Wenger, I’ve always been a believer, but stop with all the “mental strength” gubbins, (especially when you’ve also admitted we have no confidence) and please we are not “90% there” and just “missing “10%”. Defensively today we were an absolute shambles, in fact I’ll go through in bullet points.
- Zonal Marking is now working. Especially when you have big strong players like Yakubu and Samba attacking set pieces, get Metersacker/Vermaelen/Gervinho/Song on them asap, you need to blend Zonal with man marking in the modern game, especially at set pieces.
- Stop using van Persie as the focal point striker, he’s not that kind of player, and whilst we’re at it, stop using Gervinho and Walcott as winger-cum-strikers, Theo doesn’t have the brain for it and would operate better feeding off through balls or crosses that he has to beat his man to get to. Utilise Gervinho as a winger, he seems to have a pretty good cross on him, but yeah he can cut in from time to time too, which brings me onto…
- Instill some sort of responsibility into our players, all to often they look to someone else to take on the responsibility of putting a foot in or taking a shot, that needs to stop, looking for another option is fine, but they also need to be able to shoulder the responsibility of doing it for themselves today, that sir is “mental strength”. Alot of people have criticised Gervinho today for shooting instead of passing to van Persie, it may not have worked out but I liked his directness and his willing to try and get the job done for himself, particularly with how wasteful van Persie has been so far this season.
- Quit sticking Arshavin out on the wing, in fact you don’t have to play him every single game. I know he’s our record transfer etc but his strongest performances have been through the middle (not up front). In fact with the players we have a new system is in order, this system is too centred on a Fabregas, which we no longer have. Having a central midfield where we can choose from Song, Frimpong, Wilshere, Ramsey, Arshavin, Arteta and Benayoun is a very good thing. You know that “strength in depth” we’ve been needing? Thats it right there! On the wings we can use Santos (because based on today’s perforamance he makes Clichy look like a world class brick wall centre back) and Miyaichi on the left, inexperienced maybe but you have to start somewhere with Gervinho and Chamberlain on the right. Again thats a little lightweight but theres still options and shuffling and differing formations to suit form, fitness etc. The back line (aside from an actual trustworthy left back) is fine, if they had some form of defensive training and up front pick two from van Persie, Walcott, Park and Chamakh then use the rest of the team to provide them with the individual service they prefer rather than making them adapt to a particular style of play (i.e. last season, expecting Chamakh to play like van Persie, notice how well he’s done when Gibbs/Santos/Walcott/Gervinho have been supplying him in the air?)
I know, this post is all a bit Football Manager, fuck it, I normally hold my tongue and just hope that you’ll fix the issues but with the start to the season being the worst in my living memory (which I’ll admit is as strong as that of a goldfish) things need to be addressed.