Attack on Arsenal style has no basis

Arsenal Column tries to put an end to the debate of the recent ‘troubles’ at Arsenal.


Arsenal should ditch their passing football and learn to win ugly if they are to win another trophy under Arsene Wenger.

Nonsense. Arsenal have showed they have the ability to play passing football and mix things up when the going gets tough. Against Bolton Arsenal withstood the threat from the Trotters with relative comfort and still managed to play their passing football.

Last season was a great example as the Gunners lost three matches; Chelsea (Drogba), Manchester United (Two set pieces- penalty and free kick) and Middlesbrough (an off day). This season three have been lost; Hull (two good shots, two goals), Fulham (an off day- one set piece) and Stoke (long throws). The problem with not winning has mainly been teams either or both, shutting Arsenal down, denying space and long balls. It is a matter of the type of players Arsenal have; at the moment the Gunners lack a midfield enforcer like Flamini and one who pressures more and a defender who can header and is aggressive. The Gunners’ way will win matches, if you have the ball you deny pressure on the defence.

Adebayor’s is a reasonable prolific goal-scorer, but even the die hard arsenal supporter would agree that, had Torres, Drogba, Berbatov, Rooney or even Dirk Kuyt had got similar number of chances, the number of goals would have been more. Match after match the same old story. Adebayor’s competitions in the team are: a fragile and inconsistent van Persie, an underprepared Bendtner, a very young and learning Carlos Vela etc. etc. So much for the much hyped bench strength.

Arsenal could score more given that the good chances they have but there scoring success is not to far off Chelsea’s and are the third top scorers in the Premiership. Factor that with the opposition tactics and it seems good going from Arsenal. However Arsenal drew against Sunderland and the Blues won 5-0. Why? Is it the individual abilities of the players or the tactics? I say a mixture of both. The players must play closer similar to Chelsea and United do when they attack providing more options. The link up play from the main striker is greater. Berbatov and Rooney, Anelka and Drogba link up at a far greater rate. Adebayor has 8 assists this season which is brilliant but should do this more often.

Team Goals Shots On Target Shot Accuracy Succ Passes
Arsenal 23 174 74 43% 4897
Chelsea 27 169 74 44% 5452
Man Utd 19 134 66 49% 4093

A lack of height and inexperience are the reason for Arsenal’s struggles this season.

Height is a problem but smaller defenders can be good headers of the ball. It may be a case they are not aggressive enough and lack that bit of concentration, anticipation, judgement and nous to get the ball first. Arsene Wenger argues that the team overall is small, not just the defenders. Against Stoke, who had 9 players of 6 foot plus but they also had a similar amount against Chelsea. Arsene packed the side with taller players, maybe we are not good enough. Djourou surely should be given his chance seeing as all else has failed.

Experience; a good question. It is important especially in tough situations but the guys at Arsenal showed that ability and desire to win at Fenerbahce. They scored five against a team who had not been beaten at home for a long time. Regarding Tottenham the players didn’t understand what to do in that situation and were naive. They should have ran the clock down but not being in that situation enough led to the two goals. Now they can learn from that- experience.

Arsenal are spineless. As in every competitive situation in life you need to have a strong spine to be able to withstand the pressure that you will undoubtedly face. In football you need it so that the team can be built around it. And you need it so that the balance of the team, so important in winning games, can be held together. The players making up the spine should not only be capable but they need to be strong, confident and above all leaders.

Who is Arsenal’s leader on the pitch? Who is the one that when things go wrong he gets everyone else going, leads by example and takes the game on his shoulders? Arsenal Analysis

An interesting point but one that may be lacking real basis. The Arsenal team spirit is the spine of the team. Everyone is responsible and act and react together as a team. What if the spine of the team are not playing? Who will continue this? Arsenal have spine but it is different; as team spirit and togetherness. If your description is the case Arsenal you may argue have spine; Almunia, Sagna, Clichy, Gallas, Fabregas, Adebayor.

What I would agree with is leaders or rather the lack of it. Gallas is a leader but highly emotional and needs to lead by example more. Clichy and Almunia try to rally troops but could argue are too far away from the action. Fabregas needs to communicate more and point. Something Flamini and Gilberto provided. Adebayor is is a similar vein to Henry, maybe too intimidating. However leadership and captaincy must be throughout. All players must think and act like captains. Van Persie’s petulance at Stoke was an example.

In simple words. we all know these stuff and why as fans do we continue to critise when we could as well encourage and hope with time they will grow in confidence knowing that even if the whole world doubts them but they have the fans on their side.

You talk sense, guy with no face though we have a right to criticise and praise as fans. But I get your reasoning.

Nearly all the Arsenal players are highly skillful with high technique levels but they are relatively small, fragile and almost meek players who rely too much on their skill to get them through the game. Then they cry like babies when they get roughed up a bit.

Another characteristic of youth is overconfidence and complacency; and we have seen this also a lot of Wenger’s teams. The latest example being the game against Hull where they thought that by just turning up that victory was assured… Arsenal Analysis

The last sentence of the first paragraph is out dated now. Arsenal recognise their opponents are going to be physical and are not scared of them. They are prepared to get stuck and whether they are strong enough is another question. Spain played with playmakers in the Euro 2008 and although the tournament was not physical enough they showed what can be achieved if you have the ball. The problem the Gunners face is breaking teams down which lacks skill and what is missing at the moment.

That is an interesting point though players opinions will differ. Some like Adebayor thought so while Toure and Clichy felt otherwise. The Ivorian felt ‘scared’ because he knew that the youngsters will underestimate which they did though credit must go to Hull.

He [Arsene Wenger] has become obsessed the point where he’s neglected the fundamentals of getting tough in central midfield, full-backs who are proper full-backs rather than glorified wingers and having centre-backs who can defend, It’s almost as if he doesn’t want to deal with the more prosaic problems that managers have to deal with.

You can’t win titles in the face of opposition from someone like Manchester United or Chelsea if you’re obsessed with moulding players.

What Wenger has done is basically let these things drift and got in replacements that basically aren’t good enough. Manuel Almunia is so far down Spain are happy for him to play for England and the centre-halves have been a disaster. News of the World’s chief sports writer Andy Dunn

Regarding the full backs; they were in the team of the season last year. That is the worst analysis of Arsenal I’ve heard ever. Arsenal don’t have the finances some may think and even though Hill Wood has said there is money available Wenger is not stupid. He knows the situation at Arsenal who are in debt of £416m (though have ‘responsible’ loans) and doesn’t want to plunge them further.

Within the resources of our club he is achieveing more than can be expected. If you take a look at our yearly profits, once the club has put money aside to cover future expenditure and ploughed some into the rainy day account for emergencies,we cannot afford a £50M + transfer budget.


His [Arsene Wenger] transfer policy when the window opens is ridiculous. Football is not just about playing pretty passes its about winning. That’s all the fans wants, even if you play ugly. Spend in January Wenger not on toddlers, but proven players.

As Gunners who have been starved of glory for a few years one might say this but Wenger can combine the two of winning and playing pretty football. A new player around £20m could have been signed but would he have been better than what we have currently? Alonso may sold by Liverpool at first for around that but decided better as he knew the Spaniard was a better player than Barry, another option and not a defensive midfielder.

Wenger is under no pressure to deliver.
Wenger is stubborn.

He is, but realistically who is good enough to take over? Adams? They need to understand everything from finance to transfers, to players. Not many are better than the guy. Wenger is stubborn…well everyone has their opinions and he has his about management. He can’t get everything right and hasn’t got the benefit of hindsight or a time machine.

(Some of these comments in red are from other websites and Arsenal Column has given their opinion on what are along the lines of common queries/rants about Arsenal. The names are not provided of those who’s comments they are of.)


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