My Analysis on Arsenal, our transfer blunders, and our formation problems. By The Iceman
First of all let me start by saying, I don’t think we have done too badly in our work and attempts in the transfer market, but we need to really stop behaving like old men in the market. We learned our lesson by acquiring players on time before (Xhaka, Kolasinac, Lacazette…), but we refused to follow the trend and this has cost us dearly. Because although I do think we have enough to beat teams, we definitely don’t have enough to beat the big boys in today’s game of football. Even with acquiring the services of Lemar (and losing Sanchez), we would still be underdogs in terms of sheer technical ability. Liverpool proved this when they annihilated us recently. But later I will discuss how adjustments in the formation can prevent such things, but right now I think we are under hitting in the transfer market. If you are going to buy, buy quality.
This I can see is what Wenger is about, but he is also far too mediocre in his decisions. Our players are not necessarily mediocre but lack the mentality. They lack the discipline to produce a top class performance, on a consistent basis. Yes I agree we have some really nice wins under our belt, but we also have some really humiliating defeats that we seem to sweep under the rug so swiftly when we win a few games. Let us not deceive ourselves. We are the Mighty Arsenal, We are supposed to be dominating on a consistent basis. Which I think we are starting to learn the habit of what it means to finish the season with some sort of reward except top four, but if we are going to ever get back into champions league and stay there we are going to need acquisitions of pure football finesse as I like to call it. Let me start with what we SHOULD be doing.
Attacking: Paulo Dybala, Asensio, Draxler – I know a lot of you are going to think I am unrealistic in wanting Dybala. But how unrealistic is it? Yes he will most likely cost more than 90 or 100M But he is WELL worth it. He is the finished product and he is only getting better. And in this day and age, players are looking for more to challenge themselves with. That’s the same reason Pogba left. He believed he had unfinished business in the Premier League and with Man Utd. Dybala will want more. He will want to become a true legend, and Arsenal have the platform to make him one. Juventus do, but how many people support Juventus? Compared to Arsenal? The revenues in his purchase will easily pay his wages and more. He will enable us to instantly make an impact in the league and Europa League and possibly even win it. He is young, He understands football to the degree of being a world best. He has a huge potential ability margin and he can take free kicks, play deep, central, across the front three. Finally he is a Demon in finishing. What we TRULY need to finish off teams, not this fannying about that we are doing in recent games. We look like a bunch of old people playing football, with no football knowledge at all, at first I was thinking it was a natural thing for Arsenal to lose concentration but now I’m starting to suspect that the team are starting to dislike Wenger as well. So concluding this I believe Dybala is beyond perfect and an improvement on Sanchez and Lemar.
Asensio because he is on the rise and he can transform any team from the attacking/midfield department. He also has a beauty of a shot and wicked free kick too. Finally Draxler, he was cheaper than Lemar and in my eyes a much better product. Don’t get me wrong I think Lemar is good, and he has bags of potential, but that’s all it is, potential. It still is a win/lose situation. Draxler on the other hand is more proven, much more deadly and personally more intelligent. He reminds me De Bruyne with a twist. He really is that good, these are choices we should have drafted down just in case Lemar flopped and in my personal opinion are better choices. This will easily cover and improve us if Sanchez & Ozil decide to walk.
Midfield: William Carvalho, Kondogbia, Grzegorz Krychowiak – Well this is obvious really. Our defenders are easily exposed because we do not have a Titan in the midfield to disturb the flow of teams absolutely strolling through our midfield. Every time Liverpool or any other professional team we have come up against in recent years have dominated us and its mainly from the midfield straight to the wings and we are dead. We lack physicality. We is also why I was kind of baffled we let Gabriel go. I’m sure there are plenty of other players a lot less useful to us. I would definitely prefer him to the unorthodox Elneny. We seem to have to squint our eyes anytime I see him chasing down an opposing team player, from the centre of defence. Any of the three mentioned players will slot easily into our midfield and will give our team the chance to flourish. We would need to probably lose one attack minded midfielder because we seem to have too many. The reason Xhaka & Ramsey don’t work is because both of them think they are playing the same bloody role. Xhaka needs to be groomed and moulded in the shape of Viera, Xabi Alonso, Steven Gerrard. Even Henderson showed him how to do it. So if we do not want to sacrifice the attacking threat we seem to think Xhaka has, then get a DM to partner him.
Defence: Virgil Van Dijk, Wes Morgan, Zouma – These players are not impossible to buy and they will easily improve our defence in leaps and bounds. Our defence lacks confidence that is all. Players like these carry enough confidence for themselves and others. Funny enough I do not think we are too bad in defence, but we obviously lack BITE. Our players look far too timid at times and anytime The Boss or on rare occasions Mertesacker, isn’t there I am worried anytime a team with more than one attacking threat play against us. We have almost been caught sleeping more than once by teams. If it wasn’t for the spark of brilliance from Giroud, Leicester would have shown our weakness yet again. We get away with a lot in the Premier League, Wenger needs to learn that shouting at the referee won’t help you win a match.
I believe with the acquisition of a big name player, like the aforementioned Dybala, Asensio or the infamous Lemar. It can be forgiven if the team is assessed from now until January then make certain adjustments to the midfield and defence. If you look at teams like Man Utd right now I don’t see Arsenal holding players that they have off from dominating a match with us. Unless our team magically happen to grow some balls, then it’s possible. Because although I know our team are capable of surprising us and producing some rather mesmerizing performances, The majority of the time we are shown up and outclassed, in fact most of the time we produce a good performance it is in response to being humiliated the first time. If I think back to some PL encounters and UCL games. So we need start spending wisely, if we are letting so many players go, replace them with a quality that can afford to let them go. Because if you strip Arsenal down to the bones, we can be quite bang average. As we have seen in our injury-filled barren runs of bad luck.
If we play three at the back, we cannot play three up front, it is pointless, our players are not that technically gifted, and with the loss of Chamberlain, we will be even more exposed if we keep continuing in this fashion. With three at the back we should have two AM and 1 Striker. This is the only way we can utilize our current crop of players affectively and actually win some bloody matches. We lack bodies in the midfield because unlike Chelsea our wingbacks don’t crowd the midfield. Ours rarely cut inside, and when they do it really is not to devastating effect. I like the little David Alaba experiment Wenger is doing with Bellerin but he will soon be found out, Bellerin is good, but when disciplined to his strengths, like beating players and crossing. Preferably low crosses. When I see him shoot, he reminds me of Gibbs, although I do think he can develop it though, but not now, and definitely not in matches against Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea & Man Utd!
If we play four at the back, it really won’t be the end of the world. We seem to be more confident, and we seem to understand the roles better, I do however think we can try a few more back four alternatives, my favourite being 4 4 2. Giroud is a beast that needs to be let out of his cage, but you keep him tame with a few bench sits here and there when other players are performing better, but in most cases he delivers, especially off the bench. So why not try 4 4 2 a little more. What he does with Griezmann in the France National Team is at times mesmerizing and we need to replicate this with immediate effect, because Giroud’s height and drive is sometimes really missed in our matches and I really saw this when he came on in recent cameos from the bench.
Well that is all I have to say, what do you think, are my thoughts well thought out or just unrealistic hopes and dreams? We have a team capable of great things, but in order to unlock the potential we need to be brutal in transfers, formation and finally ATTITUDE.
That’s me. Follow me @onlyoneicefm