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A systematic Analysis of Arsenal’s problems

the emirates

Written by guest writer sanchit.

The past two weeks have left me astounded. They say that the EPL campaign is unpredictable, like a rollercoaster, it can go up and down. Why is that, with Arsenal, we go to the summit, and then come crashing down to the base? We will win 2-3 hard games, and where it is taken for granted that we will win, we slip up like only Arsenal can.

I have thought about this a lot, and pondered over the Great Arsenal Inconsistency. And I think we need to break down everything to get to the core. It is not the simple thing of one or two players under-performing. It is something that is plaguing the whole system.

Defence

GK – Lukasz Fabianski

A positive point. He has been keeping exceptionally, better than most in the Premier League. Fabianski has really emerged from the short shadow of Almunia and proved that belief can override criticism, and God, has he had a lot of it. If he can keep up such performances in the future, at least we don’t have to worry about the man between the sticks for once.

For now, Almunia should be second choice. He doesn’t deserve returning above Fabianski.

RB – Bacary Sagna

An above average performance from the French RB. He has been focussed, accurate, composed and he even scored against Everton. He has been able to balance defence and attack, and has made one or two very crucial blocks to save the day for Arsenal. Really not a lot of complaints here.

CB – Laurent Koscielny – Sebastien Squillaci

Discussing Arsenal’s defence is like walking through a minefield. This has been our Achilles’ Heel all season. I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t tense when the ball entered our side of the final third. Arsenal have always been unsure and wary about their defence this season, and you can put that down to two completely new Centre-backs. However, that doesn’t excuse our poor defensive performance.

Koscielny has been Arsenal’s talk of the transfer season, but boy, has he failed to deliver. He is certainly no Vermaelen. He can be brilliant at times, but very poor otherwise too. He lacks the concentration and focus of Vermaelen, and his work rate is comparatively very poor. I wish I could say that he has something special in him, but that would be a lie. He missed sitters against both Chelsea and recently, Tottenham, which in both cases would have turned the matches around. He isn’t very tactically aware, and has got sent off twice already (although against Newcastle, his red card was intelligent defending. We would probably have gone 2-0 down if not for him). Certainly not one of Arsene’s best transfers.

For all the talk about his experience, Squillaci too has failed to deliver. He is slow, he too lacks focus, and is anonymous. He doesn’t come out and command the back 4 like he was expected to do. He often loses track of his position, and has been caught flat-footed on numerous occasions. Yes, he has put in reasonably good performances too, but you have to do better when you are an Arsenal Centre-back. I don’t know why we didn’t sign Mertesacker or even Gary Cahill. Mertesacker is a brilliant defender, and he would have been perfect. But, it is Arsene’s penchant for French players that has brought its share of good and bad players to North London. It’s certain though, that both Squillaci and Koscielny are not transfers to be remembered.

LB – Gael Clichy

Don’t even get me started on Clichy. There have been enough articles on him. It is time he was put on the bench and Gibbs be given a chance.

Overview: Needless to say, our defense is one of the worst I have ever seen, and without Verminator, we can’t really rely on our back 4 to deliver when they need to.

CDM – Alex Song Billong

Solid performances from him. He just needs to remember that his primary objective is to cover the back 4, and not to score goals. He should limit venturing forward too much, as our back 4 are certainly not the most alert when it comes to defending counterattacks (Ahem, ahem, Tottenham’s 1st goal, ahem, ahem)

CM – Francesc Fabregas

It is time our endearing skipper left. This one line sums up his game for Arsenal in recent weeks. It appears that he plays only for the sake of playing, and not because of any responsibility to the club. He hasn’t been true to the armband too. He hasn’t inspired the players, there have been no late comebacks this time around. On the contrary, we have been losing won matches. So much so for keeping Arsenal’s boy wonder at home. He can leave next summer and we can get a quality CB and a striker in.

Jack Wilshere

One of the top talents of this season, but he still has a lot to learn. What he has in skill and sheer composure on the ball, he lacks in maturity. He is impulsive and eager. While this might not be a bad thing, he needs to restrain himself. I see a future Fabregas, but he has time left.

Wingers – Samir Nasri and Andrei Arshavin

Samir Nasri has been Arsenal’s best player this season. He has really come into his own, he has scored goals, inspired the team, and given it his all. He truly deserves the superlatives that have been bestowed on him.

On the other hand, our other winger, the Little Russian, has looked as flat as ever. Arsenal fans might remember Arshavin’s 4th goal at that historic night at Anfield. Walcott had the ball at 50 yards. Arshavin made the sprint of his life from Arsenal’s box to 30 yards from the goal, got the ball, and finished calmly with his left. Where has the spirit to get the ball gone? Where has the will to score gone? Where has that charismatic, clever Russian gone, and who is this lazy, half-hearted winger we have now? At least, there is one thing about Andrei. He admits that his form has dipped. He has been as good as old in some matches, but he is not the match winner we all wanted and expected him to be. He needs to pick himself up. Fast.

Strikers – Marouane Chamakh and Robin van Persie

Chamakh has been our best buy since Tomas Vermaelen. He, unlike Arshavin, has taken up the striker’s mantle in RvP’s absence with relative ease, and has scored and created quite some goals. It is clear that he has exceeded expectations, yet he is not the match winner in the team. His actual role is that of second striker, and he will be more effective when he plays behind the main striker, because he has shown that sometimes he lacks the finishing touch, and also the legs.

RvP needs to go in the summer too. He has been a great Arsenal player, but his injuries have run havoc for Arsenal’s title chances. He is a great player on the pitch, but he is rarely on it nowadays. It will be a teary farewell for RvP, and I recently posted an article on his prospects at the club, and unless he gets into his old game and scores consistently for Arsenal for the coming games, we cannot afford to have him with the club. He can be the best striker in Europe when at his best, but his best is always interrupted by injuries.

Parting comments:

We need to stop overelaborating, and passing the ball when we have to shoot. We also lack a good finisher, and players like Arshavin must start performing. Our defense is embarrassing to say the least.  Verminator, we need you back!

For the first time we have an almost injury-free team, only individual performances are holding us back. We have the wrong people, and Arsene should start spending that huge profit on bettering the club’s reserves.

Transfer suggestions:

  • A big, strong CB, like Per Mertesacker.
  • A strong attacking midfielder, i will require suggestions here.
  • A proven goalscorer, Benzema is always an option. Others might include Luis Suarez, Romelu Lukaku.

It is time we started buying established players, instead of making them. We are missing some essential quality in our team, and its about time the Boss realised that.

Comments are always welcome…..

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