Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Time to twig the formation Mr Wenger

By 1970’s Gooner

What a dreadful defensive performance against a very poor relegation threatened Blackburn side. In the end my mocking friends labeled this game as a six pointer…

Koscienly had a shocker and so did Djourou when he came on and so did the linesman allowing an offside goal to stand.

But all these are excuses really aren’t they. What transpired was that irrespective of what defensive stand you adopt in dead ball situations it’s the players that are defending that have to do their job.

Arsenal switched to zonal defending this season in an attempt to stop conceding from dead ball situations. Forget it Mr Wenger. It’s the players that were on the pitch that couldn’t defend.

Arteta started well again but faded in the second half (again). He could neither offer protection in defence nor create much (Ramsey tried to do that).

If Frimpong had been there then it would have been a different story today. I am convinced we would have walked away with the three points.

It’s time to consider starting with two defensive midfielders in front of the defence, Song and Frimpong say, instead of having two creative midfielders (Arteta and Ramsey today) and only Song sitting back.

The formation could change to a 4 2 3 1

In this way the new central defensive partnership is given more protection at a moment when it badly needs it. And there will still be enough creative players on the pitch to inflict the necessary damage on the other goal.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Arsene unleashes two new stars on the first team

By 1970’s Gooner

Forget the disappointment of the first three games of the season. They will prove to be aberrations, exceptions to the rule, a thing of the past. Performances that will be remembered by the end of the season only as an example of how a team can improve so much.

Remember that everything was at a virtual standstill during the preseason.

Firstly Wenger made the mistake of allowing the Fabregas and Nasri transfers to drag on until almost the final day of the window. This affected the players moral and the uncertainty of ‘will they stay will they go’ did not help either.

Secondly he failed to buy adequate replacements early in the transfer window and had to scramble in the signings very late on.

Thirdly, pre season was not the normal one as the new signings could not be assimilated enough in the Wenger way of playing nor get to know the other players. Also, breaking with tradition, the team gallivanted to the Far East which, in a way, delayed their pre season proper.

Add to this lot injuries (Gibbs, Wilshere, Vermaelen) and suspensions (Song, Frimpong, Gervinho) and it was all predictable in a way….

Now with the new signings beginning to settle in and the shock of losing Cesc and Nasri fading, the team can fully focus on the task ahead of them.

And the new signings look like they will add that maturity, leadership and experience that we have been lacking.

Mertersacker reminded me of Adams, strong, determined and tall enough to deal with the Premier League.

Arteta has the skill to take over the creative role in midfield the way that we have come accustomed.

And Gerninho looks a real handful to me. I saw him at the Emirates Cup (from the Arsenal boxes- some of us bloggers were invited as guests) and I was impressed.

But what really impressed me are two youngsters who took to the first team as ducks to water.

Firstly Szeczney is a fantastic goalkeeper. He produces a world class save in nearly every game he plays.

The penalty save against Udinese gave us the qualification to the group stages (and kept Wenger in his job).

Again yesterday the save from Graham averted further embarrassment.

If you have a chance look at his save for Poland against Germany in their 2-2 draw last week.

Now if it were Almunia in the Arsenal goal I fear we would be talking about saving relegation.

The other revelation is Emmanuel Frimpong.

What power, determination and confidence. He is better than Song. Put these two together in central midfield and we will be impregnable. I will soon expand on this possibility about slightly changing the formation to accommodate these two.

So with the injured and the suspended players to come back plus time to assimilate and bed in the new players I believe we will be coming back strongly very soon.

Cheer up. The only way is up!