Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Arsenal Go From One Extreme To Another

After last week's 4-3 defeat at home to Liverpool I complained of Arsenal's defensive deficiencies and I was more than a little surprised that the makeshift attack managed to score three goals. That attack improved when Santi Cazorla and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain came on and I hoped their inclusions for the injured Aaron Ramsey and Alex Iwobi would be a good thing. The other changes against Leicester were not enforced by injuries with Laurent Koscielny and Granit Xhaka coming in for Calum Chambers and Mohamed Elneny.

From a defensive point of view it was a much better performance after the horror show against Liverpool and the return of Koscielny was the main factor in that improvement. With Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista injured his return was a real boost to the team and they managed to keep Leicester at bay for most of the game. Unfortunately the defensive improvement was matched by a complete lack of creativity at the other end.

Quite often after Arsenal have shipped too many goals they become more defensive as a team and they end up struggling to score goals. We all thought Liverpool looked so good against us, but their 2-0 defeat at Burnley puts our defeat to them in a different light. We scored three goals against Liverpool because they appear to be even worse in defence than we are and a reasonable Leicester defence were rarely troubled by Arsenal.

Things did improve when Mesut Ozil came on and his inclusion from the start can only make us much stronger in attack. We still haven't signed the striker he deserves to compliment the most creative player in world football and I can only imagine that he feels the same frustration that us fans do too. There's still just over a week to go before the transfer window closes and the likleyhood of that much fabled striker arriving decreases by the day.

For me the experiment of playing Alexis Sanchez as the central striker just isn't working and he has to be moved back to a wide role. Our striking problems cannot be cured from within as far as I can see it and we need to spend some of the lovely lolly we are stock piling. The only actual striker we have available besides Olivier Giroud is Chuba Akpom and it's pretty clear he's not going to get much of a chance. I can only imagine Arsene Wenger doesn't fancy him in that role because he has been prepared to put the even less experienced Rob Holding in for both games so far. 

We are still waiting to see the Xhaka and Elneny partnership in midfield and again it's hard to understand why they aren't getting a chance together. Even when Francis Coquelin was running a very thin line on Saturday it was Xhaka who ended up making way in midfield. I'm sure the boss thinks he owes some sort of loyalty to Coquelin, but there has to come a time when we get to see the Xhaka and Elbeny partnership take root.

One point from the first two games is not a good return, but the calibre of the opposition was always going to make those games less than easy. The game next Saturday is away to Watford and it will be followed by an international break and it's a game we just have to win. If we can't beat Watford and go into a two week break without a win I can only imagine the reaction of some fans on social media in particular. It will certainly be a stronger Arsenal team in that gave and a lot closer to our best team and for me anything less than three points will be nothing short of a disaster.

That's it for today.

See you tomorrow.


  1. Arsene Wenger has a good team if we rule out injuries. Yet injury has been a plague for Arsenal over the years. But what baffles the fans is the fact that we know we need a striker since last season. Is he not supposed to cough out money and get someone? must he wait until the 11th hour hoping the clubs will be desperate to sell? His reasoning these days are just so annoying

    1. We have needed a top class striker since RVP departed in 2012 and still us fans wait in vain.

  2. Arsene knows what he is doing! he will gladly pay out 300 million for a player . . . provided he gets a bargain who's real market value is more like 400 million and someone he can sell on for 5oo million.