Think back two or three months. There was talk of the quadruple and we were practically assured that this would be the season to end this trophy drought that the media are obsessed with (I won’t go into that, no need for more negativity). So what’s gone wrong? The defeat at Bolton has all but ensured that this will be another trophyless season and the performance by Arsenal summed up the main problems of the past 6 years that have kept us away from the major prizes.
The most obvious one is the awful defending throughout the game. For some reason, we just cannot defend set-pieces and it is as simple as that. This has been a problem ever since we lost players like Sol Campbell and Kolo Toure, which is a centreback pairing which would be hugely beneficial right now. We fail to mark the opposition properly and the only way I think we can solve this problem is long, hard training on it over the summer. We need a defender who is going to shout at the players to get into position, who to mark and what to do. Vermaelen may be that man but it has been so long since he last played that I have forgotten! Cahill, Sakho and Jagielka have all been cited out as possible summer signings but unless one of them is prepared to help Szczesny organise the defence, it is no use
Sorry to highlight the obvious but our other problem, of course, is play around the box. If I had a pound for everytime I have shouted “shoot” at the TV in my 14 years supporting Arsenal, I’d make the owners of Manchester City look poor. Although they are the heart and soul of our club, Nasri and Fabregas play too many passes on the edge of the box and this needs to be addressed. Long shots get us goals, it’s simple. Nasri had a long shot against spurs and he scored, the same goes for RVP against Bolton. Wenger needs to drill this into the players. This intrigute play is good but we only want so much of it.
So where did it all go wrong? I personally don’t think we have been the same side since the crazy 4-4 draw at Newcastle. That game drained a lot from our players and although we have done it before, our tendency to drop leads has come from that game. Of course the Carling Cup final defeat was a major point but I think we were just unlucky that day and already on the way down. Birmingham showed more spirit and want than us and it’s as simple as that. The Barcelona defeats followed and then there was that awful display against united in the cup. I just don’t think we have been the same team since that Newcastle game and I think the mass of draws recently have just been due to a lack of determination to fight from the Arsenal players. Wilshere, Fabregas (debatable), Szczesny, Van Persie and maybe a few others are, in my view, the only players who give 100% every game. To win the league you need 11 men to do so.
In terms of solutions for next season, I think it’s a matter of revamping the squad and the formation in the summer. With a good CB, strong midfield player and a proven goalscorer signed, I think we will win the league. I don’t really know who will come in but I’m sure it is the end of the Arsenal road for a few players, including Almunia, Denilson, Rosicky and maybe Diaby. Personally, I think Diaby has the quality but is too injury prone. In terms of formation, I believe we need the 4-4-2 back. Our play is too limited with just one striker. Whenever RVP comes to get the ball away from the box, we have no one in the area to aim for. If two strikers was good enough when Henry was around, it’s definitely good enough now. Whether Chamakh, Bendtner or a new striker will be that man, I am not sure. I personally like Bendtner, but I know he has his critics.
So I’ll finish my first blog post here. Sorry if it was too long and if I waffled on but this is my view on recent events at the club and despite what happens tommorow, next week or next year, I will always be a gooner