Wenger’s main priority is balancing the team, not the cheque book

Arsene Wenger’s biggest challenge ahead of the new season is finding the right balance after a disjointed campaign last time round.

With 24 minutes on the clock, Cesc Fabregas displayed why he is so important to the Arsenal team. Finishing off a wonderfully fluid move team move, Spain brushed aside New Zealand in the group stages of the Confederations Cup with much ease. Just like Barcelona, the European Champion’s success lies with the awesome midfield combination of Xavi, Fabregas, Xabi Alonso and Iniesta (although he missed out yesterday), the Catalunya blueprint of ‘receive, pass, offer’ running through the very heart of each of them.

They are the must have accessories for every side, the envy of all clubs and Arsenal must count themselves lucky to have one within their ranks. Cesc Fabregas is the heartbeat of Wenger’s team and there are not many like him in Europe. More playmakers are moving back to the No.10 role or as deep lying playmakers as the importance of zones and ‘between the lines’ players increases.

The first couple of weeks of pre-season will be very crucial. Fabregas may not be there; a prolonged rest is likely to be on the cards or as Arsenal are hoping will not happen, the materialisation of Barcelona’s interest in the skipper. Assuming the former, Nasri should take Cesc’s place in central midfield and how Arsenal function without Fabregas in this time will be crucial.

It is plainly obvious that Arsenal look an entirely different side without him as he is critical to their pass and move football as that number ‘4’. Last season the side was at times horribly unbalanced as Arsene Wenger tried to redress that fact by playing a 4-2-3-1 and making the full backs more cautious. The Gunners lost their intricacy while Fabregas was pushed up to account for the change in style. “We are accustomed to playing alongside the likes of Patrick Vieira, Flamini and Gilberto Silva,” said the skipper, 22. “Last season we were weak in this position which is so important, especially for teams like us. When we attack, it is vital to know someone is behind you to win the ball back.”

It may be a tad harsh on Denilson and Song who had good first seasons but it is easy to understand that a signing in the position may be more beneficial than at centre back. Denilson has some of the best tackling/interception stats in the league but is on his own, Song’s positional play lends him more to centre back while Diaby has never quite convinced despite his immense ability.

However Arsenal’s play is built around possession and movement and the imbalance may have been caused due to the lack of fluidity with the ball last season. Pre-season will be crucial in getting the team to gel and finding the right combinations, especially with Arshavin, Eduardo and Rosicky ready to start a proper full season.

Arsene Wenger may be under pressure froms fans and skipper alike to splash the cash to prevent a Cesc Fabregas sized hole through the door but with the talent in Arsenal’s ranks, the main priority should and always will be, to work on defending as a team and attacking as a team.


11 thoughts on “Wenger’s main priority is balancing the team, not the cheque book

  1. It is actually ridiculous the amount of talent Spain have.

    Yesterday they didnt play Iniesta, Senna, Silva, Busquets, Pique, Reina, Guiza etc.

  2. I agree up to a point. You forget that for three months, Cesc was injured, and the team did not lose in the league. Actually if Cesc left, Arsenal would survive much more than ManU after Ronaldo.
    Cesc is a wonderful player, but he will be even great at 24, not now. Arsenal is about team play, not the individual. Did you ever consider that Arsenal would survive after Vieira, Henry et al? But the team did. I dare say, Arsenal is the onlt team (perhaps even Chelsea) where a player, any player can leave any time and the team will survive.

  3. Cesc is not being harsh on Denilson and Song, he’s being very fair. Denilson, Song, Diaby just haven’t brought enough to the table, they cannot to a man win the ball consistently. They do at times make an effort to defend and sometimes are able to break up play, but that is a far, far cry from the qualities of vieira and gilberto who could win the ball back regularly and provide instant counter attacking play with incisive and visionary passing. Flamini was a tireless worker and disruptor but his passing out of the back was very subdued, yaya to me looks only like a taller flamini as his passing is also not of the best quality. Not sure Yaya is what Arsenal need.


  5. Cesc is essentially to our pass and movement technique. It would be devastating if he goes, but hopefully when it is time for Fabregas to go back, young Jack Whilshire will be ready to take over the reins of creative central midfield.

  6. We don’t need the captain saying that the efforts of two players were simply not good enough, if he analysed his own game last season, he was very poor as well,we are used to playing with more consistent players, last season Fabregas did not provide this. He should concentrate on his consistency rather than telling the coach what to do.

    Fabregas says we should defend as a team, yet wants one player to do this and absolve himself of this duty. His idol Guardiola anchored the whole Barcelona midfield and was the main creative outlet, it seems Fabregas is beginning to believe his own hype before he has actually achieved anything. In the crunch games, where was he? He went missing big time.

    Also, enough of the Yaya talk, he will not be sold, and if that is the best people want, why not nominate players like De Rossi(more talent) or Toulalan(most attainable of the lot), this Yaya talk drives me mad.

  7. NewGooner,

    couldn’t agree with you more.
    The two donkeys who the golden boy Fabregas appears to be dismissing for not good enough for the team contributed far more to the team than Fabregas himself. Who does he think he is? I really hope Nasri steps up big time next season (we saw the glimpse of his quality last season) and shows Fabreas he is not the only world class player in the team like he seems to think. Reading what he had to say about his TEAMMATES and thereby appointing next season’s whipping boys before the season even starts frustrates me no end.
    What would he have felt if Gilberto came out asking for a new signing for the departed PV4? Hope he shups up and tries to get on with the team AW has built if it’s really his intention to remain here.
    And one more thing, was Flamini a world class player before 2007-2008 season? FFS

  8. Another story has come out today where the captain has said, “I have been through a season of injuries, without winning any title with Arsenal and I have not been happy with it,”

    “Coming over with the national team has been total liberation for me.

    “I feel happy to be able to be playing in the Confederations Cup with this top-quality team.”

    He is really beginning to sow the seeds for his departure, i hope Perez gives Gazidis a call and offers €50m. The captain hasn’t achieved anything yet, but acts like he is the crucial cog in the team, of the 9 games we lost, he was there for 7 of them, the stats also show that when he plays we concede more goals.

    He accuses players of talking too much in public, yet he is doing the same now, and just to think Gallas was constructive and was slated, Fabregas is being destructive yet no one says anything.

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