Arsenal are still lacking leaders!
Arsenal endured a terrible defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich in a result that will surely see us crash out of the champions league at the round of sixteen stage once again. The first half gave Arsenal fans a sense we were up to the fight, but the Gunners faltered in the second half and rolled over to the mighty German giants.
One of the issues that was clear during the game is that this team is still lacking that much needed communication and vocal leadership. The players are not on the same wave length and need someone to get them all ticking at the same time.
The issue used to be not having enough experienced players on the pitch to fight the mental challenge that comes from playing against big oppositions. However that is no longer the case, with this Arsenal side having a very good blend of youth and experience. The issue is that very few players speak out, take leadership over others and when the going gets tough, a lot of them just seem to give up. Arsene Wenger doesn’t help the situation, as he too is a very quiet person on the touch line in comparison to what you’d expect. Wenger doesn’t shout instructions, nor does he remind the players throughout the match of their duties. You see other top European and even mid-table Premier League managers being more vocal in desire of a win than Wenger, so why isn’t a commanding approach in the Frenchman’s skill set.
Communication and leadership is ever so important on the pitch and in order for it to be effective, you need a strong captain to lead the team. However at Arsenal, we don’t really have that. Our current club captain is officially Per Mertesacker, but Laurent Koscielny has been filling in for Mertesacker in the German’s absence. Both of them are known to be strong leaders, Mertesacker especially and it’s understood Per does a lot of work off the pitch as a leader for the team. However last night after Koscielny went off, we endured Kieran Gibbs as the captain for the evening and although this is in no disrespect to Gibbs, you can’t really see the left back piping up to get the team in order when you’re 2-1 down to Bayern Munich. Arsenal needed someone who would be vocal, passionate and commanding, rather than Gibbs, who arguably received the armband because he was the longest serving player for Arsenal at that point in the match.
I’m sure there are many fans that could go on ranting and raving about this latest performance for days, but the fact is that this tie is pretty much done and dusted and Arsenal now need to look for the next game ahead. Saying this however, come the end of the season, when there are no more matches on the cards, then there will be plenty to think about and hopefully plenty to change.