If we are relying on our left back to win games, then Arsenal have big problems

If We Are Reliant On A Left Back, We Should Ask Why? By Dan Smith

After our dull 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace the conclusion from some gooners seems to be that the game would have been different had we had Kieran Tierney in the team.

Part of any solution is admitting there is a problem, and it’s letting players and management off if your using one person’s injury as a reason for another game at the Emirates where we failed to really test the opposition keeper.

I love Tierney, he’s a future captain and you could argue that he’s just had his two best performances as a Gunner. Yet if we are putting our lack of creativity down to a left back being absent then we have hit our latest rock bottom.

First our owners only cared if we finished top 4 then were not bothered at all once the TV contract approached billions.

Now there are gooners who are accepting not making chances down to who our fullback is. It’s not like we are Liverpool who have three hard working midfielders who allow their wing backs to bomb forward.

None of our left or right backs are involved in the number of goals like an Arnold or Robinson, yet there has been more talk on what would have happened had Tierney played, compared to what those on the pitch didn’t do.

When Aubameyang was scoring all the time I don’t remember anyone saying it was only down to our left back, so logic says that who’s in that position isn’t a reason for his performance.

I’m sure Mr Kroenke would wonder why we splashed out 72 million on Pepe or given a huge salary to Willian, if we apparently need a left back for any kind of quality in the final third?

To be a big club you need to think like a big club. We need to set our standards high and not accept anything that falls below that line.

I sometimes think we have fans who are so desperate to see us return to our old levels they justify certain things. For example, a month ago, many said we should wait till January so Arteta could make more or his own signings.

Smith Rowe has a couple of good games and suddenly we turn our blind eye that halfway through the window our priority again seems to be to slash the wage bill.

I know there are readers who get tired of me pointing out how can’t Ozil get in the squad but I’m getting bored of watching how we play every week. How are we paying 350,000 thousands pound a week for a World Cup winner to sit at home yet can then miss a left back so much?

Worse our owners have convinced some it’s a good idea. Same as they did when Ramsey was allowed to leave for free.

Suddenly we have no goals from midfield, no flair, are not entertaining to watch, reliance on teenagers and left thinking a left back is the answer.

If our best chance of making chances against Newcastle is hoping a left back is fit, then we need to ask ourselves as a club how have we allowed that to happen?

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READ MORE: Is Mesut Ozil finally going to compromise with Arsenal today?

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  1. Do we really depend on Kieran to get goals? Didn’t he play in our recent woeful run of games? Games like these happens even more so considering Crystal Palace has been a bane of our existence for a few seasons now.

    Regarding Mesut you yourself has countless times said his axe is not for football reasons (something which millions of gunners worldwide agree with you) so he won’t be called back even if the whole population of the world sign a petition to have him reinstated. No matter how much he is needed. The way I see it, the Arsenal hierarchy would rather get relegated than being saved by Mesut.

    1. Right on HH.

      We are the best at coming up with lame excuses every time we loose games when the truth remains the same.

      We are an average team on a good day and below average most of the time.

      Can anybody explain why we did not plan ahead to have a viable replacement for an injured player?

      We need 5 or 6 new good quality players and an experienced/proven coach to become relevant.

      That costs money and our owner will never spend it.

      We are rather good at wasting money but letting our best player sit at home while paying him a bundle. Go figure.

  2. I think Arteta didn’t want to disclose his tactic in the press conference, hence he just mentioned Tierney. Tierney alone wouldn’t be able to lure the opponents to the left side, because we also need Xhaka’s and Mari’s or Magalhaes’ passes for that

    Overloading the left flank to open the right wing is a great idea, which is also implemented at Man City. This is why De Bruyne was able to abuse the half space on the right side and made plenty of crosses from there

    Had Aubameyang been able to cut inside and shoot more often as what Sanchez did, we wouldn’t have to rely so much on Tierney’s dribbles and our left-footed players’ passes. I guess Tierney was fed up with what he saw in West Bromwich and cut inside/ shoot with his right foot to make a point to Aubameyang

  3. I don’t know if we’re going to get new players this month but one thing I knew for sure is that our recent results and the emergence of ESR would stop talks from the club of our urgent need of getting a creative player only a week ago MA was talking about TP being like a new signing something some fans even to this day are still mocking AW about but that’s ok for our manager even though we are still in the 2nd half of the table no need to point out the hypocrisy is there?as for using KT absence as an excuse that’s sad does that mean MA only worked on the tactics with the first XI and none of the subs if that’s the case it is very worrying and people wonder why a player like AMN who has been barely played and by the look of it coached on the tactics doesn’t perform!

    1. Totaly agree with you, when we have Mari and Cedric the ball played quicker and more in the opposions half. But Xhaka tends to play safe and as a M/F he should be putting in balls through to the wings and front but most of the time he tends to lose the ball in doing just that so he plays it safe and sends it back to start out from the wings. This slows the game down considerably and theres no pace. Now with Partey Rowe Saka Cedric and Mari we could have that possibility on moving the ball faster and more into the opposition’s half .We have a reasonably good side i think its just the way we play,running the ball back from MF.
      Another issues is some of the youngsters like Mketia and Willock they have some great skills but very poor work rate and for youngsters to get tired after 1/2 hour on the pitch, indicates they are not really ready for pace of the EPL

  4. Tierney is a massive miss, but I feel the problem is Luis
    Every time a player has the ball they look for him.
    He then slows the play down and the opposition codes ranks.
    Mari moves the ball quicker and from a higher position.

    1. Luis does indeed. He distributes well but only after he has spent after passing sideways and backwards while the other team gets properly organised. We need pace in our play !

  5. At the back end of last season I felt like we couldn’t win a game unless both Ceballos and Xhaka were playing – whenever one or neither were playing we were trash. It seems a similar problem again, we find a system that works but only with a small selection of players (Ceballos has done nothing this season). Any minor changes seem to have an excessive impact in the side. Either not enough players are adaptable for Arteta’s playing style(s) or we need to adapt the playing styles to suit the players better – I guess it should be a mixture of both (players should be able to adapt to positions/roles within reason but when they are clearly unable, better tactical adjustments need to be made to keep the side playing well. (Sounds simple writing it but I guess it’s not)

    1. That is to say, it’s not that we’re reliant on Tierney, we’re reliant on too many players (Tierney, Saka, ESR, Laca, probably Xhaka) to all be in the pitch at the same time, otherwise we will struggle

    2. Funny that … whenever I see xhaka’s name on the team sheet I know we are going to be below standard … add Luiz to the team sheet and we are guaranteed a slow error prone and uncreative spine .. if he plays elneny and willock then it’s just an evening of hapless football ahead … if arteta thinks he’s got the materials he needs to contend for a top 6 then he will get what he deserves at end of season

      1. It’s not always the case with Xhaka though. Generally he plays well when the team plays well, or vice versa. He’s been good these past few games. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love for him to be sold and replaced with better, just saying that’s how things look to me at the moment.

  6. I don’t think it’s the left back position was the point, but tierney him self who inspires the team to play better, even in our bad run, he was still performing better than most.

    I think he plays without fear, unfortunately a lot of modern day footballers seem to be afraid to give there all on the pitch, in case there best isn’t good enough…

    If every Arsenal player gave there absolute best every game, us fans will cheer them in most cases.

  7. Relying on Tierney is not really the problem, but the tactics and inbalance in the team selection on the part of the coach and generally inbalance in terms of creativity in the whole squad. This Arsenal team still needs overhauling!

  8. If Arsenal had been doing fine from the beginning of the season playing draw against Crystal palace won’t be an issue. Moreover, There is no team without an important player but the situation with Tieney is that he is inform now, especially how he runs with aggression into the box and that is what the team is currently lacking. i will equate our present problem to 1. Auba loss of form, 2. Willian poor signing, 3. Partey Injury and lastly, Pepe poor form. All our last summer signing ended up not been useful. in conclusion, arteta has a big work to do, there are many poor players to let go and sign good players in replacement,

  9. I do think tierney would have made a huge difference against palace but i also think ESR,Saka and laca didnt connect as they used to or should i say palace made sure that didnt happen.

    I also believe that the switch of play via our midfielders or defenders should happen faster.
    I dont think tierney alone will be the answer to the creativity problems or the lack of goals but he is a huge part of the answer

  10. ..,………,…..,…,….Leno…………,,..,,………………Bellerin…..Mari……Luiz…….Gabriel…Elneny…………Partey……….Tierney….Saka….Lacazette……Aubameyang. Sub’s: Alex, Holding, Niles, Soares, Xhaka, Ceballos, Rowe, Pepe, Willian, Nketia. I suggested this line up against Palace but got slandered. One even said, as a coach, I won’t win any match with this line up, still Arsenal didnt win with the 4 2 3 1 preferred. This is Arsenal’s best line up at the moment. The CB & WB well protected by a strong midfield who joins the attack, no no. 10. The right & left wing drifting 2 the middle when not in possession. Any tactical change can be done 2nd half if need be.

  11. The board should stop doing business with overused & players from chelsea the likes of luize fond of making mistakes, wilian who just came 4 money, and finally do you remember what peter did in europa final when giroud is working well in their side. Think twice 4 future of ARSENAL

  12. Tierney’s absence merely highlighted an existing problem which stems from a failure to move the ball from the back through the midfield quickly.This in turn is due to the lack of athleticism and pace at CB and in central midfield ,which Partey will go some way to resolving.The absence of Tierney also confirmed the need for a natural left footed stand in for him, an issue which will no doubt be addressed by Arteta when Kolasinac is moved on in a permanent basis.The same problem raised in the article can equally be applied to Liverpool who will not be so effective in the absence of Andrew Robertson.It’s all about having good quality players throughout the team, and in the case of Arsenal we are at least 3/4 short of what we need.

  13. On the subject of Eze of Palace ,why was he not considered good enough for Arsenal when he was shown the door, aged 13. Yet another error of judgement which has come back to haunt us, as he is certainly good enough for us now.

    1. That happens so often at that sort of age, it’s not exactly an Arsenal problem. He probably didn’t look as good as the other players in his age range, but overtook most of them later on

    2. It seems like the youth system in the final days of Wegner was a bit of a shambles. Why is it that we haven’t produced a decent defender in decades?

  14. We often forget that Epl teams are well drilled sides and there’s a reason it’s considered the competitive league in the world
    So let’s not just make conclusions like arsenal is the only team in the Epl

    Xhaka was one of the best players on the night and made really important tackles and blocks
    Lastly we can’t deny the fact that we really missed Tierney in that game

  15. The left back has always been an important attacking element for Arsenal. One of Wegner’s best buys was Nacho Monreal for something like 10,000,000 pounds. His, short combination passing with Sanchez and Ozil was a key factor in opening defences and the chances provided to the likes of Giroud. Short passing mind. I’m a paid up member of the Tierney fan club, but believe he over does the long cross. It’s probably not all his fault as outside of Smith Rowe the other forwards are slow and ponderous in their ability to run off the ball in order to find space.

  16. I do not think Mari not being selected is down to injury.I read somewhere where it was stated that if he plays his 10th game for us, we will pay his former club 1m pounds.Is there any truth in this rumour? If true, who signed such a contract on behalf of our club?

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