On of the recurring themes that I’ve talked about with fellow Gooners over the past few weeks is that AW seems to have forgotten the attributes that made his successful sides successful. There’s a lot of talk about players not being good enough but they seem to forget that we won the cup with Oleg Luzhny at centre-back. The basis of the successful teams was solid central defenders with the emphasis on defender (Adams, Keown, Campbell), excellent goal keeper (Seaman, Lehmann) and solid central midfield partnership (Vieira, Petit, Gilberto). These players were all 6 feet plus and physically imposing, there being a stark contrast with recent sides. The move to 4-3-3/4-5-1 has exacerbated the problem as the midfield 3 has generally consisted of one holding player and two more attacking players. It was interesting, therefore, to see that the Arsenal lined up in a
4-4-2 formation against with Coquelin and Frimpong in central midfield. Now these two an inexperienced and are not (currently) in the class of the trio mentioned above, neither is Djourou the same as the above mentioned defenders and, despite what AW stated in the match-day magazine (I thought it was a programme!), Fabianski is no where near Dave or mad Jens. But perhaps it gives an indication of revision to the formation in an effort to halt the poor run of form – let’s see how we line up against Kevin Davies’s elbows. Shrewsbury
The other thing that occurs to me is that there appears to have been a series of poor decisions made concerning the team.
- Building on the above analysis, the recruitment of Mertesacker seems odd given that Samba or Cahill should have been available.
- The persistent failure to sign a reliable goal keeper post-Jens.
- The acquisition of a number of number 10s and then playing then out wide Rosicky, Arshavin, Nasri. The failure to make use of Arshavin’s talents in particularly egregious.
- Consistently playing RvP as a lone striker when he is not physically strong enough to do this.