The Midfield Problem Revealed At Norwich

By on October 24, 2012

Aaron Ramsey

Every successful Arsene Wenger midfield has characteristics that contrast sharply with those we saw at Carrow Road on Saturday. We are used to seeing pace, power, inventiveness and dynamism. Why then has the boss put together a squad that is one midfield injury short of being utterly ineffective?

The defence at Norwich had the odd panic but we are used to that. Don’t be fooled into thinking that even the great Arsenal defences didn’t get flustered every now and again either, they did.

In attack all three forwards had poor games but Poldi has shown enough to look to be an asset, Gervinho provided our only attacking pace at Carrow Road and Giroud is an option when our pretty stuff doesn’t work.

But the midfield Arsene, what have you done? You can make a case for all of them as players but the blend was all wrong. It was the most anaemic, one-paced, uninventive, concoction we’ve seen for a long time. I will predict (the bleedin’ obvious I know) we will win nothing with that midfield playing most of our games.

Those that doubt Diaby will surely see his value now. It’s easy to imagine the big Frenchman powering past Norwich players on Saturday as he did at Anfield. Cazorla , Arteta and Ramsey barely ran forward off the ball. There was simply no penetration from the middle of the park at all.

As well as Diaby we have other reinforcements to come. Wilshere of course and maybe just maybe …Gnabry. The pass at the weekend to play in Gervinho was a real gem.

It wasn’t just that the midfield was more stagnant than my local pond either. Ramsey passed square on all but four occasions and each attempt at a ‘key’ pass failed. Cazorla looked tired, time for a break after the CL game? Arteta was the best of the three but he has found his role at Arsenal now and we will only rarely see again the rampaging Mikel of his Everton days.

Arsene may well argue that it is unfortunate that Jack and Abou, the two most forward running of his midfielders, are still injured. Then why not play Oxlade-Chamberlain?

All this will be forgotten if we get them back fit and we go on to have a storming season. But if not, and there is always an if with Diaby, then firstly, we cannot play the same midfield again and secondly, we need make sure the squad has the balance to ensure we don’t have to.

Do you think the blend in midfield was a problem against Norwich? Get involved in the comments section.

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  1. GoonerMac

    October 24, 2012 at 9:07 am

    While it would be unfair to lay all the blame at his door for Saturday’s lethargic display, Ramsey certainly slows down our midfield play.

    Arteta – Wilshere – Cazorla has the potential to be a superb midfield trio and i agree Diaby has been missed in recent games, but Ramsey is struggling to find his role.

    Arteta is the ball-player and when Ramsey plays alongside him, they basically do the same job and we therefore lack penetration.

  2. Mohd Isa

    October 24, 2012 at 9:18 am

    I am no soccer coach. But I do know defenders hate someone running at them with the ball.. Arsenal make too many lateral passe which gives defenders time to regroup and stifle the gunners.
    You watch how Ronaldo frighten the life out of defenders making room for the others to score. Hopefully Diaby will reprise the role for he could be our Ron.

    • ogban

      October 24, 2012 at 10:33 am

      Problem is: there is no news whatsoever about Diaby’s situation. He was supposed to be out for 2-3 weeks. When there is this kind of silence, then you know something is not right!

  3. Olamide

    October 24, 2012 at 9:40 am

    I tink our problem lies with the present 4-3-3 system.A.W is not ready to admit failure of the system so we continue to wallow in selfpity and b satisfied wit cl qualification(if atall we qualify dis season)

  4. Toye

    October 24, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Wenger should just starting ramsey in our games. How many match had arsenal won with ramsey starting since october 2011, am sure it is not upto 3, so tell me why is wenger still starting him.

  5. Toye

    October 24, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Wenger should just stop starting ramsey in our games. How many match had arsenal won with ramsey starting since october 2011, am sure it is not upto 3, so tell me why is wenger still starting him.

  6. OzGooner

    October 24, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Let’s not forget about our little Mozart as well. We have been missing his spark.

  7. OzGooner

    October 24, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    As far as people slating Wenger for starting Ramsey, I think it’s more than fair to say that he is not first choice & it’s only when we have an injured midfielder that he gets the start. Wilshere is almost back so relax. Not much more we can do at the moment we don’t have much choice. Imagine Wilshere, Diaby & Rosicky all fit do you honestly think Ramsey would even be on the bench? He is an impact sub & even last season it was well stated that Wenger did not expect to have him starting so many games.

  8. sleekwhale

    October 24, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    I think Gervinho is the only guy that sleeps on the ball @ Arsenal. It always looks to me like he asks himself ‘what am I gonna do with this ball’ so he does nothing with it…Giroud is different and our style of play doesn’t favor him. Who else…santos is lost…last season he was great

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