Continuing my analysis of the current Arsenal squad by JA
We’ll rate them again based on comparisons of requirements for the roles.
Hector Bellerin starts out pretty high when defending and gets ripped by typical wingers. On the offensive though, he tends to find the right pocket of space in and around the left side of the opponents penalty box. Debuchy is better at positioning. He sits in a little when defending and shows his man outwards. Offensively, I love how he sneaks up on opponents before they realise where he is. Chambers, tends to start too high when at full back but then gets too deep after getting into position, leaving his winger in yards of space. At centre back, he tends to be in just the right place. Per Mertesacker just knows where to be, need I say more? Koscielny also tends to start too high but is blessed with the pace to make up when he gets caught .Gabriel seems to like to start deep then rush out towards the ball. Over on the left, both Gibbs and Monreal start deep, Monreal stays there and waits for his opponent to make the wrong move. Gibbs, on the contrary, likes to rush out at his opponent. He often gets beaten then ends up chasing back.
VERDICT; Mertesacker, Monreal, Debuchy, Chambers, Gabriel, Koscielny, Bellerin, Gibbs
Per tends to be less aggressive. Well this is mostly because he’s right in front of his opponent most of the time, but also because he just can’t chase a man down. His partner though is a tiger. He just wants to rip whoever has the ball in two! Gabriel tends to go a little beyond aggression into cynicism. On the left, Gibbs tends to love a good tussle, though he loses most of them! Monreal – Occasionally.
On the right, Debuchy loves a good fight. So does Chambers, not so much Bellerin.
VERDICT; Gabriel, Kosielny, Debuchy, Gibbs, Chambers, Monreal, Bellerin, Mertesacker.
When you don’t have game reading and patience to stand your ground, pace is your best ally to dig you out of ditches. I won’t go into reviewing one by one, all defenders use pace for the same reasons.
VERDICT; Bellerin, Gibbs, Debuchy, Monreal, Chambers, Kosielny, Gabriel, Metersacker
The most important thing in football is to have the ball. If you don’t have it, you can’t score, nobody understands that more than old man Per, so what he lacks in pace and aggression he makes up for in interceptions. Debuchy comes a noble second here. Despite loving his physical battle, this guy knows just where to be when the opponent plays a pass. Chambers comes third for me, he isn’t a very accurate tackler, but his game reading is superb and he often tends to get a foot in just before the pass gets to the receiver. Nacho comes next. Similar to Debuchy, except he’s usually on the side of the pitch with less defensive action. Laurent and Gabriel tie here. These guys want to destroy the man just as much as they want to win the ball. Gibbs and bellerin are not so good at this
VERDICT; Mertesacker, Debuchy, Chambers, Nacho, Koscielny, Gabriel, Bellerin, Gibbs
This is the essence of a defender. Don’t we all like to see a spectacular sliding tackle? Well yes, but the less spectacular standing tackle is more common all over the pitch. Believe it or not Per is going to have a higher chance of winning his tackles than anyone else. This is because he is in front of his opponent most of the time before the opponent even starts running. Laurent, by virtue of his tenacity, comes second. Nacho comes third here again as a result of excellent positioning. He is one of the few fullbacks I know that rarely end up in last ditch tackles. Gabriel comes next for similar reasons to Laurent, but the reason he’s not next to Laurent is he over-commits when tackling. This either causes him to foul or he’ll get beaten. Debuchy positions great but tends to let his man run with the bal,l causing him to end up in last ditch tackles. The same applies to the other two. Chambers appears very similar to Mertesacker when in the middle. He has to do a lot of last ditch tackling when on the flanks.
VERDICT; Mertesacker, Koscielny, Nacho, Gabriel, Debuchy, Chambers, Bellerin, Gibbs
Arsenal, my friends, plays in the English premier league. If you are a defender and you can’t jump in England you aren’t going to last very long! Laurent Koscielny is the hardest Arsenal defender to beat in the air. Gabriel comes a very competitive second. He also gives the advantage of offensive air prowess. Mathieu Debuchy would come next. You wouldn’t believe how many aerial duels this guy wins. Per comes fourth. Chambers would come next but the rest pretty much suck the same in the air. Maybe Monreal could edge the other two just a little.
VERDICT; Koscielny, Gabriel, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Chambers, Monreal, Gibbs, Bellerin
I needed to incorporate ball control, passing and vision into the same category – so I called it ball work. Truth be told, all our defenders are very comfortable on the ball. I’ve seen Per and Koscielny successfully attempt a few step overs in defensive positions, a few dinks over incoming tackles, and they don’t seem worried by the idea of having the ball. The likes of Chambers even reach the extent of dribbling and beating two or three men in our 16 yard box – so not many struggle. Our fullbacks are even more gifted. We’ve got dribblers like Bellerin, Chambers and Monreal, so this is a tricky one.
VERDICT; Well I find Monreal most comfortable on the ball. Chambers, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Debuchy, Gibbs, Gabriel
All our defenders are pretty good at what’s required. I think Per is world class, Laurent is world class, Nacho is great. Debuchy is world class. Bellerin has potential to be world class Gabriel has potential to be world class. Gibbs is great. Chambers has potential to be world class.
What do you think?