1. Arsenal suffered another defeat this season at the hands of FC Porto albeit with several key players out but being the “strength” in depth more is expected. Not taking advantage of the superior possession stats and being undone on the counter was the story once again. Passing the ball and keeping it is the Arsenal way but in the end goals is what will win matches. There needs to be more of a cutting edge and more risks around the penalty area.
Barcelona were defeated 3-2 by FC Shakhtar Donetsk also on matchday 6 and also played their second string. One can argue whether the Catalan club is technically superior to Arsenal however what was interesting was the number of players that were willing to support the man in possession and get in the box behind the defence when the opposition are parked in front of their own area.
Contrast to Arsenal who were static and too functional; looking to make an impact from their own position.The movement weren’t good enough and although the Gunners got into similar positions at times couldn’t make anything out of it.
When being one on one with defenders it is not one’s dribbling ability that allows them to take best advantage of the situation it is by having support to bring doubts into the markers mind regarding whether a pass will be made. Lack of shooting is also a problem though technique wise are they good enough?
2. The squad has a lot of potential and no doubt the majority playing yesterday can become top players but at the moment they are not ready. There is more depth as the youngsters are better than last season however the strength has decreased. It seems likely a signing will be made if Arsenal’s situation worsens unless Arsene decides to develop the players further. After wins against Chelsea and Wigan sandwiched in between was defeat to Burnley and now this defeat. This could be Wenger’s weakest squad yet somehow they are still in the title race so lets see where we are at the end of the month.
Lets see what Wenger and his scouts can unearth as the extent of talent they see far excedes ours. I will put two potential signings forward though they may be unlikely.
Dario Srna is another player that could change our league fortunes as he will be cup tied in Europe. Great with both feet, clever and versatile; an underrated player and captain of Shakhtar he may not be too cheap though Elano was sold for £8m and Castillo £10m on loan paid by him. May cost a similar amount.
Scott Parker may be available at £5m; tenacious, tireless and possesses great technique though injuries have restricted his potential.
3. On an entirely different note, following Roy Keane’s sacking ex-pro’s must be required to undertake more coaching experience before managing a club. He spent a lot of money which shows his relative lack of skill as a manager; identifying good players. Along with this top managers must be able to motivate, be tactically astute and make the most of what they have.
Non playing coaches are finding it harder to get into management or top level coaching even though they have worked themselves up and earned their badges, understanding all levels of the game. Of course some ex-pros have this ability but time is a virtue in coaching.
How much scouting went into David Healy apart from the fact he scored goals for Northern Ireland but played little otherwise. Chopra and Jones where signed from the Championship where he managed first and signed ex United players. He made some good signings such as Malbranque and Cisse on loan but overspent on others. Similarly Southgate, £13m on Alves with little to no competition for a striker who scored45 goals in 39 appearances in Holland.
These abilities for the most part come over time and coaches such as Pearce has no doubt gotten better since going under the tutelage of Capello and coaching the U21 side. What is to justify Alan Shearer being fit to manage Newcastle after sitting on the couch after retiring? And don’t get me started on Flavio Briatore….