Lee Dixon urges Freddie Ljungberg to work on one major issue

Lee Dixon challenges Freddie Ljungberg to help Arsenal cut out repetitive mistakes.

Arsenal fell to yet another defeat on their last league fixture despite being under the stewardship of another manager.

The Gunners are now winless in eight competitive games and there seems to be no end in sight to this run of poor form.

Their 2-1 defeat was Freddie Ljungberg’s second game in charge and the Swede hasn’t won any of those matches, but Lee Dixon believes that the team are repeating their mistakes.

Speaking in the Amazon studio after the game as quoted by the Express, he challenged Freddie Ljungberg to sit back and have a look at how the team keeps repeating the same mistake and help them fix it.

Dixon claims that it is okay to make mistakes, but repeating the same mistakes in different matches doesn’t speak well of the team and he thinks they have to fix that problem.

“What’s really upsetting and it has been all season and from the end of last season to this season is that it’s fine if you make mistakes, but if you make a mistake one week and then you go and make the same mistake as a team and also individuals.

“There’s players out there who are doing exactly the same as they were at the end of last season.

“As a coach and somebody who is looking on at that, Emery couldn’t fix it.

“Freddie has now got a massive job to look at that and think ‘how did they have that much space in the midfield and get to our back four?’

“He said he watched the game at Norwich the other day and watched it twice, so I’m saying to Freddie, you’ve not got to work that out on the training pitch.

“The players have got to take responsibility, [Granit] Xhaka has got to say ‘I’m going to fill gaps.’

“We said before the game if they fill gaps tonight Arsenal and stop running out of position, the front four or five they have will beat most teams.

“You don’t have to run around like that, just be compact and organised.”

It really is the basics that the players are getting wrong, time and time again. It is not rocket science but for some reason, most of the players just cannot grasp the fundamentals of their job.

The bottom line is that it is hard to argue with the points that Dixon has made ghere.


  1. Being more compact and press as a unit is good, but we need energetic players for that. Hence it’s important to start players with high stamina and use a compact formation like 4-1-4-1 or 4-3-3:

    ……………… Leno
    Bellerin . Mustafi . Luiz . Tierney
    ……………. Chambers
    Pepe . Torreira . Xhaka . Martinelli
    …………… Aubameyang

    1. Nooooo, pleeeaaase, not Luiz, nowhere near the team. How many times must the opponent next to him score goals without being challenged before he gets the boot?
      Bellerin is not impressing as a defender either, don’t know what has happened to him. Even AMN is better there at the moment.

    2. @gotanidea
      This could work.
      The only issue I have here is that for the purpose of creativity, Guenduozi, Ceballos or Ozil should be somewhere in the formation.

    3. @gotanidea
      For the purpose of creativity one of Ceballos or Guenduozi or Ozil should be in the mix

  2. Most of us share the frustrations expressed by Lee Dixon,but in real terms how can a Coach convert players like Mustafi, Sokratis, Luis and xhaka into quality, intelligent , defensive minded players when they all lack the essential ingredients to carry out the basics required.All these players lack, pace, energy, positional sense, and an aptitude for hard work which cannot be suddenly injected by any Manager regardless of his pedigree.Regardless of who Arsenal appoint as the next permanent Manager we will continue to regress until these sub standard players are replaced.In the meantime within the course of he next 4 weeks we will most certainly become involved in the struggle for relegation.Hard to take I know but that is the reality of where we are.

  3. After week 8 Arsenal was clear 3rd in the table a point behind Man City.
    Arsenal had beaten Frankfurt away 3-0 and Standard liege 4-0 at home in the Carrabao
    and thrashed Forest 5-0 in the League Cup.
    So the PL side was looking good and the EL and Carabao sides were dominating.
    So how did everything unravel so quickly in the two months which followed?
    3 losses and 4 draws in the league against mostly beatable sides.
    Thrashed by Liverpool youngsters in the Carabao.
    Probably just scraping through the group stage of the EL.
    Forget about the owners and the transfer window for a moment
    and simply explain 3rd place to 10th against mostly beatable sides.
    Mind you similar “big” clubs are going through the same with first Spurs sacking Poch, Everton sacking Silva Man U soon to sack Ole and Hammers soon to sack Pellegrini.
    Why are all these big, ambitious super rich clubs with stellar squads struggling
    while nobody clubs like Leicester Wolves and Palace are in the top 6?
    We actually got 3rd with out the injured Bellerin Tierney and Lacazette
    the invisible Pepe and the frozen out Ozil.
    Since they all became available we have a torrid time of it. But why?
    The new manager bounce has not yet worked even against lowly Norwich and Brighton.
    Soon we face Chelsea Man City and Man U.
    Things look bleak.
    The one positive is that the second half of the season schedule looks a lot kinder.
    Also the ludicrous fan expectation of a title challenge and top 4 have evaporated.
    Top 6 is still possible and EL and FA cup runs await if we can turn things around.
    I’d stay with Freddie till March at least.
    We were third after 2 months so we are quite capable of going on a run of wins.

    1. Yes, AE, but only with judicious team selection. Freddie needs to take a chance and give guys that are prepared to bleed for the team an opportunity, even if they lack some experience. Get a brutish no-nonsense back 4 is priority. Why do I see opposition players fling themselves at our players and the ball, cut out passes, take one for the team, while wr just let the walz past us?

      IT’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH! And on top of this, we don’t seem to be as fit as the other players!

      Lots to fix, but not unfixable.

  4. The problem of playing from the back creates mistakes. Worse a gradual build up give time for the enemy team to organize their defense. Even worse is the forgotten long range strike that Arsenal almost never takes. Xhaka can shoot. Kolasanic can shoot. Pepe can do this brilliantly. None of them do it regularly. It important to have a long range strike to create space. Arsenal are too reliant on the cute pass goals only thus easy to defense with a robust tackle.

    Meanwhile, Arsenal’s wide attack is predictable, as the header has gone AWOL after the departure of Giroud. In fact Arsenal is missing Giroud as the tall Frenchmen’s presence forced attention not just on him, but also for enemy defenders to go out to stop the cross. Both these enemy defense moves opened space for tiki-taka.

    What has happened under Emery is when Arsenal is mired too deep in enemy territory with no reward or even no shot on goals it not only destroys the spirit, but also creates multiple opportunities to attack on the counter as norm–the shots on the Arsenal goal is indicative of this. Emery ball is so one dimensional that even bottom Premiership teams can beat Arsenal.

    To remedy all is not difficult.

    1a)Play Kolasnic and Pepe with orders to cut in and take long shots some times. Xhaka can at time foray up and take that long shot we have seen. Arsenal should try to take about 30% of their shots from outside the box. That would force the enemy defense to open up and come forward. That in turn would allow space behind the enemy defense for the option of tiki-taka our boys are good at with Ozil, Laca and Auba.

    1b)Taking long shots from outside the box has a plus side for the Arsenal defense: the ball is in front of them and our team should not lose shape, and if penetrated, there is enough time to man mark player and stop their shots, something Arsenal’s defense has not done well lately.

    2a)Arsenal should have more quality crosses to arrive OUTSIDE the penalty box to cause mayhem, and also let the ball lose in the box. In other words, the headers should ideally be pointed down, unless there is a point blank goal. The lose ball would allow poaching by Auba, et al. Here, Laca, Auba, Pepe, Ozil, can score, though not as well as Giroud, so having Kolasnic and Holding able to add to the potential targets for headers.

    2b) The reestablishment of an aerial attack creates a 3D problem for a defense. It also opens up space for tiki taka when the ball is lose outside the box, before the defense can get its shape back.

    3a) Keep attacking as now with another 30% of the possession, but more directly, giving less time for the enemy to re-organize.

    3b) Defensively, Arsenal will benefit from tiki taka as it is possession based, not allowing the other side to get the ball until the counter, but with 1 and 2 also in operation, the space created will allow a more successful tiki-taka.

    So: 3-4-1-2 or roughly a 3-4-3


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