Sunday 6 May 2012

The simple analysis - repeated naive errors

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.


Anonymous said...

You've hit the nail squarely on the head, by saying:
"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"
Think you'll agree this a problem that can be laid at the door of AFC management? Think you'll also agree that we have to do something about it? I can't see Arsene admitting that he has made some gross errors of judgement over the last few years. But he's an honourable man and for that reason he will reconsider his future and what's best for us going forward and resign during the summer, having helped to find hid replacement.
Whenhe does then the CEO should do the same.

Anonymous said...

Really what is the point of going over the same ground again, When we all know the most fndemental problem of all (Arsene wenger) will be going no where!

The defeats and draws againt lower half sides are a tryue reflection on the quality of this side, es[ecially when you run through the games we won during our so called "good spell" in a lot of these games we simply had the brilliance of RVP whose red hot form gained us points in matchs that we were up against it for most of the game. This sadly has caused a lot of false belief that the side had suddenly gained the quality to win a top 4 place and in Wengers own words "there is not a lot of work to be done with this team". Well will somebody please now be proactive enough to realise that the likes of Ramsey.Diaby,Walcott,Chamakh,Gibbs,Koscielny,Arteta,Gervinho & Szcesney and the running Snail Song (who every now and then puts in one great ball amongst very many more mediocre one's and who is one of the worst defensive midfielders of all time!)and fairy cake Benyoun, these along with returning loanies Bendtner,Vela,Denilson Almunia...all of these players are simply not the quality of a top class side, they would all be ok players in the likes of Sunderland (as Bendtner has proved), but they are not the Arsenal and if we aspire to remain/regain our place at the top we must have top class players. This means investment in quality, not Wengers cheap bargins or his usual poor centre half acquisitions, serious money must be spent on seriously good players including getting in someone thelikes of Shay Given to be the class goalkeeper while szesney learns the game as he is not the match winner a top club needs...we currently have the weakest keeper in the top 6! Will it happen... not a chance while Wenger is in charge as no one in the club has the balls to criticise him and tell him that the players he has amassed are simply not good enough and his tactics for some time now have been pretty here's to another season next year the same as the past 7 have been, with a few good results maybe, but probably this time our chances of finishing in the top 4 will be even worse than this year as I cannot imagine the other sides around us all doing as badly again!!!

Anonymous said...

Even if we had midfielders whose primary function was to defend, would they be coached to do so? I have my doubts. I think that point one is much more pertinent than point two.

Basically, Wenger has to go, but unlike the initial poster, I don't think that he is honorable to walk away.

Anonymous said...

The tying up of poor players like Diaby and Djourou is solely the responsibility of Arsene Wenger as is the signing of equally poor players like Aaron Ramsey and Gervinho as is the tactical errors that have plagued the club for the last five years as is the failure to motivate the players for such a big game. It all points to Arsene Wenger - enough is enough and its time for this man to finally walk away - he is killing this club

Anonymous said...

It amazes me why Arsenal ( Wenger ) is prepared to pay big money for forwards but will not pay big money for the players we actually really need i.e. defensive midfield, centre half and goal keeper.This has been a problem area for the last 4 years, and asd for our injury record, it can't all be bad luck surely.Get rid of the fragile playersd like Gibbs,Diaby and Walcott and buy some strong players.

Anonymous said...

Koscielny,Szcesney and Gervinho are not to blame! Yes our keeper has made some recent errors but has had an otherwise solid season.I know Gervinho can frustrate but he can dribble into some dangerous parts of the pitch,he needs to work on his assists and finishing but its only his 1st year.Time will tell if he turns out to be a good signing

ronnel sahagun said...

Yeah ! your right failing
on big long term contracts cannot be moved on easily overnight.