Former Gunners are made for Arsenal

With Mathieu Flamini and Alexander Hleb failing to make the same impact at their clubs that they did at Arsenal, it is argued Arsene Wenger sold them by identification of  a declining career. However such players may be found struggling because they were made by Arsenal for Arsenal.
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The main case being Ashley Cole who was switched to left back after beginning his career in attack. The transition was so successful he forced his way into the senior squad putting in some great performances which arguably made him best left back in the world.

Jose Mourinho signed Ashley Cole as he tried to complete his team with the best players to fit his system. However Cole never hit the same form as at Arsenal; his defending was as good as ever but was used to playing short passes and then breaking forward, failing to fully get to grips with crossing and long balls. There are signs this season he is adjusting but just old habits do die large and at times looks to try and play the way at Arsenal.

Mathieu Flamini was signed by Milan after his man of the match performances against them and seen as the natural successor to Gattuso. This means playing on the right or left of a central midfield diamond and basically running around the pitch to try and get the ball. The problem is he is a defensive midfielder but the with players like Pirlo and Emersonin the position, their definition of such a defensive midfielder is different. Playing in a more advanced position exposes his average passing ability.

Alexander Hleb is also playing in a more advanced role on the left of a forward three rather than the creative winger at Arsenal. Both players have the undoubted ability to make an impact (even Flamini regardless of his one ‘great’ season) it’s just a matter of either adjusting to their new roles and respective league or playing in their correct position. If it is the former the clubs may even have to expect that they are not going to get the same players they saw at Arsenal.

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6 thoughts on “Former Gunners are made for Arsenal

  1. Its true, all the players that left Arsenal are not as good as they were at Arsenal. Campbell, Viera, Henry, Pires, Cole, Flamini, Hleb, Anelka, Baptista, the list goes on and on and on…

  2. Well firstly I saw an old match from back in 2005 against Aston Villa. As a matter of fact it was the 49th and last game of The Invincibles run which we won 3-1 and then lost to the Mancs the following week. In any case Flamini was playing that game because Vieira was injured and Flamini has had more than one great season. He’s always been the player he was last season looking back at old games he’d played, he’s just never been so prolific because of the likes of Gilberto and Vieira overshadowing him.

    Anyway that point aside, this is a dead horse because other players have flourished outside of Arsneal as well. Vieira has a successful spell with Inter, Bentley was doing well at Blackburn and I guess competently at Spuds, Pires is doing good at Villareal, Henry has found some kind of form at Barcelona now etc. I think it’s better to say they developed very advanced skills at Arsenal which were put to use playing the Arsenal way. However they will have to find a way to tweak these skills in a club that isn’t Arsenal and that’s not an impossibility just a very large re-adjustment.

  3. Yeah I kind of wanted to end it at a point where people could debate but truly I think they can make it.
    Henry has after a while made it, Pires from the moment go while injuries have restricted Vieira I would say, from showing his true ability. Bentley started on the left at Norwhich and Blacburn and after a season or two showed his true colours. I think Hleb and Flamini will make it but for Flamini his technical ability must improve. I did say ‘maybe’ WC as I tried to leave it at a good ending but I agree with your assessment they have to make a ‘re-adjustment.’

  4. It’s true. I don’t think people realise how meticulous the planning at Arsenal is. I remember Wenger talking about how the scouts had watched Sagna 50 times before a decision was made, whilst we have apparently been monitoring the situation of Vela since he was 12. Contrast this with someone like Harry Redknapp who claims he has watched a lot of Appiah, before revealing he’s seen him ‘About 6 times’.

    There are many scouts out there as good as those at Arsenal I suspect. However, very few have as good a relationship with their boss as Wenger does with them.

    There have been many discrepancies between Directors of Football and Managers over the years, and I think it stems largely from a lack of communication. The manager may want a certain type of defensive midfielder, whilst the director of football simply looks for the most talented player of that position.

    The communication between AW and the scouts is very good. Wenger knows what sort of system he wants to play, and thus knows exactly the sort of players he needs. On paper, we pale in comparison to the likes of United and Chelsea, yet always prove more than a match for them. Why? Because our system utilises the capabilities of the players more.

    While a team like Chelsea or Madrid may gather up the best players and look to throw them together, Arsenal will generate a system, and look to sign the players that suit this the most.

    This is why, in spite of the trophies they may win, a player rarely looks as good as he does at Arsenal, at another club.

  5. I would agree with you that these players are made for Arsenal in a sense.
    Wenger and the Arsenal staff make sure they get the most out of induvidual players and make a team greater than the sum of its parts.
    The players are all good players, but at Arsenal we fit players into a certain system and they play to theirfull potential.As you say – it will take time for them to adjust to different systems.
    But Wenger seems to know how to get the best out of a lot of players.

  6. arsenal have only ever had one or two players of outstanding quality in the side eg henry and bergkamp, fabregas and van persie imo. but wegel as a team brilliantly and wenger meshes the players together resulting in free flowing beautiful football that wins trophies. how?
    the man’s a genius.

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