The alarm bells should be ringing despite victory against Palace by KM
Hi folks, please bear with the long post. I’m traveling off to the United States and before that I think that there are a lot of interesting things to look at Arsenal after our first two games.
Round 2 is gone for Arsenal and we have snatched a win against Crystal Palace away. Alan Pardew has turned Selhurst Park into a hard place to go and usually I would be pretty happy with a win there and the importance of the three points there was massive.
After another flying pre-season and another community shield victory, the stage was set for this to be our year, but as it usually turns out, everyone thinks this will be their year and results don’t come easy. Even before the start of the season I have been crying out for some reinforcements to help our cause and after 2 rounds I stand my ground firm that we need new additions.
The false mist created by the victory over Chelsea was quickly diminished by the clear light that revealed an unbalanced landscape. On the surface it looks good and flashy, but scratch that and the problems are easy to spot. Taking example of the games so far, we really do need another holding midfielder.
Coquelin took us all by surprise and his introduction balanced our squad and helped us immensely on our way to the top four, but in his second season the expectations come bigger than they were before. He was lucky to escape a red card and we were lucky when Palace hit the post otherwise it might have gone terribly wrong.
The balance between defense and attack is still somewhat missing. We put players like Cazorla and Ramsey in positions that don’t suit them too much. Ramsey cannot repeat his marvelous season of two years back because he plays on the wing.
Same thing to notice with Ozil who was fantastic when he returned to the middle where he’s actually good. He was the best player on the pitch in my opinion and if we don’t make him go on the left or run him down to the ground, we have a terrific player in our squad. The problem is we have too many players waiting for his position and we don’t have enough troops in other areas.
Apart from Alexis (who I am not sure where is best up front, because he seems good everywhere) and the Ox we are lacking wide players. Experiments like Ramsey and Cazorla on the left and right have worked once maybe and failed miserably numerous times. We scored two goals from crosses coming from wide positions. Maybe it’s because people know we always try to pass it into the net and don’t expect us to go wide? I might be wrong but a true wide player would be a nice addition.
Up front, we opted with Giroud when I was expecting Walcott to start after the first game, but I get the idea. Giroud is one of the very few players who is tall and brings great physical presence. Our holding midfielders are all not very tall and when we play away against teams not afraid to lift the ball we struggle.
Despite the great goal scored we still need a striker. We wasted a few good chances at 0:0 and that could have cost us. At the end it didn’t and it might prompt Wenger to think that West Ham was just a blimp, when the truth is we still have areas to improve. Douglas Costa at Bayern looks like a proper player. Jackson Martinez would’ve been interesting to say the least. Benteke was available, Mandzukic as well.
Our strike force is good in numbers, but would you pick any of our strikers over Aguero? Taking a sniff at the previous two champions battle, it was nice to see Mourinho get beaten hard. It’s his third season which usually means, he gets sacked and I won’t be surprised to see him gone by March.
When your tactics for success are based on making enemies rather than friends, you are likely to lose. It’s fine when you go into mind games with other managers and you beat them once, but when you go into war with your staff, it’s bad. What would you think if you are a Chelsea player? You’re playing for a lunatic. Mourinho intentionally makes scandals to put the talking point away from the fact his squad is not that good.
This makes it all the more worrying that we still finished more than ten points behind this Chelsea team. City looked good on Sunday. They’ve hit the ground running and they simply have the best squad in this league. When Yaya Toure goes into form, it starts to click for them. Boy how we need a player like him. Diaby had the potential to be like him, but injuries and bad management ruined him.
Of course we cannot just pass by our only summer signing – Cech. I think the expectations are sky high for him and he’s a person after all. Besides he joined Arsenal who have always been famous with dodgy keepers. He made some mistakes but I cannot blame him alone. We have a solid back four with question marks over Mertesacker, but there is more to it than just the names.
Bellerin is the discovery of the year. He has taken the right back position by storm and produces good performances on a constant basis. Monreal has shunted Gibbs to the bench and until he actually learns to defend, he won’t get off. Koscielny is a marvelous player who was wanted by Bayern and Real. Cech is a super goalie so it’s not just about the names. Our playing style ofter favors attack more than defense and we need to balance it out.
Finally we have Liverpool next. They spent a lot of money and they bought players that performed well in smaller teams. Gerrard ruined their top 4 chances last season, but they started with a win against Stoke at the Britannia which is an awful place to go. United started with 2 wins and when confidence grows it may take you far.
If we really want to be title contenders we have work hard, on and off the pitch and definitely some in the transfer market. Alexis Sanchez and Ozil brought immense quality to our side which was highlighted in the Palace game again. But lessons are hard to learn with Arsene. It’s been like this for ten years and it will be for a few more.
Have a sublime week ahead of you.