Arsenal Crisis: where is the hope for this season?
At the last match of last season arsenal beat Chelsea to win the 2016/2017 FA cup. Did same again at the curtain raiser for the new season to win the charity shield. With two new signings made very early in the transfer market. So many analysts and pundits declared that arsenal has a better quality and depth in squad than any other title contenders especiallyin attack and rightly so.
Wenger brought in Alex Lacazette a top proven goal scorer in the last 5 years from french league, added to a pool of Alexis Sanchez, Giroud, Welbeck, Walcott, Lucas Perez, backed up with Ozil, Ramsey who also score goals. Pundits were quick to say his problem was going to be that of selection and how to give each player a decent play time and keep them happy.
So, how did Arsenal suddenly go from having the most prolific attacking profile in EPL to having the most shambolic transfer window of all the top six teams in the league?
Juan Pablo, former Aston Villa striker in an interview some years back, said; “there is no truth in football”, when probed further he explained “in football when you win or do excellent you are the best and if in the next game, you loose you automatically become the worst”.
Liverpool beat Arsenal 4:0 in what is arguably the most disgraceful Arsenal show in recent years. The focus and lips of every pundit was arsenal needed to sign every good player in the market. Suddenly the decent squad at Wenger’s disposal disappeared. Lists of players needed by Wenger were flying all over. Wenger should have been fired unsurprisingly took over the airwaves. These players are not good enough, you can go on and on.
Like the always say, ‘things change quickly in football’
Looking at the situation at arsenal, obviously there exists a huge issue, which for me doesn’t bother much on quality, rather mostly things like heart issues, desire and approach. Maybe promises not kept, unwillingness to perform, team selection and playing positions, have brought the team the criticism they deservedly have today.
The good news however, is that all these can be addressed. Wenger had insisted that he will not sale Sanchez and will like to have OX in Arsenal for the long term. He was doubted, events on the last week of the transfer market proved he was serious. I personally feel he was never going to sale Alexis. I do not also feel the squad in Arsenal is bad. Maybe he needed to sign a warrior Defensive-midfielder, but when did Coqueline suddenly become bad, bearing in mind his heroics of a year ago before his battle with a few injuries and suspensions. Some said he needed a centre-half which won’t hurt, but truth be told Arsenal has a pretty decent number of quality in that position plus the tion of Sead.
All Wenger needs to do in my opinion, is address his players, own up to his mistakes of the opening three games of the season, look again at the team selection and tactics which the international break has afforded him time to do and start the season all over.
The big issue for me was that Arsenal misused the pre-season, Wenger instead of playing with his likely season-starters he rather used it to look for youngsters to be promoted to first team. The team started the season without cohesion and understanding. Ozil and Zhaka are still trying to figure out the runs of Lacazette, contrary to most opinion, what ruined Arsenal most so far has been misplaced passes and miscommunication which are things normally worked out during pre-season.
Wenger had always insisted he had too many players (33), and he needed to trim the squad which he said is unmanageable which might be why they started the season chaotically. Some of the squad players were either sold or allowed to go elsewhere on loan. Wenger now probably has a ‘manageable squad’ we now await the new Arsenal.
Wenger and his team have survived this kind of catastrophe in the past bouncing back really strong. Recently they came back to win 11 out of 12 games including wins over City, Man united and Chelsea. If Wenger can manage to get Alexis to really play for Arsenal again, work out his team selection and tactics and win back the heart of his players, I feel the quality at Arsenal can compete.
Until then, a lot is left to be seen.