A positive start but Arsenal still have some pressing concerns

My Only Arsenal Concern Even Now by MIDE

Good morning to you fellow Arsenal faithfuls. I’ve been a regular on the site and have been supporting our darling team for over 25 years.

Our last game was pretty impressive to me in term of efforts by players and application of Arteta’s game plan. My initial worries of whether the big players will respect a former team mate as coach were put straight to bed.

I also noticed the players first touch gave them a chance to move the ball forward most times which is something Arteta first worked on in training. So there were lots of positive to take from the game.

My biggest concern though is with our Academy. I mean we have Steve Bould and Per coaching the junior Gunners and we still can’t find a young RB and LB for emergency cover. It’s discouraging that Saka had to play LB (nothing against him) for some time now and Maitland-Niles has to play RB. So our LB and RB in or U23 sides isn’t good enough to even have a look in?

The full backs at Norwich have been very impressive to me, maybe it’s time to nick them because we only have Bellerin and Tierney for that position. Maitland-Niles and Saka are no full backs please.

Hopefully, Bellerin will be back against Chelsea….

Mide

38 Comments

  1. ThirdManJW says:

    Well we’re very unlucky to have both LB’s out, but we should have signed another RB in the summer.

    1. Jo-Gunz says:

      The question was don’t we have any in our academy that could be used temporarily? That we keep on putting round pecks in square holes?
      It has been a question with me for a long while.

    2. Sue says:

      I miss Kolasinac

      1. Invisible says:

        I miss monreal

        1. Gunner22 says:

          I miss Kieren Gibbs

        2. Truth says:

          I miss Steven Gerrard.

  2. Grandad says:

    Agree TM.Nathan Ferguson of WBA is a talented right back who can also play on the left.To me he is a better player than the Norwich duo who are good going forward but distinctly average defenders.I think it’s clear to all Arsenal supporters,our priority must be to sign defenders who can defend.

    1. gotanidea says:

      Have never seen him play, but he is young enough to be molded by Arsenal defender coaches. He might be cheap as well, so he would pose a very low risk

      1. Phil says:

        Ehhhh-Arsenal have a defensive coach????

    2. kev says:

      The Norwich RB is a good defender. He even did well against Arsenal defensively

  3. Joe says:

    Guys. Even 10 fullbacks can all get injured. I remember a season not too long ago when we lost all 3 first team goal keepers and the reserve keeper to injury.
    I remember another when we lost 5 defensive midfield options and had to call back coquellin. If bellarin was fit, the other specialist fullback would waste away on the bench. And to answer your question, I’m sure the U23 side has fullbacks. But do you think that entire team is ready to even run out for the senior team? Even the few that have stepped up are feeling the heat.
    Finally, for Saka, I feel sorry. He’s a damn good winger, but in the modern game, when you are a winger playing on the same side as your stronger foot, you need to be absolutely magical to make it or else you end up playing in defense or midfield the moment they find a more exciting inverted option on your side. If I were him, I’d put in a shift to ensure they don’t sign a replacement for Kolasinac

  4. gotanidea says:

    Rather than getting Norwich’s main RB, Arsenal had better chase George Baldock from Sheffield United or Frederic Guilbert from Aston Villa

    Baldock will be 27 years old next year, with 2 goals, 71 crosses and 3 assists from 19 EPL league appearances. Whereas Guilbert just turned 25 years old in this month, with 62 crosses and 2 assists from 15 EPL league appearances

    Either could replace or compete with Bellerin next summer

    1. John Ibrahim says:

      It would be replace…Bellerin or any right back will not want to warm the bench for lengthy periods

  5. John Ibrahim says:

    Arteta just took over and he needs time to rebuild and make changes….

    need a good pre season

    Fan should not expect much…

    1. Siamois says:

      Wel well said my man!a lot of sense!

  6. Adega Olatunji says:

    Hmmmmm…. Please can we buy Trend Alexander Arnold?😩 That guy is just 21yrs with the brains of Robato Carlos and Marcelo

  7. CannonSpike says:

    I don’t wana sound too negative, and I understand our current injury situation.

    We can’t rely on youngsters week in week out. These young players need an already bedded system within the squad to learn and grow from..

    Us trying to create a system with very young players in the starting 11 will prolong the process of us having an identity. It could even hamper the young players development Ala Walcott or Chamberlain.

    In the coming transfer windows we need to buy ready made players who can start games on and off the bench.

    Yes there are a few youngsters that are an exception like Martinelli or Guendouzi (ans Saka to an extent), but the rest need loan moves.

    Willock, Nketiah and Nelson should be nowhere near the starting 11 at the moment, the Arsenal first team is no playground for them to learn simple basics properly, even AMN took time to start playing, why are these guys now playing when Arsenal are in a serious situation where we need to start picking up points and confidence, and then create an identity.

    Already these youngsters have been getting some abuse, it not their fault.

    The Arsenal first team is a premier league first team squad first and foremost, not an academy setup.

    We must get our priorities straight

  8. kev says:

    All this once again leads to the question of why Jordi Osei-Tutu was sent out on loan and how AMN is considered better RB than him. Jordi Osei-Tutu is more than good enough to deputies for Bellerin but was sent on loan instead of beingiven a chance. Correct me if I’m wrong but in the 18/19 season wasn’t there news of the academy staff being shocked that he wasn’t being given chances and that Lichtsteiner and AMN were being played over him? Sums us up really

    1. Lenohappy says:

      Kev you mean the Jordi Osei-Tutu who hardly plays for Bochum.

      1. kev says:

        Another case of a wrong loan move. He’s good enough to deputise for Bellerin.

  9. Shakir says:

    arsenal move to a formation that includes 3 at the back until the january transfer window.That will give much needed relief for saka and niles cuz they are good wingbacks.
    And try to sign a super CB and a good DM(as Xhaka is expected to leave) in january so our fullbacks will get more freedom like the ones in liverpool.Alexander arnold and robertson is poor in defending but van dijk and the DM(whoever it is)will cover for them always.

  10. Adajim says:

    The tactics employed by our coach yesterday show us how important fullbacks are in the modern game, no wonder we perform like we used to, because we don’t really see that position as any key/significant position

  11. James says:

    So Granit is off to Hertha! Sounds good to me. it’s even better for the parties involved. I hope he becomes the player he actually thinks he is. He remains to be Wengers costliest mistake considering the options he had at the time. Let’s face it Granit doesn’t deserve the cancer threats he has received but he is not a saint, he has attitude issues hates to be held accountable, always shifting blame and pointing out other people’s weaknesses instead of owning up to his failures. This goes back to his days at BM any Bundesliga fan will only remember Xhaka as a hotheaded player.

    1. Goonster says:

      There is one player in this squad that is known for all that you have listed. Excuses galore season after season, blaming everyone and everything around him.
      I think Xhaka is a very limited player and should never have been a Arsenal starter but people are hypocrites when it comes to the likes of him.
      I remember it used to be Giroud. The guy was pelted season after season for being average and the reason why certain players were underperforming. God rid of him and no improvement in those players whatsoever.
      Mustafi, Iwobi, Xhaka, Mkhi then became the next targets.
      Mustafi thrown into the wilderness and iwobi gotten rid of, Mkhi loaned out.
      Then Xhaka remained as the main target. It looks like he himself is on his way out.
      Are these players that Xhaka influences to perform badly going to improve now.

  12. Peterhos says:

    Although we showed more commitment, good control in midfield and some creativity up front, in all honesty I cannot see this group of players going far at all. The main fault is that we are positively pedestrian in midfield all of the time and far too often at the back. David Luiz spends an age picking a pass, by which time the opposition have all filtered back to defend. In midfield Xhaka is steady but with no pace. Also the youngsters are regressing. Willock looks awful, Nelson lightweight and AMN has skill but little awareness. Those hoping for great things from Bellerin will be disappointed – better players than him have lost it after one bad injury, sadly. Let us hope Arteta is ruthless with this lot.

    1. Goonster says:

      Until these players take responsibility for once we will keep deluding ourselves about this manager, this formation, this weather, that red herring etc.
      No one will make an individual player give their all apart from that player himself motivating themselves on that pitch.
      We will keep changing managers, formation, smoking players around in different positions etc. The player mentality has to change. Enough with letting individual players dictate proceedings.
      Read some rumours that the likes of Auba and Laca want to leave and that Auba is even getting arrogant about it.
      Rumours that One player used to disrespect our previous manager by going as far as saying to his face how “You are a sh!t manager”.

      Wenger cuddled these players and now they feel like they run the club instead of the club being boss.

      I remember in Emery’s first few games as manager, most of us saw great improvement and attitude. Lost to City, lost to chelsea but the signs were really good. Fight, intensity etc. We smashed Spurs at the Emirates. I will never forget that match, the enthusiasm, fight, intensity and hardwork from everyone made me smile and optimistic. Then all of a sudden things went south. Same players, same formations but attitude has completely changed.

      Ljungberg was called on to take over until the end of the season. People saw signs of improvement in his first game. But never lasted.

      Arteta’s first game against Bournemouth, people seem to see signs of improvement, fight and better attitude. But will it last with the same players?

      Now a drew against Bournemouth has positives.

      Sorry i am a bit skeptical. Can’t blame me after all that these players have put us through in these past seasons. They have lowered our expectations so much that a draw against Bournemouth has positives.

      Hope Arteta can work miracles with this bunch. I have my doubts.

      1. Lenohappy says:

        Great post goonster, the major problem of this squad is the senior players, we should do what Lampard did to Luiz, we should get rid of all the big egos including Laca Ozil even auba, Arteta should do the same thing kloop did when he took over and sell them.

      2. ozziegunner says:

        👍 👍 The voices of reality.

    2. Tosin says:

      Did Alonso have pace in his playing days,most of our players are suffering from the coaches in ability to us them properly not because they are totally poor, yesterday showed the quality against a side that is struggling like us. Xhaka is not a DM but he was used by coaches like that knowing he lacks the pace why can’t you just play players to their strength rather than exposing their weaknesses. Every player can’t be world class in a team Milner was hugging the bench at City but he is doing well at Liverpool even at older age. It is the coaches job to bring out the best in this lads, they weren’t brought in because the scouts are stupid and not like they were under performing before they joined us.

  13. Peterhos says:

    PS Anyone who disagrees with a single word of my comment above has never played football or is wearing rose coloured spectacles.

    PPS Happy New Year to all Gunners.

  14. AndersS says:

    Our academy has had a “blind eye” on defending for years.
    No fullbacks and no CB’s either of any quality.
    And obviously very little focus on requiring midfielders and attackers to have defensive and ball winning skills.

  15. Liam says:

    Osei-Tutu has been skinned left right and centre every games he played which is barely any. The bundesliga is a massive step down as seen with Xhaka being one of the most highly rated cms the season he joined us. Seems Xhaka has agreed to go to hertha which is good news if we have a ready made replacement ready?

  16. Siamois says:

    What a silly comment, improvements but still worries, did you expect Arteta to fix everything in one week?

  17. jon fox says:

    We have not had a proper top level full back at Arsenal since Dixon, Winterburn and then Cole. Lauren was decent only, as was Sagna but neither were even remotely top class as defenders. Such as Cliche and all the many duds since then have succeeded in fooling SOME young people and naive kids who have never had the privilege of seeing a top class full back, in the flesh, wearing our shirt that they were proper full backs. They were not. The likes of Bellerin are a defensive joke, though some say he is great, which proves my point.

    1. SueP says:

      You just took me back to the glory days of Lee Dixon and Nigel Winerburn. Not a lot got past them.

      1. ozziegunner says:

        👍 👍

  18. Gily says:

    I saw a lot of improvement during the first half. They trapped and distributed the ball a lot quicker. It was just that the strikers could not find the back of the net.
    But then in the second half, they went back to the Emery infection in keeping the ball so long allowing the opposition time to regroup.

    Again it’s becoming very obvious Saka is regressing. I think the best ball crossers we have are Martinelli and Tierney, especially Tierney who always does a pinpoint crossing to a teammate. Unfortunately we have lost him to injury.

    Overall I believe this team will do much better under Arteta.

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