of them on Sunday but if it has to be so then Eduardo will be a prudent choice. Lets get em’!

  2. Nischit permalink
    November 27, 2009 00:41

    Eduardo! He had one bad game against sunderland and he isnt into the groove of things yet. Vela is too inexperienced to against the likes of terry et all. Plus, it wasn’t like he was clinical when he was presented with opportunities against liege. He scuffed his shot horribly when presented with a good opportunity, although i was impressed with his link up play and movement off the ball. I dont think i saw enough ( if i were arsene ) to start vela ahead of eduardo.

  3. messi permalink
    November 27, 2009 01:00

    to think that you could play vela in front of eduardo when both fit is extremely ridiculous, eduardo has been superb ever since he joined us, yes he has touched the same form as he had when first arriving but then again who would after experiencing a career threatening tackle. Eduardo will click the same way robin did in the beginning of the season, and plus eduardo hasn’t even moaned about playing upfront or even being the lone striker, van persie did, not that im complaining or anything. Eduardo will be upfront and thats it, i just hope that gallas is fit because him and vermaelen will be crucial for us. Here’s the team line up:

    …………………………………………………ALMUNIA……………………………………………………….

    ……………SAGNA……………GALLAS……………VERMAELEN……………EBOUE……………

    ……………………………………………………….SONG………………………………………………………..

    ………………………………………CESC…………………………NASRI……………………………………..

    ……………ROSICKY…………………………………………………………………….ARSHAVIN………..
    ……………………………………………………..EDUARDO……………………………………………………

    SUBS:…MANNONE…SILVESTRE…SENDEROS…DENILSON…TRAORE…VELA………..
    ………….WALCOTT…

    GOING FOR A 2-0 WIN FOR US, EDUARDO AND ARSHAVIN SCORING.

  4. November 27, 2009 02:07

    Messi,

    That is too attacking a line up. Nasri or Rosicky and Denilson will play to give us defensive cover.

    Don’t think RVP moaned about playing as a lone striker did he? Besides Eduardo can’t complain just yet as he hasn’t played enough games there.

    Nischit,

    Some might say Vela scuffing his shots was down to match practice, he has had some minutes under his belt now so who knows?

    0.9 Calibre

    I think neither Eduardo or Vela has started in a big game yet have they? maybe Wenger was protecting Eduardo from another set back? that is why he didn’t play vs liege?

    • November 27, 2009 17:39

      well gunnerstoday, that certainly is a possible reason why he was left out. But if Le boss was protecting players then I feel Cesc must have been rested too.. Based on his performance against Sunderland I felt Ed really needed that game to sharpen his movement off the ball.. But as long as we thrash the Chavs it doesnt matter if Ed played against liege or not! so lets keep our fingers crossed and hope we take them for a dizzy ride!

  5. Jack Staniforth permalink
    November 27, 2009 02:18

    Agree with your selection Messi but not the result. If what I read is true that Lampard, Drogba and Cole are available and Gallas is not 100% plus other absentees in our defence and our apparent weakness in set pieces then I don`t think it matters who`s up front we will be forced to defend ,something we`re not the best at. We can also expect a few theatricals for the benefit of the referee so if we come away with our home record still in tact I`ll be happy. Almunia nows your chance to shine.

  6. November 27, 2009 07:15

    I believe Messi’s line-up is just it. There’s no point playing defensively when that is obviously not our strenght.I can say we are sure to concede with any line-up we put out there,but with a positive line-up like the one above we’ll score more goals than chelsea,and that’s what counts.Theo should come in as early as the 60th minute so he should have enough time to settle and have a positive impact on the game.

    • November 27, 2009 13:04

      defence certainly isn’t our strength but the last time we played an attacking line up vs Chelsea we lost badly. An attacking line up doesn’t necessarily guarantee goals.

      Agree that Theo should have plenty of time as a sub.

  7. November 27, 2009 07:54

    Eduardo should start, is more senior than Vela, and you know chelsea are old men.They also need some experienced players. Vela can come as subsistute.

  8. Jimbo permalink
    November 27, 2009 09:10

    Both should play! Vela on the left, Arshavin on the right and Eduardo through the middle. I’d play Diaby if available in the midfield three with Cesc and Song and Denilson if Diaby is out injured. I’d put Nasri and Walcott on the bench and leave Rocsiky out the side. Nasri and Rosicky are not in attacking form enough to warant a place in the front three and not defensive enough to warrant a place next to Cesc in the middle. Both Rosicky and Nasri need to up thier games to justify being included in our current line up for important games. If we play the side I suggest, we will be very attacking and play fast footaball with the front three of Arshavin, Eduardo and Vela which is what is need to break down Chelsea’s solid defence. Nasri and Rosicky do not have the current form to play this fast football, or to do a defensive job. Denilson and Song are far more suited for the defensive role and this will allow the front three suggested to focus on fast attack!

    I hope Wenger takes the risk in playing Eduardo with Vela, the results may be frighteningly successful!

    • November 27, 2009 13:07

      Would love to see a frontline of Eduardo, Vela and Arshavin. However in the need to keep it solid, Wenger will definitely select one of Nasri and Rosicky instead as they offer defensive qualities that Eduardo and Vela wouldn’t. An attacking line up means we’ll create chances but leaves us open on the counter attack. It isn’t as if we’d win 3-0 or 4-0 in this type of game, so as long as we keep it solid, reduce Chelsea’s attacking threat a 1-0 win will suffice for me.

  9. November 28, 2009 03:19

    I guess Wenger will go for Eduardo’s gulie and not Vela’s promise in the big game against Chelsea. One, Eduardo is used to the big stage and two, Vela is a little unused to playing the central striker role with the first team. Whatever be the choice, the result for sure, shall be in our favour. C’mon you Arsenal..

    http://11gunners.com/matchday-preview/the-moment-of-truth-is-here/2763/

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