Most Arsenal bloggers are writing about Wenger, Guardiola and potential signings. Obviously these 3 things are big issues at Arsenal right now but in reality it doesn’t look like Wenger is leaving in the near future which leaves the Guardiola point mute for the time being and we have 4 games before the January transfer window that we need to try and win.
It is clear to me that whilst faces need to be added in January, we need to address the current situation which is the need for points to push us up the league. Our 4 fixtures are Reading, Wigan away and then West Ham and Newcastle at home. All four games winnable and I think a haul of 9 or 10 points from the 4 games should be the minimum and 12 would surely see us in the top four come the new year.
We need to shake things up with the team and try a few new things out as it has been obvious this season with only 11 wins in 25 games that teams have worked out a way to combat Arsenal and minimise the way we play. Here are a few things that after looking at the last few games I feel would help us out.
1) Stop playing Ramsey as a RWF, Wenger plays him there to help us out on the defensive side of things but in reality Ramsey has none of the attributes to a RWF and inhibits the team. He can’t dribble past an opponent, can not cross for Giroud and when he gets the ball out wide usually just passes it straight back. Wenger is trying this after our great run of 7 wins with Yossi out wide last season. Yes Yossi out wide did add balance as he is a great technical player but Yossi could dribble past opponents and lose a man if needs be. Ramsey can not play this role. I was upset to see Ramsey start out wide against Bradford, a team we should wipe the floor with we shouldn’t be adding balance to midfield but should be playing the Ox to run at defenders and scare them straight.
2) Gervinho is not a CF, again he doesn’t have the attributes. Yes we are short of strikers but why play Gervinho when Podolski played 2 seasons for Cologne as a striker and knows the role. Gervinho can’t head, his hold up play and first touch is non-exsistent. On his day he can be a useful winger, though he haven’t seen his day for a while, but he has never been a strong forward. He scored two goals against Southampton, yes but he has missed numerous more including the sitter against Bradford. If Giroud needs resting play Podolski or even give Walcott a chance as though Walcott is similar to Gervinho in that he can’t head or hold up the ball he does have a strong finish.
3) Give Coquelin more game time. Against Bradford I thought in the first half he was our best player. He regularly skipper two or three short passes by playing a long ball out wide. With Walcott/Chamberlain out wide this could be deadly as could give them the time and space in a 1 on 1 situation to beat his man and get the ball in. Coquelin adds defensive steel as well we being an impressive “ballhawk”. When Wenger sold Song he said he didn’t buy a replacement as Coquelin would develop into the role, well he hasn’t given Coquelin many opportunities.
4) Make substitutions earlier. Pundits always comment that Wenger waits until at least the 65th minute for his first substitution usually, if things aren’t going well try and impact things earlier. Ferguson and Mancini regularly make half time subs and Mancini has done so even in the first half. Don’t leave it too late to put on a second striker or get some pace out wide.
5) Give a formation change a chance. Sometimes teams set up so well that our passing the ball around and trying to get the ball behind doesn’t work. We then occasionally chuck the ball into the box and it’s just Giroud there against 3 defenders. Go 4-4-2 get the ball in a bit earlier and cause some mayhem, Giroud thrives on balls into the box and Podolski loves to be getting in at the back post. 4-3-3 probably suits us most with the players we have but we need more flexibility.
6) Anymore performances like Bradford and drop players. As our squad is thin some players don’t have the fear of a bad performance could see them miss 3 or 4 games as someone else may come in and take their spot. Even if we have to play Eisfield or Gnabry players need to realize that mistakes and lack of effort will not be accepted. We have Wilshere and Rosicky back so have players to rotate in CM and with Walcott, Chamberlain, Gervinho and Podolski we can rotate out wide if needs be.
What do you think about these ideas and do you have anymore ideas that could be implemented in our next 4 games?
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