The ideal situation for any football fan, not just those of us of the Arsenal persuasion, would be for our team to play the beautiful game in the best possible and most entertaining way while getting the results needed to win every major trophy available.
But let’s face it Gooners, that is not likely to happen very often. The Gunners were close to having the perfect balance back in the days when we had Thierry Henry, Bergkamp, Pires, Ljungberg and all going forward and hard cases defenders like Adams and Keown stopping our opponents.
Perhaps the nearest to perfect would be the early Barcelona team of Pep Guardiola, which bal;anced the brilliance of Messi, Iniesta, Xavi and all with the likes of Puyol at the back, but it did not last and you will find that almost every team is better at one part of the game than the other.
For years we Arsenal fans have been spolied by the attacking flair, creative genius and great goals from our team, but it is safe to say we have not been good enough at stopping the other teams from scoring and I think you need this balance.
This season I have been hearing some Gooners complain about our lack of attacking fluency and we certainly have not been cutting sides apart, but at the same time we have been harder to score against and we have been winning games. Even when we went to Chelsea and came away with a point when everyone expected Arsenal to get thumped, some suggested that we could have won had the players and Arsene Wenger been a bit more adventurous.
Yes we could but we could also have lost and surely at that time it was more important not to lose. To be more defensive I think you will inevitably forego a bit of attacking flair, so which would you prefer? I am not saying that Arsenal should turn into the sort of super negative side we saw from Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea a few years ago with their parked bus, but I reckon our balance should be a bit more tipped toward defence for now, as long as it is getting results.