A Straightforward Win Leads Us To A Complicated Summer

After watching a depleted Fulham side capitulate at the Emirates a few points come to mind,

  • Everyone at Arsenal must have been quite certain we will finish third and that could explain the sorry performances at Wigan and Blackburn, although that doesn’t make it acceptable.
  • It’s very difficult to play, especially away from home, once you lose a majority of your first team. Only a lack of incentive for Arsenal players saved Fulham from humiliation.
  • Why doesn’t Arsene try Eboue in goal?!!

There is no point in analyzing the game as the visitors just played to complete a formality and Arsenal cruised through. I have a feeling Arsene knew this will happen and so did the players. It could be that after the loss against Spuds our players lost the mental strength that was pulling us through. I can’t think of another reason for our lacklustre 100 minutes (10 at Wigan and 90 at Blackburn).

Fulham looked like an amateur side and it just highlights the depth we have. With 8-9 first team players missing no other team can be competitive in the league. Some people assume Chelsea can be but there is no factual evidence to support that, at least I don’t know of any. United certainly can’t as we all saw how bad they were at Craven Cottage. Sadly for us, none of our competitors had a lengthy spell with multiple injuries. I know fans are tired of injuries but that doesn’t change the facts.

The only notable aspect in the game was a poor game for Fabianski. I thought he had a great outing against Blackburn and was seriously tested at Ewood Park but against the Cottagers he failed. If he can’t be consistent even over two games then he will struggle to make it at the top level. The fans’ reaction wasn’t very good but players at the top level have to deal with it. Fabianski probably needs a little psychological help more than any technical improvement as he seems to be suffering from a bout of the Yips!

Lansbury’s introduction for the final few minutes was a delight. Apart from his skills I really like the youngster’s body language on the pitch. It seems the loan has done him a world of good and hopefully he will play a small but significant part for us next year. Eastmond could also improve if he goes away for a few months to a Championship side.

The season is over now and everyone can take a break except Le Boss. He needs to really look back at what’s gone wrong this season. Arsene will have to make some tough decisions. The gaps in the squad and the problems we have are not as simple or obvious as some clueless writers on the internet tell us. I think Arsene needs to fine tune the system we play, our tactics, and the squad. He also needs to get to the bottom of our mental issues, especially those against bigger teams. More than anything else he needs to sort out the defensive mess we get into and it won’t be a simple matter of signing a Centre Back and a Goal Keeper, although that could be a start.

Over the next few days I’ll attempt a season review that looks at facts and details. Hopefully, we’ll have a few more meaningful discussions before we close the book on the ‘09-10 Season.

15 Responses to A Straightforward Win Leads Us To A Complicated Summer

  1. Hong_gunner says:

    We need 10% more quality(gk and a proper centre half, ond more defender who can help cover song in mid if need) 10% aggression(any guys who’ll dare to say – if you hit us, im going to hit you back) and a little bit experience(by experience, i mean somebody who has won things and can drill it into the team with his body language, which neither does Cesc possess to date). And i assume Chamakh is a done deal. But hey, never stay assured till you see it at arsenal.com. And yea, most of all, wenger needs to sort out the minor details in our system to keep the balance between attack and defence. With RVP and arsha together next season, our counter attacking may see improvements. A new medical staff head is a must. Sorry Mr lewis, but your time is up. And may be a defensive coach, but wenger’s ego wont let the last option happen into reality.

  2. ian says:

    Good article, you’ve hit on something i have long been concerned about – the extremely frail if existant mental strength of our squad and indeed our manager. It’s been lingering and eating away at our team for a few years now and unless we win something soon im seriously worried we may fall even further off the pace we so badly need to be keeping. In a way a loss yesterday would have accentuated our failures and remained fresh in Arsenes mind ready to be addressed. However in recent years he doesnt seem to really accept our frailties and glosses over them, we CANNOT allow that to happen this summer, we need experience, grit, a goalkeeper,defensive midfielder and a defensive coach. On a positive note if Rambo can continue his excellent recovery and we can survive this summer with no major injuries to the rest of the squad, the addition of (probably) two more players on top of the new striker, then we all know we are capable of doing it, i just hope the players do. Keep the posts coming.

  3. liam says:

    i dont think we need another DMF as i think we should promote verminator into that possition when song is out. He is exceptional at going forward and i think if we can get 2 defenders instead would be better

  4. canadiangooner says:

    Dude, nice write up, atleast you admitted fabianski needs “some” kind of help:-)
    I seriously hope that we get someone experienced in goal and some good defensive additions, though as you pointed out lansbury looked good and after a few more games under his belt i think djourou will too though i saw too little from yesterday’s performance to make a judgement. On the bright side,gibbs,ramsey,eastmond,lansbury,szczesny all make for a bright future and lest we forget cesc and theo are 23 and 21,,,, so thats great!
    I saw the interiew that the boss gave after the game and one of the things he mentioned was conceding 40 goals we cannot win the championship and when asked “a few defensive changes maybe a goalie” he had a grin and said leave it to me:-)
    I know it can interpreted a thousand ways but i think we are getting a new goalie and our defense will be strengthened.

  5. WC says:

    Chelsea don’t need the same depth as Arsenal because their players are durable. All of their previous managers knew this, which is why their squad isn’t as big but they do have quality players in reserve. Compare their average bench to Arsenal

    Chelsea: Joe Cole, Alex, Zhirkov, Kalou, Ferreira, Deco.
    Arsenal: Denilson, Silvestre, Vela, Gibbs, Traore, Eduardo

    Now look at the number or experienced internationals are on both lists. Chelsea have another first team squad on the bench, while Arsenal have mostly “potential” sitting on the bench – potential who also have injury history. So Chelsea don’t really need depth because their players just don’t get injured. Lampard probably has played more games than most people in the league in the past 3 or 4 years without long-term injury.

    Wenger looks at typically small technical players and while it’s good to have that aspect of the team, you need some brutes as well like when we had Adams, Parlour and Keown. Those were men made of steel who can take a beating. We don’t have many of those anymore which is why we have so many injured every season.

    • desigunner says:

      I think you have quite a few assumptions there.

      If everyone is fit Arsenal would probably have Walcott, Rosicky, Ramsey, Campbell, Gibbs, and Denilson on the bench. I don’t see how any Chelsea bench is better than that. how did you arrive at the average bench?

      Anyone can pluck a few names just for the sake of argument but that doesn’t mean much. Fact is that Chelsea lost at Tottenham and Wigan with almost a first team and fans are having a go at Arsenal for losing with virtually a second string. That just shows a lack of perspective and common sense.

      I don’t think you can assume big brutes don’t get injured because their best brute Essien has been injured the most. They have been lucky with injuries and there could be many reasons for it. One could be that they are older and their bodies are more used to the stress. Another could be that they get kicked less often. Third could be that they play at a slower tempo in many games when they sit back and defend.

      Injuries are a complex issue and random assumptions and assertions can never prove anything.

      Funnily enough you say that Chelsea don’t need the same depth and also that Chelsea have a second first eleven. I’m not really sure what your point is! I guess in a roundabout way everyone wants to arrive at new signings so that must be it.

      • dan says:

        Desi, I think the point is quality, manu and chelsea have more quality, soon citeh may as well. That we haven’t been judiciously buying and pruning the squad over recent seasons may well see us falling further behind.

      • steve b says:

        “If everyone is fit Arsenal would probably have Walcott, Rosicky, Ramsey, Campbell, Gibbs, and Denilson on the bench”

        “If everyone is fit”

        that is a reality that will never exist past august for Arsenal Football Club. WC is right: our squad is full of potentially devastating technical players, and those players get kicked, and then those players get injured. you point to Essien at Chelsea getting injured: thats one player, and he has two bigger and meaner player in Mikel and Ballack waiting to take his spot. it’s not “unlucky” if it’s consistent; it’s failure by design.

      • Nischit says:

        I sometimes wonder if people determine the quality of a player they don’t know much about based on the
        1) fee paid for him
        2) a few good moments

  6. LiviB says:

    Great article! When chelsea lost their Keeper and Man U lost Vidic the wheels came off. Liverpool lost Torres…Everton lost players they have suffered. We lost more players than anyone else and for longer but have maintained a challenge right up untill the end…Up the Gooners. 2010-2011 lets give it!

    • Nischit says:

      yeah and our “backup” center back made his first appearance of the season in the last match of the season. That there sums up our injury problems. However, while that puts some perspective on some defeats, the manner of the wigan defeat in particular was worrying. Almost like our squad players dont want to start every game.

      • Nischit says:

        or maybe we’re all reading too much into a couple of games. cos the same ‘squad’ players carried arsenal admirably for a long time

  7. Manav says:

    Noteworthy point regarding Henri Lansbury’s body-language. To me, he doesn’t look like someone who’s gonna get kicked or toyed around by the opppostion……well built. That’s the difference a season long loan at a Championship side can make to a young player’s confidence.

    PS: Why no mention of Vela?? I desperately want him to stay at the Grove.

    • desigunner says:

      I’m not sure what’s going on with Vela. He’s not made the progress that we’d expect from him yet there is no doubting his talent. Since he’s signed a new contract hopefully he will be here for a while and we will see the best of him pretty soon. I left him out of this article as it didn’t seem that important even though the goal was a thing of real beauty.

  8. Hong_gunner says:

    I still think Wenger wont make a very big change to the squad. A goalkeeper, a centre back who can play mid, thats my demand. Just two. And i tip wenger to go french again. Others will come in, the kids, may be wenger can search one gem in this hefty market. Chelsea will be lethal if they make the right changes. And Wenger knows this. Every season wont see the team at the summit being changed 22 times. And hey, what a funny season, spurs fan are blowing dust off their passports. The medical staff change will be the 2nd signing, when wenger indirectly said chamakh will be the first. and there’s been a buzz about it lately. We may see just about 5 signings with a couple of kids. We were good on one stature of the league this season: bouncebackability. But we’ll need to add some flavour in experienced and ripen players. Its no joke, our current team lacks a massive fulcrum, stability at the back. Match that, boost the confidence, and noone will match our movement and passing upfront.

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