Another Semi-Final Fiasco
Through an accident we have embarked upon a 4-2-3-1 formation. This is not a problem, except when you are using players out of position to accommodate the formation.
If we look at the team that played Manchester United and the substitutes used we see the folly of Arsene’s formation and the players used.
The team sheet read Song, Diaby, Nasri, Fabregas and Walcott. On paper this meant that Song and Diaby would hold the centre of midfield whilst Nasri, Walcott and Fabregas should have formed a three pronged attack to support Adebayor.
When the team took the field Diaby was playing on the left side of midfield whilst Nasri was deployed in the centre. Diaby, as far as everyone is concerned, is best suited to playing as a central midfielder, alongside Song they could command and dominate any game. Nasri is more constructive but is too easily outmuscled, whilst on the wing he has the guile and ability to create whilst Diaby lacks those attributes.
When Wenger sent Bendtner, a six foot plus centre forward on to replace Walcott, we all expected him to play alongside Adebayor with Nasri playing on the wing and Fabregas returning to his preferred role in the centre of midfield. Wenger, however, decided that Bendtner should play out wide. Bendtner is not and never will be a winger. His strengths lie in his ability to win aerial balls, shield the ball and bring other players into the game. He does not have the ability to run past players and send in threatening crosses.
When Eduardo entered the fray he was deployed as the sole striker. His role was the target man, whilst a natural target man was playing on the wing.
We escaped with a one nil defeat, but the questions need to be asked as to why we played so many players out of position to accommodate a system that does not allow us to put pressure on top teams. Look at the games against Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United; we hardly dominated any large swathes of these games.
Fabregas’ best position is playing in central midfield alongside either Song or Diaby, not behind the main striker. Nasri will be more effective playing behind the striker, from this position he can probe the opposition and look for gaps in their defence. Bendtner can only play as a centre forward, he will never be converted to a winger, and we have enough players to perform on the wing without trying to convert Bendtner into a winger.
This is the second semi-final in which we have sent out a team that has failed to play or compete. Luckily we have one more bite at the Champions League. For the return leg we need to play players in their correct positions