I do not want to get carried away with the doom and negativity. Our recent dropped points must be seen in context of some excellent results earlier in the year, while the deep problems in our squad are not something that can be quickly remedied overnight, failing players on big long term contracts cannot be moved on easily overnight. I have summed up our failings, demonstrated particularly against Norwich and Wigan, and this is where I feel we need proper meaningful action:
Defending as a team: The problem here is related to the manager, coaching and the players. Without having inside knowledge, it is hard to know exactly how to apportion this blame. It is clear that our team does not have the right defensive balance, the midfield are not helping the back 4 out enough, the whole team is not defending in a coordinated disciplined fashion, some defenders are playing with far too much reckless abandon at times in bombing forward. In particular without Arteta's disciplined defending in front of the defense, the midfield three of Song-Ramsey-Rosicky did not do anything like enough defending and did not shield the back four well. The communication between the players on the pitch has to be questioned, if a defender bombs forward then they must be covered, big gaps cannot simply be left for the taking.
Depth in squad in terms of midfielders who can defend: Overall this problem is extremely complex, it is to do with not having sufficient depth in our squad in terms of combative midfield players, it is to do with the manager arguably not selecting a solid enough blend to start the game with, it is also to do with the instructions and advice that the players on the field are given by the management. Song looks exhausted, Ramsey adds very little defensively and there is not enough strength in depth. In conclusion we are so vulnerable to the counter attack it is untrue, and our opponents have learnt about this Achilles heel, it is now being viciously exploited in game after game.
There are many other issues, including the massive amount of squad dross that we have accumulated on big wages (Denilson/Almunia/Bendtner/Squillaci etc), and our lack of backup for RVP which has been partially addressed by the early purchase of Podolski, a good move for sure. The big concern is that we could lose several big players this summer, Theo/Song/RVP all have one year to run on their deals and should be sold if they will not sign up. They must all be replaced, if they leave, and we need to strengthen on top of this.
Personally I think some of these issues go hand in hand, it appears that the whole squad needs a generic kick up the backside. There has been a worrying level of complacency and arrogance present in too many of our performances against the smaller sides this season. I think several of our squad need a good old fashioned rollicking and brutally clearing out a few of the wasters in our squad should help reinforce a basic message to the players. Nothing less than a hundred percent commitment is acceptable if you are to be an Arsenal player, no matter how talented you may be, if you pull on the Arsenal shirt you must give your all in every game, as this is the thing that has been frustrating many of us fans so much of late, we want a fully committed Arsenal XI in every game.