Today’s Arsenal Thoughts by TJ
It’s instructive that this is the strongest pre-season squad we have had in a very long time. The first pre-season Ozil has had with the squad.
Santi and Ozil are working magic together. Goodness me that’s how football must be played. It’s almost like taking street football tricks and turning it on, on the big stage. Santi from deep driving up and linking through to Ozil with foils either side of them. 4-2-3-1 is the play we play – don’t change it. It reminds me of Mr Miyagi in Karate Kid…”crane technique…if do right…no can defense!” (adapted…look it up kids).
Through this window I am also reminded how so called “world class” players moving to another team suddenly aren’t so world class. I am also reminded how some “good” players suddenly get hailed as “world class” when they join another team. I wonder whether those doing the “hailing” ever stop to consider that perhaps their talents and skills were best suited to the system being played and that brought out the best in them. That perhaps, there is “world class’ in a lot of players provided their skills, attributes and abilities were harnessed with the right game system. This goes to the term AW has used frequently recently – cohesion. Also known as “fit for purpose”…for the car lovers out there…drop a small block V8 into a 1970’s VW Beetle and see if you get the quarter-mile record 🙂 Even the great Shelby couldn’t get that to work.
All components of the system must work in cohesion. You don’t want the world’s best (btw is Alexi Vidal the world’s best RB but I am sure after 2 seasons with Barca he will be hailed that way)…you want the best component that fits into the system you are building, guided by the overall philosophy and strategy.
Some players can be moulded and taught to play in the system and with that philosophy and some are just made for one style of play – and they may probably well be “world class” in that particular style of play, but outside of that…well they’re just “good”. Gab is a good example…he IMHO is an intelligent footballer who knows how to adapt and I believe now that the language barriers have dropped a little and he’s grown accustomed to playing with both Per and Kos, will be a very valuable member of the side.
I read a critique of Per…I think the comments were fair both ways. In my view, Per is almost a sweeper style CB when we play the 4-2-3-1. It’s almost unique to us and I don’t see him as a liability on the pitch at all. You can never judge a CB on his own…it’s always about the CB pairing. Which brings me to another observation about Chambers. If/When/Should Chambers take up the defensive shield role, what is important when you have 2 FB’s bombing up the flanks is the ability for the “shield” to drop into a 3 man CB wall if needed and we are caught on a break. In time, either Chambers or Bielik will be able to do that. Per covers the right side but when you have a Hector bombing up, he needs a Coq or Ramsey to help him. That understanding has worked very, very well. A good system harnesses your strengths and compensates for weaknesses…don’t ever think these so called “world class” players don’t have weaknesses.
Much talk about our strikers/forwards. I think OG12 is peaking to his potential – this season and next. He is a far better player than the day he joined AFC. He scores but we only recall his misses. He is not the clinical finisher. I would love a OG12 with the finishing of say, Suarez…there ain’t no player like that. But he is a very important component of our mix especially because of our lack of height through the spine and his first touch/shielding and winning the second ball to start attacks is fundamentally important. He fits the system. Having said that…would a Benzema be better? Of course…but let’s ask 2 other questions…are RM selling and if so, does Benzema want to join us? Benzema will take some time – IF HE JOINS US – to fit into the system and for the providers to understand how he prefers to play. That degree of flex in the system allows us to cast a slightly wider net in terms of potentials. It helps that he is familiar with Ozil and he is French!
Szc on loan is a good thing for him…let’s hope he develops and doesn’t self-destruct at Roma! Thanks Flame for everything…you are what you are and your journey with us has been great. Sanogo to Ajax is brilliant…what an endorsement for the young man that Ajax see the potential in him. Ajax are not our “workshop” to drop broken bits into….if Overmars and DB10 believe they can mould and use him…it will be for this Ajax campaign…he will come back transformed.
Well that’s it for today you Gooners!