Sunday, 15 May 2011

Looking ahead and beyond

As Arseblogger pointed out yesterday, Arsene is not going to reveal his cards and it would be foolish to do so. The point that I have been rambling on about to various people in recent days is related to the complacency that seems to have developed in the squad. There is no doubt that certain players do not put 100% of effort into every game.

In my humble opinion any player, no matter how good, who is not completely committed to the club should be sold this summer. We simply cannot have passengers in the squad if we are to try to win the league. Arsene needs to cast aside some of the dead wood, bring in some motivated new blood and create a new squad that has the necessary desire, determination and focus in win things. As things stand we do not have this.

I spent some time yesterday looking through the squad in detail and working out how I would tweak it if I were manager. Just listing the players and their positions shows how deeply unbalanced the squad has become for me, basically we are overwhelmed with small technical attacking central midfielders and we have adopted a formation to fit that in balance, 4-3-3. Fitting a formation to an unbalanced squad is a bad idea and this seems to be a root cause of our failings again this season.

The defence does not need that much work on it for me, the defensive problems we have are systemic and more a result of the whole team's inability to defend, frequently relating to set pieces. Our old sides had several beasts in the midfield who could help out the back four, especially aerially, we need to get more balance back into the midfield part of our squad.

We have umpteen central midfielders, very few of whom actually work hard enough or defend with any discipline, there is no doubt that bringing in a good all round midfield beast a la Petit/Gilberto/Vieira is badly needed. We also need more pace and width in the midfield, we have very few players who can actually play wide, we could also do with a bit more raw pace up front.

Villa await today and the today's opponents have a player that I would definitely not say no to in the summer, Ashley Young, he is quick, skilful and can add width to any side, also a player that we know Arsene admires and he only has a year left on his contract. Anyways let's hope we can do a job against them today.

Finally just to add a final comment on the manner in which this deeply average and unpleasant Manu side have won the league. Firstly Dowd was the referee, secondly Manu's equaliser came after blatant and disgraceful intimidation of the linesman by Vidic, Ferdinand et al, and thirdly it was never a penalty, it was a clear dive. It sums up the way Manu win overall, they have no class and no decorum. What a shame to see Stoke go down in the cup final, seeing Ryan Shawcross weeping as he collected his loser's medal was a truly poetic moment. Well done City.


Anonymous said...

It was a penalty every day of the week, mate. The intimidation was pretty shameful but regardless, the refs were always going to give it and rightly so. Robinson was Almunia-tastic in his stupidity.

Anonymous said...

Never a pen, sorry.

Even if robinson got in chicharito's way, which he didn't, them the ball was well gone I'm afraid.


Anonymous said...

We will know in fifty years repeat fifty years that the red faced cunt had won titles with the connivance of the shit refs and linemen.I want to see whether he can lift the cl.
I will be over the moon if Messi and amigos beat them 4-0 no 1-0 will do. He must be brought down to earth in the cl with a loud thud.
Btw, Wenger says he will strengthen . Hopefully he won't get crocks or cast offs like ilvester and Campbell.Get real man.
Go for quality and overtake /catch up with the red faced cunt or the gunners will be dragged further down the table.

Ted said...

Good post 1979. I am not going to get into the debate over the ManU penalty. The point, I think, is that Blackburn were the better side over 90 minutes and should have been 2-0 by the time Chicharito decided to start falling over.

So far as the Arsenal squad is concerned, I tend to agree with you. In many ways, however, its not so much the players we have but the manner in which they play. We have so many players who don't give 100%, or don't look like they are.

Tony Pulis has done well this season with a very average Stoke squad and says quite openly that their game plan is built on 100% commitment. No doubting that.

There was also an interesting interview with Adebayor on Football Focus yesterday, in which he put Mourinho as the best manager and Wenger second. Whilst Ade was keen to say how much he respects Wenger, he said the reason why Mourinho was the best was because he prepared his players for games 'like we were going to war'. We could do with some of that.

Ade also commented that when he came on the pitch for a Mourinho side, he knew exactly what the manager wants him to do. The suggestion was that other managers are not so clear. Wenger's public messages are always that his players just have to relax and play their game.

The problem this exposes is that I think a lot of the current complaints with the Arsenal squad are not just a simple matter of getting some bigger stronger players in the squad. I fear that Wenger could coach a bunch of cloggers like Stoke into a pretty passing no-scoring team within 3 months. Wenger would have Kenwyne Jones on the wings. I kid you not.

I am just not certain that Wenger has the right view to set his teams up to win major trophies in this era of mage-bucks clubs. Even Stoke have signed players for fees that Wenger would not contemplate - Jones for £8m cost more than any centre forwardat Arsenal.

As Adebayor put it to football Focus - "there is just no way that Mourinho would have lost a final to Birmingham City, No way."

Occassionally, even berks like Adebayor make a good point.

Anonymous said...

Wenger will buy old cheapsales inexperienced bargains. That way, you cant blame him for not buying. At the same, the board will give him a pat for saving money for their own pockets.

Anonymous said...

Wenger really does take supporters for being stupid.

Get ready for the barracking at today’s match you ignorant fool!


tonimoroni said...

Thanks for the word about City. The win means a lot to us. 14 years ago to the day, yesterday, we were playing Luton in Div 2.

Meanwhile, all I'd say to frustrated Gooners is that for all the troubles this season, you were just one Bendtner mis-control and just one defensive snarl up away from it being a good season...