Is Dortmund an ‘Aston Villa’ Awakening for Arsenal? by NikkoGunners
Borrusia Dortmund did not just score two goals against Arsenal. They out-played, out-thought, out-shot, out-possesed and out-everything Arsenal on that Tuesday night. The only consolation that night was that there was no winner in the other match between Monaco and Galatasaray. That gives Arsenal an opportunity to recover from being at the bottom of the table.
But, we all remember last seasons opener, Aston Villa, beat Arsenal 3-1. It was with such an eerie feeling as Tuesday Night. It was after that bad start that we went for big money signing, Mesut Ozil and he arrived at the Emirates with aplomb despite later we know his form dropped. But his arrival was enough motivation to uplift Arsenal’s squad who went on to the top of the table and only lost out after losing key players (Ozil, Ramsey and Walcott) to injury.
Well the difference this time around is that Last season’s Aston Villa awakening arrived early. This time it arrives when we have shopped and we will not have to shop some more until January 2012.
So what does Arsene Wenger have in store to rejuvenate the low spirits in the changing room? First I have a bad feeling that Mesut Ozil and even Ramsey may be on a go slow…God Forbid. A go slow is the worst when AW is the employer as he will make all manner of excuses to protect his players. Certainly we have heard him come to Ozil’s defense.
Nett effect, it will take time for him to realize what is happening just like he takes too long to read a game and make substitutions. Tuesday night half time was the point he needed to act to chase the game. The first half had seen Arsenal out-played in a way we rarely see.
Why would Ramsey be on a go slow, you may ask? Well last season with Ozil playing his favourite position, it was Ramsey who benefitted the most and latched on to lots of loose balls that he scored repeatedly and had a solid game. Opponents must have had a hard time to remove Ozil from a game that they may have committed too many men to ensure he has a bad day and that allowed Ramsey to roam free. Ozil statements that he is the best Number 10 in the world must have been a warning to AW after being in training and reading AWs intentions to play him in the wings by switching to 188.8.131.52.
Wenger has things he can do in order to inject the ‘Aston Villa Aftermath’ this season, at this moment in time.
Change the System
Fans have been calling for it and AW has been deaf eared about it and maybe it is time to start a campaign – Free Mesut Ozil. We remember Arshavin, the Liverpool tamer who scored four for Liverpool’s four and then Wenger played him in the wings. He never ever recovered that sharpness consistently. I would have gone for 3 CBs but that’s too bold and it may take too long to get the team adapted – and in the EPL you may find yourself in last season’s Man United predicament where you are too gone outside the top four that you just can’t recover. So I will call for a generic 4.4.2. You put a diamond in the Midfield and Ozil gets back his best role.
Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs
When Walcott is available he takes the place of Sanchez and Sanchez takes Wilshere’s place and Wilshere move to the Bench. Now when you have the Ox, Podolski, Cazorla, Campbell, Sanogo on the bench, you can give then gametime in their favourite roles in the diamond. The Forwards will be wing-forwards. They can use their pace in the wings every time the opportunity arises. Ramsey and Wilshere too can explore the wings to expand the game.
Unlike last season when we seemed not to have enough players, this season the problem is how can we play 14 or 15 of our best players? We have the likes of Walcott and Diaby coming back from injury and we have a bench of Rosicky, Podolski, Carzola, Ox, Campbell, Sanogo, and soon we will have Giroud back from recovery. I wonder if it would be the right statement to say that Wenger seems afraid of the team selection headaches and perhaps the reason he can pass up a player like Fabregas. He has seemed to buy only when circumstances force him – and the circumstances have forced him to buy Welbeck. Imagine Ozil’s troubles would now have a simple solution for the team- play Fabregas for the time being if we had let him come back to Emirates. Other coaches seem to love this particular problem and will still buy more even when there are players in the squad that can cover the positions. Not rotating creates players that are overused who are susceptible to injuries, one of Arsenal worst nightmares.
Opponent Analysis and Strategy
One of the biggest criticisms of AW is his stance that ‘we will play our game’. Well while we try so hard against a team that exposes us, upcoming opponents are watching and cracking their heads on how to stop us in the next match. Soon, we find even average teams are so upbeat to stand their ground against Arsenal and we end up throwing away vital points. If we were so unpredictable to a point that even players who were expected to start suddenly are not started – and the opponents coach will have to rework last night’s lecture on how to stop so and so, we could not be losing so many points needlessly
If the above are implemented, Aston Villa aftermath could begin being implemented on the bearers of this phenomenon, Aston Villa this weekend.