THREE TASKS FOR ARSENAL’S NEW MANAGER by Nicholas Oyoo
Arsenal obviously lost 1-0 to Atletico Madrid and lost their chance to play in Champions League next season. However, Arsenal will have a chance to play in the Europa League again next season. But next season, there will be a new manager. So let’s present this new manager with the task plate he should prepare to inherit from Arsene Wenger.
Playing to the Strengths of the Squad
Originally when Arsene arrived, he developed a playing pattern that favoured the squad he inherited and built. He could see the previously unseen talents of players in various areas of the pitch. However, later in his tenure Arsene seems to be meddling with his players to force them into a game pattern he decides on and he would patiently try to force the players to fit his pattern.
The new manager must find a pattern that fits our best players at their best positions to allow them to perform optimally. For instance, If Arsene had adopted a 3.5.2 system of 4.4.2 system to accommodate Giroud and Sanchez as a pair of centre forwards, perhaps Arsenal would be the high scoring side they were famed for earlier time when Arsene stamped his philosophies into Arsenal. During that time no great player would stay in the bench.
We have Lacazette, Aubameyang, Ozil. Mkhitaryan, Ramsey and Welbeck, the next manager must find a pattern that involves all our best players. Winning a game is about scoring goals. Defense starts with competence in attack – period!
Arsenal have been poor in attacking for a long time now. In 2006, Arsenal went to Madrid Iconic Bernabue Stadium unfancied and looking on their way out against a colourful Real Madrid team. That time they had players like Casillas in goal, Roberto Carlos, Jonathan Woodgate, Beckham, Guti, Zidane, Robinho and Ronaldo. Of Course we had Ljungberg, Henry, Reyes and Fabregas with us. The game at Highbury had ended scoreless and everyone must have predicted Real Madrid 3, Arsenal 0. The outcome was a shock, we beat them 1-0 and it wasn’t a fluke too, we outplayed them and they did not have answers and Thierry Henry punished them.
Against Atletico Madrid in the first match at The Emirates, we had 28 shots on goal and scored just once. It is rumored to be the second highest shots on goal in a European game this season. If we had competence like the Arsenal of the yore, Atletico would have been dispatched by lots of goals that the second round would have been a formality.
Replace the Patently Inconsistent Players
We know we can get better players in the market to play the Wilshere role better than Wilshere. We can get a better Ramsey than Ramsey himself! We can get a better Koscielny than the Koscielny we have today. We can get a better Mustafi than the Mustafi we have playing today. We can get a better Petr Cech that the Petr Cech we have today. We sure can get a better Xhaka than the Xhaka in our payroll today. We can get a better Welbeck than the Welbeck playing today. All these players have been in Arsene Wenger waiting to fully come to good list. They get played every other time despite their previous game being poor and they get used to being protected. They do not have much to prove as they will get to play despite not performing well enough.
Changing the Play Mentality/Culture
At Arsenal not winning or winning has just become just another game. Players play without fear of losing their position to better performing players because there has been a lineup already drawn up in the mind of the manager, with the same tactics despite the opponent. Of late, players seem to arrive with huge potentials and reputations but somehow lose their forms and still start pretty much every game. We all remember the Mamchester United duel in between the Atletico games and how players like Mavropanos, Chambers and Maitland-Niles performed yet none of the was set to start against Atletico the following game. Mavropanos was not even in the bench. This kind of approach of making it tougher for on form players to break into the first team and eject those that are not performing is not the best.
In his comparison of playing for Arsenal and Chelsea, Petr Cech pretty much summed it all. ‘Chelsea has a cult of being a winning machine. You can see it from the top to the bottom. It works like that. The pressure just works in a different way. That’s why you have so many managerial changes. Arsenal obviously have the same continuity, the same manager. There is a completely different philosophy and a different way of doing things. There is no right or wrong.’
Finally, my favourite team suggestion for the new manager for next season is the following. 3.5.2
———Aubemayang – Lacazette——-
O. Dembele—-Ozil—–Mkhitaryan—-G. Martins
Ousmane Dembele going to the left and Gelson Martins to the right. These are high energy young players who will play for another 10 years and are already performing at the big stage. They can support both in attack as in defense and have the pace to run. They both can make great passes, cut in and support in the midfield and in attack. They are specialists in their areas of operation.
Ozil and Mkhitaryan playing a double pivot attacking midfield both at their best area of the pitch. Lacazette and Aubameyang finally playing together. Nianggolan is already thirty but his tough player status would add steel in the area Arsenal most needs it. He will be however best advised to sit in front of the back three and put up a battle hardened performance rather than try to get goals and expose the back three. He will school Ainsley Maitland-Niles well. Raphael Varane and Koulibaly are well established centre backs and not blunder prone, they are both below 27 and have some 4-5 years in them. They will school Mavropanos okay.
With rumours of 200 Million available for Arsenal’s new season transfers – Martins 30M; Swap Bellerin for Dembele; Nianggolan for 45M; Patricio 20M, Varane and Koulibaly 100Million. Clear out sales for recovery target of 120M – Wilshere, Xhaka, Ramsey, Cech, Koscielny and Mustafi.
Substitutes: Chambers, Holding, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Welbeck, Ospina, Reiss Nelson, Eddie Nkatiah…