Arsene Wenger forced to take step back in order to perfect Invincibles style of football

Arsenal played some magnificent football last year; possibly the best in the Premiership since the Invincibles captured the title playing in a style so explosive yet beautiful on the eye. The Gunners are yet to even get close to either style this season, with Manchester United the most attractive footballing side.

Arsenal haven’t been helped by injuries most notably to Rosicky and a consistently unsettled starting line up. There was a small patch in the game against Wigan where the Gunners showed the potential there is but alas it never materialised , ultimately ended with the withdrawal of Samir Nasri through injury. The Frenchman so crucial to the success of the style of play, as the player was signed to replace Hleb and emulate Robert Pires. Still yet to fully adjust to the Premier League and even to his own game.

“When he is in front of goal he can finish with his right foot or left foot. He has a lot of pace and power and I encourage him to go in the final third. He was a more typical playmaker in France who gave the ball and took it back. I believe that with his pace he can penetrate in the final third and he will score plenty of goals. That is what he did today because he is a tremendous finisher.” Wenger after the 2-1 over Man Utd

It seems Arsene is trying to create a similar footballing team to the Invincibles but go one better with more all rounded and high stamina players. Perhaps the Carling Cup team is an example of his vision with Merida and Wilshere typical Arsenal wingers who can create chances, keeping possession with clever movement but are flexible and can interchange with ease.

“I like to have one behind the striker, and one or two on the flanks who come inside. I always feel that if you have players who can deliver the decisive ball in all areas of the pitch, you have many more chances of being creative. If it’s only focused on one central part, where it’s usually more concentrated, you have more space on the flanks to create. You always build a team to adapt the position that suit players best.”

Dynamism and explosiveness seems to be lacking and since the Ljungberg and Pires left Arsene has yet to replace the two with his typical creative wingers but ones who are equally adept at going on the outside as well as inside. Reyes fell dramatically from grace, Hleb leaving for Barcelona with Rosicky injured and Nasri still to improve.

Variety is looked to be added with Adebayor leading the attack with his aerial presence but his ability on the deck allows Arsenal to retain the passing game while Van Persie drops deeper as the support striker.

Creativity has took a backward step from last season with Cesc Fabregas and Robin Van Persie the main creators. Denilson, Song and Diaby battle for the remaining central position where it seems Wenger is trying to add more finesse to the centre along with that shield that is needed.

Man Utd closer to Invincibles style than Arsenal

At the moment Manchester United have taken over Arsenal as the most attractive footballing side and there are similarities with the counter attacking explosiveness and the ability to attack from all angles, though you might argue the ground football is not as strong. Berbatov is as close you can get to a modern Bergkamp, Ronaldo and Park with the dynamism on the flanks while Rooney is the talisman akin to Henry though lacking the goalscoring threat. Evra and Rafael adding real pace and directness in the full back position with Scholes and Carrick allowing the attacking players to express themselves similar to the role of Gilberto and Vieira.

The lack of quality and creative wingers looks to have impacted most on the teams ability to play the passing football so synonymous with the club under Wenger. Hleb’s ability to retain possession so expertly and assist the assister so important to Fabregas and the balance of the team. Rosicky will be back in March from which the title may have already been decided and Walcott has imporved immensly though when to stay outside or more central needs work. It seems that the two positions where there may need strengthening or improvement most the second central midfield position and a winger.

Arsenal Invincibles 2-1 Leicester: Lehmann, Lauren, Toure, Campbell, Cole, Ljungberg (Keown 87), Silva, Vieira, Pires (Edu 70), Bergkamp (Reyes 82), Henry.
Subs Not Used: Parlour, Stack.

Arsenal 2007-2008 v Fulham 2-1: Lehmann, Sagna, Toure, Gallas, Clichy, Eboue (Walcott 62), Fabregas, Flamini, Rosicky (Bendtner 72), Hleb, Van Persie (Song Billong 90).
Subs Not Used: Almunia, Senderos.

Arsenal 2008-09 v WBA 1-0: Almunia, Sagna, Gallas, Djourou, Clichy, Walcott (Toure 72), Denilson, Nasri, Eboue, Adebayor, Bendtner (Van Persie 69).
Subs Not Used: Fabianski, Vela, Ramsey, Wilshere, Randall.


7 thoughts on “Arsene Wenger forced to take step back in order to perfect Invincibles style of football

  1. I heard Arsenal are interested in Alonso. I know it may just be paper talk but it is the type of player that would be brilliant to Arsenal as we tried to sign Inler beforehand who is similar. i.e with that ‘finesse.’ If we had him we would be title challengers for sure (well better than now).

  2. i only want the central midfielder to big big, strong, good in the air and committed to staying back.

    i never watch real madrid, but appearance-wise diarra matches the description perfectly. shame he’s injured for ages now.

  3. To the tune of the Pogues’ Fairytale of New York

    Manu eboue
    Wears the Arsenal shirt
    Came in 2003
    From the coast of Africa

    And then he raised his studs
    And gave Terry a punt
    Well that’s ok with me –
    Terry’s a right c*nt

    The chavs they booed him then
    But by this time next year
    ’ve got a feeling -They’ll all be City fans
    So support the Arsenal
    A club with history
    Manu Eboue
    Plays for the Arsenal

  4. We need two wingers and a CDM.denilson,nasri,ramsey,diaby are all central midfielders and i dont understand why wenger plays them suggest bastian shweinsteigger,yaya toure and bring back hleb.

  5. Hleb wouldn’t really offer us anything more than what Nasri brings. I really rate Nasri, but I do feel we need the new ‘Ljnugberg’ seeing as we already have the ‘Pires’. I’d say for the holding midfield slot; Jean Makoun, and I was surprised that a deal didn’t materialise. He seems to be a similar player to Flamini, high workrate, always seems to be everywhere. The other player I would like to see would be Appiah. He is a free agent after all and Blackburn are said to be after him.

    Having said that, who knows what the boss has planned? All we can do is see what he does, as he usually pulls the rabbit out of the hat during the transfer window.

  6. ………….Fabianski…………..

  7. I think what Arsenal needs to work on is holding the ball. Apart from Fabregas , i think every Arsenal player is prone to losing the ball. Nasri for one , makes u miss Hleb. Hleb could hold the ball for ages. Nasri is more direct in approach and rarely can command the midfield. His touches are heavy and it makes it more difficult to control the ball,esp. in the Premier League where the defenders are on thier toes at all times. That said ,he is young and i think Wenger is doing him great good by making him a regular. He has class and can score goals. Maybe he is the scoring midfielder we have been missing ever since Pires left.

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