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.