Where Did It All Go Wrong – Arsenal in Decline
Angry, frustrated, disappointed. Once again Arsenal fans are left let-down, once again we are promised things will change and once again it is groundhog season for Arsenal, and we haven’t even entered the annual departures of the close season.
Where do we start? It is obvious that things went wrong in the summer with Wenger anticipating that both Nasri and Fabregas will not leave these were the hopes of a man living in a dream land. The summer also saw not focus on any transfers other than Gervinho and Oxlade-Chamberlain, despite the fact we needed at least one central defender and another striker.
We have seen in recent weeks the paucity of our squad. We have played Song, Arteta and Ramsey in nearly every game. Wenger has alternatives, Frimpong, Coquelin, Rosicky and Benayoun, but he does not trust the first two and neither Benayoun nor Rosicky are up to the task. Creativity is lacking in central midfield and Ramsey appears completely lost playing the attacking midfield role. We have Wilshere and Diaby coming back from injury, but will that solve the problem? Wilshere will have an impact, but isn’t it too much to have to rely on this young man, when all around him lack that certain edge required of Arsenal midfielders?
On the wings, Wenger has had three options, Walcott, Gervinho and Arshavin. Walcott does not realise he needs to play to his strength, and he only has one – speed. Theo is a speed merchant but is reluctant to run at defenders, to play the ball past the full-back and challenge him for pace. Walcott’s finishing has been woeful, for someone who wishes to play as a central striker his shooting is pathetic. What has the coaching staff been working on with Theo in the last 5 years? Has he really improved since joining Arsenal, and if the answer is no, then why not, has anybody spoken to him about wing play?
Arshavin gave up playing for Arsenal some time ago, the only surprise is that Wenger hasn’t sold him. What has happened to Arshavin, why does not take players on anymore, where are the little tricks gone or the on-target shots? The answer lies partly in our formation. Arshavin plays off the striker, he likes to attack the goal directly not via the wings. Look at his first half-season, he played behind van Persie or Adebayor and he ran at players go left or right, now he does not have that variation.
Our forwards consist of one person, van Persie, end of story. Chamakh started of really last season, then stopped, he does not even look like a player who score an open goal, why is a mystery. One suggestion is that he does not get enough playing time, but when we only play one striker, he never will, so unless we change to 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1, Chamakh will go the same way as Bendtner. Our third striker is a mystery to everyone, Park. Why did Wenger buy Park so late in the window? He knew Bendtner was leaving so another striker was always required, why not show an intent and go for Remy, Hunterlaar or Benzema, instead we opt for a Ligue 2 striker Park. But then Wenger proceeds not to play him and asks the fans to give him a chance, but Wenger does not trust him! Is Park one of these mystery Wenger purchases like Kaba Diawarra or Tomas Danilevicius? Whatever the reason, I doubt Park will be with next season.
Arsenal have struggled this season, narrow home victories over Stoke, Sunderland, Everton, QPR, draws with Fulham, Wolves and away defeats at Blackburn, Fulham and Swansea just emphasise in which direction we are heading this season. This Arsenal squad must be the worse squad of players assembled by Wenger in his time at the club. Wenger has stated that finishing in the top four is more important than winning a trophy, well I doubt we will finish in the top four or win a trophy this season. The squad needed a major overhaul in the summer, quality players were required and that has not changed. It is going to be a long and painful second half of the season for Arsenal fans, let’s hope that there is radical change in the summer, but I doubt it.
Posted on January 16, 2012, in Arsenal, Arsenal News and tagged Arsenal, Arsenal News, Arsenal Players, Arsene Wenger, Arshavin, Gervinho, van Persie, Walcott, Wenger. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.