Thursday, February 26, 2015

Arsenal Take II - A New Hope

Last night Arsenal lost 3-1 to Monaco due to what Arsene Wenger described as ‘suicidal defensively.’ Sadly this seems to be a recurring theme every season for the Gunners and I can’t help but think why?

They have some absolute quality in all areas of the pitch. Last night they had a lethal attack of Sanchez, Ozil, Giroud, Welbeck and the very much in form Santi Cazorla. At the back they had two experienced heads at the centre with Koscielny and World Cup winner Per Mertesacker. A solid keeper between the sticks in Ospina and Coquelin mopping up in midfield. What’s the issue?

The sad issue in my opinion is lack of leadership. I think their current captain is Mikel Arteta which for me speaks volumes. Back in the days of the Arsenal Invincibles they had a leader in every department. Lehmann in goal, Campbell in defense, Veira in midfield, Henry up front, all legends for the swagger and consistency they carried on the pitch.

Sadly the players that are meant to fill those boots aren’t exactly in the same breed:
Welbeck for Henry - I like Welbeck but this lad can’t do the things that Henry could and probably still can do. Henry for me could still do a job now if his fitness was up to scratch.
Mertesacker for Campbell - For me Per isn’t vocal enough to lead in the way Sol did. I also think he lacks the agility to compete with some of the quicker players. By this I don’t mean pace wise, I just mean I think Mertesacker gets caught flat-footed a lot more than he should do.
Ospina for Lehmann - German goalkeepers are a cut above. I love a keeper that isn’t afraid to bollock their defense for mistakes. I think the jury is still out on Ospina, I like him as a shot stopper but I’m unsure whether he’s strong enough vocally.
Coquelin for Veira - This one sadly is the main let down for me. Coquelin is a good player...but he isn’t Veira. Coquelin seems to go quietly through the game doing his job with little fuss. Veira would do his job, as well as other players jobs, whilst dominating the midfield and leading his team. One of the best allround players the Premier League has ever seen.
~Side note: With Henry I never understood how defenders didn’t know what he was going to do...he’ll get played through on the left wing, run inside and bury it across goal into the far corner. Surely someone must have thought “lets show him out wide…” but I’m getting off topic ~

Admittedly if Arsene was to recreate that kind of talent he’d have been hailed the next Jesus and some kind of footballing wizard because there is no way you can predict that a player would turn out like that. Their potential might make you think they’re going to the top level but you can’t know they’ll be one of the best in world.

I think the time for Wenger to create a player has gone. I don’t think he has the time to buy a good player and turn him into a great player. I’m not saying he will be sacked just that he’ll sign be half way through molding a great player then the player will just get gobbled up by Man City or Chelsea or some other club which is just gonna chew the lad up and spit him out with a bigger bank account and stories for his grandkids on how he used to be on the bench for a big club.

There’s no heart in football anymore. That’s why for me Arsenal need to try bringing more British youth into their squad. The foreign players are the ones who jump ship first site of a bit of money. I mean look at Wilshere and Ramsey, they’ll be at Arsenal for years because they want to earn their success, not just buy it.
~Side note: I really don’t rate Wilshere. I think he’s overhyped and isn’t half as good as Ross Barkley but when he was younger I was fully expecting Man United or City to be snooping round him. Surprised Arsenal managed to keep hold of this lad ~

I read somewhere that Aaron Ramsey will be out until March with his hamstring injury which is a huge blow for Arsenal in my opinion. He’s not the cure to their defensive frailties but I think he has wonderful link up play with Ozil. When Ramsey play’s Ozil play’s. With both of them on fire I could imagine Sanchez, Cazorla, Giroud, Welbeck and whoever else will perform to the best of their abilities.

I’ve seen a few fans saying that they want Arsene Wenger out. Last night I couldn’t scroll two posts down my Twitter feed without someone saying “Wenger’s crap” or “LOL @ Arsenal” or “What’s the score? @PeirsMorgan.” I actually can’t believe that fans can turn so disloyal over one of your most loyal servants.

Football may be a results business but Arsene has been guaranteeing you Champions League football every you know what its like being a Sheffield Wednesday fan? I’m happy Stuart Gray has achieved mid-table so far this season...finishing fourth in the Premiership...I’d probably sh*t my pants in excitement.

I personally think Arsene Wenger is a better manager than Sir Alex Ferguson. There is a reason behind that for any Man Utd fans reading and I’ll explain it when I come to that post. Then again it’s just a small minority that want him gone, the kind of minority that think “I’m shouting loudest therefore I am right!” quite pathetic really.

Anyway’s better luck in the second leg. I personally think Arsenal will do them in at their place, they’re a young side who probably think the tie is done. It’s only three you need, Arsenal can score that in there sleep haha. Fingers crossed I haven’t jinx it.
Arsenal 4 - 0 Monaco (Giroud 2, Cazorla, Chambers) - put your mortgage on it.

Cheers for reading.

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