Where Arsenal should improve if they want to win silverware this season
During the summer Arsenal broke their transfer record by a considerable amount to bring in arguably the best offensive midfielder in the world. There’s not really a whole lot to complain about at present – which is why I will.
One of the causes for concern is that there are two distinct sides to Arsenal: the one where we’re chasing a goal and the one where we’re a goal up. Being a goal behind or equal to our opponents Arsenal play the beautiful football that we’ve all come to cherish and adore. Arsenal always looks like scoring when going forward, and with Mesut Özil in the team the attacks are more direct than they have been for quite some time.
The issue is, however, that when Arsenal do grab a one goal lead they tend to sit deeper, take less risks and looks nervous and stressed on the ball. One would think it’d be easy to simply keep playing like you have for the last 10 or 30 minutes, but something happens in the minds of the Arsenal players when all they play defence-minded football. “One nil to the Arsenal” is a thing of the past, and that’s where it should stay.
The most recent title winning Arsenal sides were all-out attacking teams that went after the next goal. It is after all the Premier League where the silliest slip or the briefest shortage of focus sure will cost you dearly. Having the likes of Özil, Cazorla, Wilshere, Ramsey and Rosicky in your side should pretty much guarantee that you don’t have to give up possession to anyone. Especially “lesser” sides. I do appreciate that so far our defence has held up more times than not, and we’ve also managed that get that second goal lead on the break. The point I’m making is that it is unlikely to last forever, and any lost point when chasing the title could be disastrous.
Another thing that made my heart skip a beat recently was Wenger basically saying that he doesn’t expect to be able to sign a striker in January. These early excuses are unacceptable if you look at our current squad, with Giroud being overplayed at both Arsenal and France. There’s absolutely no chance he’ll remain fit and sharp for a full season. Behind him is Bendtner who hasn’t looked himself recently – he has, somehow, been even worse. How he manages to look even lazier than ever I’ll never know.
Being top of the league and having a real good chance at going for glory we have to do absolutely everything necessary to do what it takes to be champions. I’m hoping the signing of Özil will prove to be a catalyst that sees Arsenal signing even more world class players rather than an excuse not to. The worry is that Wenger will be pointing at Özil every time he is asked if he is ready to spend the money required to be a top side.
That said, Arsenal have started the season in a brilliant matter and with the returns of Walcott and Podolski things are likely to look even better in the immediate future. Being the whiner that you’ve all grown to love and hate I would hate to disappoint you though, and it is with great affection that I point out these faults. Having witnessed perfection in the 03/04 season it’s difficult to not crave that again. And again. I do believe that this Arsenal side could achieve greatness by solving very few problem areas, and I do trust in Wenger to do just that. After all, compared to him we’re all idiots thinking we know stuff.