Far East Tour Exposes Defensive Problems!

Whilst it’s still early in pre-season and players are still finding their feet, some patterns are emerging after two games.

Wenger’s early acquisition Carl Jenkinson looks a good buy.  He never put a foot wrong in either game.  As the pre=season friendlies move up a level it will be interesting how he copes against Cologne and Benfica. Jenkinson can expect to start the Carling Cup and even push Sagna in the league. To fully develop as a player, Jenkinson should be on the bench against teams like Wolves, West Brom and Norwich giving Wenger the option to blood him if things are going well.

The other flank is a bit of a worry and I think Wenger will have to go back on his word and recruit a left-back. Traore still looks unsure as a left-back and this was against two inferior teams.  If Gibbs is injured at any time, and that looks inevitable, Traore will be exposed at the back and we will be in trouble.  The two options to Wenger are Jose Enrique from Newcastle United or the logical solution is to accept Eric Abidal as part of the Fabregas deal.  Abidal can offer advice to Gibbs and adequate cover anywhere along the back.  This is the type of move that might appeal to Wenger.

At centre-half we saw the nightmare that could unfold next season, Squillaci. This is his last year at Arsenal, but Wenger should offer him a free transfer and route back to France.  It is not that he is the worse centre-back we have had in recent years, it is just that his presence causes panic amongst the other centre-backs.  Wenger needs to cut his losses with Squallaci and press home the move for Cahill in the forthcoming week.  We have no option but to come to an agreement over Cahill and the sooner the better.

Arsenal’s midfield performances proved that Nasri playing in the playmaker role is the ideal position for Samir.  Whether we see him playing in that role in an Arsenal shirt next season remains to be seen.  In both games we saw the emergence and further development of Ramsey as great midfielder.  Ramsey and Wilshere complement each other in the middle; both are creative, tough tackling and always looking to go forward.   I would like to see Ramsey, Wilshere and Nasri start against Cologne,

From both games so far and also for most of last season, what is become apparent is that Rosicky has lost it.  He is not the creative playmaker, he slows the game down too often and his passes are wayward and without thought.  Playing Rosicky against Brimingham in the Carling Cup was one of Arsene’s biggest mistakes.  As with Denilson we need to cut our losses with Rosicky and let him go.  We need to look at bringing in another midfielder this summer plus promote both Henri Lansbury and Emmanuel Frimpong to the first team squad.

The striker options looked a bit threadbare for Arsenal.  Wenger must be looking at either another striker or playing Walcott or Vela upfront, though neither will be able to play the sole striker role that our 4-1-4-1 / 4-2-3-1 formation requires.

It has been reported this week-end that Arsenal sent Richard Law to Costa Rica to negotiate the signing of 19 year old Joel Campbell from Saprissa.  Gunnerblog have reported that the player’s father has stated the clubs have agreed a fee in the region of £2M and that the player will join on a 5 year deal.  If Arsenal are able to get a work permit for Campbell, then he will wear the number 12 shirt.  The only question will this 19 year old be the answer to providing sufficient back-up to van Persie and Chamakh.

Posted on July 17, 2011, in Arsenal News, Transfers and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. A fair assessment but a bit harsh on Rosicky, as it is only 2 games into pre-season. Jenkinson,Miyachi and Frimpong did show excellent skills and drive…particularly Jenkinson as he is really fir for so early in the season. My real concern was the ease with which Hangzhou sent long trhough balls down the centre of our back 4 and how Squillaci and Djourou had trouble with this type of play. It is exactly what most crap EPL teams like Bolton,Wolves, Birmingham and Stoke did last season.
    We haven’t seen Gervinho play yet and I firmly believe with Ryo and him on the field, we’ll see a far more dynamic and deadly Arsenal attack.

  2. For me to want to come back to your blog you will have to put more effort into writing articles which are accurate, newsworthy and informative. Your article has very little to do with your headline. You seem to want us to sign Cahill without saying why – personally I struggle with that one in light of the fact that Bolton has conceded more from set pieces than Arsenal. Are you suggesting AFC should sign Cahill just because the tabloids have linked him with us? Please at least provide argumentative support for the statements you make. Frankly, the your article is mediocre to say the least.

    • northbanklegend

      Cahill is a better defender than Squillaci, Djourou and Kocsileny. He is an England international. Just because a team concedes more goals than another, it does not make an individual a worse player if he is doing his job. Cahill will fight, get his body in the way, make challenges. some our players were going through the motions.
      Even against Hangzhou our defence was split wide apart, we need changes at the back and Cahill and or Samba are the players to bring that change. They are Premier League defenders.

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