Arsenal’s Sleepy Display The Perfect Wake Up Call?

The game against Sheffield United still baffles me – the lack of any actual desire was the biggest disappointment but does this display highlight some real problems with the team?

1. Our attitude against ‘lower’ teams in the league.
We’ve lost at Manchester City, Fulham, Sheffield United , Bolton Wanderers and West Ham United – but won at Old Trafford and drew against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The fact is Arsenal need to quickly learn that they have to play their best in EVERY game, not just against the top teams. But is the problem with Wenger and his team selection or with the players on the pitch?

2. Our ‘phyiscal’ presence.
This arguement has been put forward by many Arsenal fans, especially since Vieira, Edu and Campbell left. Since the team were roughed up at Old Trafford a couple of seasons ago Arsenal haven’t been the same at all against the more ‘physical’ teams in the league. Bolton away seems to be a game Arsene can no longer win and we usually struggle in away matches unless it’s against a team that wants to play football like Manchester United or Chelsea.

3. Our squad players.
I’m not sure how Aliadiere actually gets into the Arsenal first eleven even with all the injuries. He wasn’t good enough for West Ham, Celtic or Wolves so how can he even be considered to be in the Arsenal squad? Surely players like Bendtner and Stokes deserve a shot before Aliadiere? Baptista looks like he’s going to need another year to settle which Wenger probably won’t give him. Losing Jose Antonio Reyes looks like a big mistake with Ade and Henry out at the moment, especially without replacing him with someone of the same class.

4. Fielding players out of position.
Playing Julio Baptista on the left wing was surprising, since we were told that he started his career in defensive midfield and progressed into an attacking midfielder and centre-forward. This video shows his goal scoring exploits for Real Madrid only last season – with injuries to Henry and Adebayor wouldn’t it have been a good idea to play ‘The Beast’ upfront instead of the useless Aliadiere?


5. The lack of Plan B.
We play intricate passing football which is great and probably some of the most entertaining football in Europe, but Arsenal need to learn how to dig out a result. On a wet, sticky pitch in the likes of Sheffield or Bolton in the winter months our passing game simply won’t work. This was highlighted against Sheffield United when Phil Jagielka was untested when he was in goal for the last 35 minutes – Arsenal still tried to pass the ball into the net instead of shooting!


7 thoughts on “Arsenal’s Sleepy Display The Perfect Wake Up Call?

  1. One of the problems we have is not the lack of plan b or physical presence but the fact that when teams play us at their home ground they actually expect to beat us. A couple of seasons ago most teams would have been happy with a home draw against us. Unless we get teams to fear us again we will not win the league again. As witnessed by chelskis recent results when teams feel they can get a result their mindset changes and they are not beaten before they get on the pitch. T
    Too many of our players are not good enough and lack the quality to finish the chances the team creates and while this lasts we will continue to suffer against all teams. If we had been more efficient in our finishing we could have won at least 3 of the games we lost this season ie west ham man city and sheff utd. And against Bolton a draw , The only game we have been outplayed was fulham.
    Another point is that we have lost the ability to salvage a draw from a game we continue to lose.

    Wenger must realise that teams have the right to play anyway they please and that is what make the league such a challenge. where else can the bottome team give the top teams a game.

  2. Baptista certainly looks like he’s got an eye for goal, and because of his strike rate for Real (impressive despite limited appearances) and for Seville you would have thought Wenger would have put him upfront with Van Persie.

    But it’s the same old story with Aliadiere. What the hell is the guy still doing at the club? Seriously, it’s a huge mystery. Someone told me the other day that after Freddie, he is the second longest serving Arsenal player.

    To me that is ridiculous! To think this ‘player’ is getting paid around £15k/£20′ per week out of the fans money is disgusting!

    Why the hell won’t Arsene get rid??

  3. No matter how much we complain about other teams roughing us up and winning the ‘physical’ battle, the goals scored against us are proper goals.Goals which are scored cuz of good attacking play or defensive lapses.As for sheffield,i think the pitch, combined with poor passing, did us more than anything else. It was pathetic.

  4. It’s just struck me – Aliadiere is obviously Wenger’s lovechild and he must support his illegitimate son by keeping him on the books at Arsenal until his child-support is fully paid off!

    Why else would a player who is WORSE than Francis Jeffers still be at the club?

    Harsh? It was supposed to be!

  5. get off aliadiere’s back. he is a back up player not a first 11 player and is there to come in when we have injuries. there were literally no other fit players available against Sheff utd as witnessed by Denilson coming on as sub. the trouble is that team the other night had a scratch defence, a scratch midfield and a scratch strikeforce. players like aliadiere can come in and do a job when you have lots of strikers out injured but the rest of the team is basically full strength. as it was, every department of that team was young, inexperienced and not as good as the first string. it was a step too far to be able to compete against a fired up sheff utd with kids that play reserve football the rest of the year.
    the same goes for flamini. he can come in a cover lots of positions when he has 9 or 10 other first teamers around him, you hardly miss the injured player, but when he is there with others like him then the step down in quality is noticeable.
    we had 11 injuries the other night and every single one of them would have made the team stronger had they been fit. I maintain that if you take 11 first teamers out of chelsea or man u they would also lose the games we have been losing.
    its not realistic to have a second 11 that is as strong as your first 11. no team, not even chelsea, could do that.

  6. I like Aliadiere. Bendtner and Lupoli are at the stage Ali was 3 yrs ago – then he got shipped around, injured, loaned again….. So he’s made 2 appearances this year! Get over it – Adebayor scored about 3 in his first 20 appearances. Van Persie didn’t score for weeks. He is still showing classy ability.

    My belief is that A) Natural scorers have not been replaced by like (Rosicky & Hleb). B) Experience hasn’t been replaced, and the kids don’t turn up. C) Physical presence – we’re tiny now, and can’t own sections of the pitch. D) A recently replayed Ferguson interview talking about his current ‘babes’ (Becks, Giggs & Co) said “I’m lucky to have not only some talented youngsters coming through – but player with a great work ethic – because that is equally important” You can see Kolo’s frustration these days – he’s under pressure and needs some help. Perhaps this team is good enough – but a mid20s leader in CM would be a huge bonus right now.


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