Welcome to my Arsenal blog for the 2015/16 season; here you can check out my thoughts on the current goings on at the club.
Latest News: Arsenal draw 3-3 with Liverpool, goals came from Ramsey and Giroud (x2) - match thoughts to come!

Monday, 10 November 2014

Defence exploited as Arsenal slip up again

When will it all end? Season after season we see the same problems occurring, and season after season we fail to see those issues addressed. We can harp on about it all we like but something needs changing. The problems that could be seen from the Swansea game were nothing new for Arsenal and after the result against Anderlecht in the week you can only imagine how the fans reacted. It was inexcusable to lose a 3-0 lead in midweek at home, let alone to throw away another lead in the League in the same week.
Oxlade-Chamberlain showed glimpses of promise for Arsenal
Never have I been so annoyed as an Arsenal fan within the last week. There has been times of frustration over the last decade and that's putting it lightly. The FA Cup triumph of last season appears to all be a distant memory now. The summer signing of Alexis Sanchez was meant to benefit the squad, and it's done just that. 12 goals in 18 this season speaks for itself. However it's clear to see even for non-Arsenal fans of what we were crying out for in the transfer market. A defensive midfielder - a stalwart in the middle of the park that can protect the back four. Too many times we've seen the back four being left with absolutely no protection.

Against Swansea we were in effect left with a back two. We had started the game slowly but either side of the break we managed to up the tempo and scored a great goal on the counter through Alexis. However the problem that then arose was our lack of game management and sense of tactics. It's normally against the top sides that we get punished but the weekend saw Swansea take advantage. Before the game Wenger claimed we were getting the balance right between defence and attack. Those claims are simply laughable if you consider the way in which we conceded the first.

Swansea broke and with more than half of the Arsenal team forward they took advantage. Gibbs had to make a foul on the edge of the area as Mertesacker and Monreal has been heavily exposed by their lack of cover. As a consequence Sigurdsson curled the ball home from the free-kick.

I mentioned the lack of game management and simple tactics. Jefferson Montero was tearing Calum Chambers apart at right back and nothing was done to prevent that. Whether that was by getting the pacey Bellerin on at the break or getting Oxlade-Chamberlain to sit back. None of that happened and after Chambers had been booked it was going from bad to worse. Resultantly the winning goal came from that left hand side. Montero provided the cross and Gomis got up ahead of Monreal to head home.

The defensive frailties were once again there to be seen. In attack we had been good. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was providing the spark whilst Sanchez popped up with yet another goal. However had we replaced Vermaelen in the summer then perhaps we wouldn't be having to play a 5ft10 player at centre half. Wenger can't do anything about the injuries but our lack of squad depth has been a problem for many years now. Chambers and Debuchy came in but nothing more. Another option in the middle of the back four was needed, and with the injuries that is now evident. Koscielny is due back after the international break and his return couldn't come sooner.

Chambers could've been a viable option at centre back for the Swansea game. Especially after Monreal's showing in midweek. Chambers had played brilliantly in that position earlier in the season and you would've assumed that after Jenkinson was loaned out that Bellerin would be ready to play. However that doesn't seem to be the case and perhaps we've paid for it considering our last two games.

We'll have to come back after the international break all guns blazing. Our first game back is against Manchester United and a defeat there will mean Wenger is really under pressure, and it will also guarantee a lot of unhappy fans. As if they aren't already unhappy enough.

The teams line-ups:

Swansea: Fabianski, Rangel, Bartley, Williams, Taylor, Ki, Carroll(86), Emnes(66), Sigurdsson, Montero, Bony(76).
Subs: Tremmel, Amat, Tiendalli, Britton(86), Fulton, Barrow(66), Gomis(76).

Arsenal: Szczesny, Chambers(90), Mertesacker, Monreal, Gibbs, Flamini(80), Ramsey(80), Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sanchez, Cazorla, Welbeck.
Subs: Martinez, Bellerin, Wilshere(80), Rosicky, Walcott(80), Podolski, Sanogo(90). 

Referee: Phil Dowd.
Attendance: 20,812. 

No comments:

Post a Comment