ARSENAL: SQUAD WEAKNESSES

By on February 2, 2010

By Fab4

I decided to wait a couple of days to cool down before i wrote anything after the defeat to United. I think its fair to say that the result all but ended Arsenal’ s title ambitions for another year. Champions never lose 0-3 and 1-3 at home to their closest rivals, it doesn’t happen. So after Arsene threw the FA Cup, that leaves us with the Champions League as the only trophy available to win. Perhaps Hull will do us a favour tonight, perhaps we will beat Chelsea on Sunday, perhaps we will go unbeaten for the rest of the season and sneak the title…but i very much doubt any of those will happen.

So i will look at where i think our squad is going wrong and what should be done about it.

Squad weaknesses

The transfer window is closed so we are stuck with what we’ve got. No new players to come and save the day. So after another thumping at home by a title rival, where did it go wrong? Who needs to go? No prizes for guessing who my picks are: Almunia and Denilson.

Almunia

Another poor display against Man Utd and I have never felt Almunia was good enough. Jens was still the better keeper in his final year, but was dropped after a couple of early mistakes. Almunia has never been treated as Lehman was. He makes mistake after mistake and never gets dropped. Maybe because Wenger doesn’t trust the back-ups, if that’s the case, BUY someone who is good enough! Fabianski is not the finished article and is also prone to mistakes, but i would still rather him than Almunia. He is capable of pulling off some match-winning saves and at least he comes for crosses. You can carry an average keeper in the cup’s…just, but in a 38 game league season…no chance. You never win the league without a class keeper, FACT! At the start of the season i picked out a new keeper as priority No.1 and his performances this season have only strengthened that thought. Decent back-up but not good enough for a team like Arsenal. Bring Fabianski in now, give him the rest of the season to prove he can be our number 1, if he fails, buy a proven stopper.

Denilson

I don’t know where to start with Denilson. I, like 99% of Arsenal fans, just can’t see what he brings to the team. A midfield player has to do something. He can either be a defensive destroyer, a flair player, an all-rounder, a  pacey winger, a ball-winner, etc. But Denilson is none of them, or if he is one of them he doesn’t do it very well. He seems to just jog around the centre circle, getting knocked off the ball 50% of the time, passing side-ways or backwards the other 50%. The problem with this is that he doesn’t assume any other responsibilities. He is too light-weight to be a defensive midfielder, has no pace, very little skill (amazing for a Brazilian!), positionally poor and can’t finish (don’t wanna know about his 5 deflected goals this year!). His tracking back for Rooney’s goal on Sunday was beyond disgraceful. He literally jogged back and watched Rooney make up 10 yards on him, busting a gut to get on the end of Nani’s pass, while Denilson showed no desire to cut out the ball. Unbelievable.

The main worry i have is why Wenger persists with him!? Ramsey has more talent in his right foot than Denilson has in his entire body. I don’t care that he is 3-4 years younger, why does that matter when the elder of the two is piss poor!?!? Play the one who will make it at the top level, or buy an adequate replacement, simple. But we all know that Denilson will start against Chelsea on Sunday, even if Diaby is fit Wenger will find a way to play him!!! He always does. For me, play Ramsey when Diaby, Cesc or Song aren’t fit.

Lack of a striker

It is no secret that we needed a striker, but somehow Arsene disagrees. He has once again led us down the garden path. Telling the world he was after a striker, but in the end couldn’t find anyone better than what we have. It’s funny how for the last two weeks he has been telling us how Bendtner was the striker we needed, he didn’t need to sign anyone because Big Nik was back and he had full faith in him. Bendtner come on against Villa and plays a very useful 30 mins, looked sharpe and was well up for it. So what does Wenger do, leaves him on the bench against Utd and plays Arshavin out of position again. A clear sign he doesn’t have as much confidence in Bendtner as he led us to believe. If he was the saviour of our striking problem why not start him in the biggest game of the season? He would have given us something different, but Arsene threw him on when it was all over. The decision to not invest in a new striker has cost Arsenal, no doubt about it. But we have to give Bendtner his chance now until RVP is back, which may be mid March if reports are accurate.

What do you think? Should Almunia and Denilson be dropped? Was Wenger mad not to buy a striker?

Leave your thoughts below…..

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