Ever since the beginning of this present trophyless era, there has been a persistent series of problems within the Arsenal team which basically seems to be the reason behind The Gunners lack of silverware in recent years.
There are three main components through which these problems arise from and until they are conquered, I’m afraid it might take longer as expected before the trophy drought finally comes to an abrupt end.
Arsenal’s defensive performances pretty much got underway after the road to Paris in 2006. The zonal-marking was employed after this and has been the main reason behind The Gunners’ inability to solidly defend, especially when under pressure.
Tactically, when you tend to mark zonal-mark your opponents, you give them enough space to move the ball around and much needed time to think of how to cause damage.
However, a man-marking approach, with little space off your opponents, will help choke them and cause impatience, which can prompt them to easily give the ball away more easily. This is what I believe the players need to work on. If the midfielders can put in more effort and work tirelessly, things will change for the better.
No defence was capable of holding the likes of Robert Pires, Dennis Bergkamp, Jose Antonio Reyes, Freddie Ljungberg and Thierry Henry during their peak years at Arsenal, simply because they all possessed a great level of technical ability and skill. Arsene Wenger has struggled in recent years to create a similar strike force, but failed largely due to a reason that is still obscure to me (please state below if you know).
A team that defeats Arsenal nowadays uses one simple tactic. They hassle Wenger’s boys while they park the bus, patiently looking for a chance to counter attack. They frustrate Arsenal players to play out of their own will and eventually take the lead through any opportunity they have – The Gunners’ performances at the San Siro last season, where they lost 4-0 and the humiliating 8-2 defeat against Manchester United last year backs my claim.
But when this problem arises, it requires very technical players to create openings for their team-mates under this duress condition. Despite having technical players at Arsenal, this never seems to change.
As the saying goes, only two factors can motivate your action, money or love. Manchester United players, with the exception of few, are average players, but yet they do produce excellent performances. Manchester $hity and Chelsky both motivate their stars with money, and the results are there for us to see. And, apparently, Arsenal players arguably lack both factors.
Unless Arsene Wenger is willing to make tweaks to the club’s wage structure, the players’ love for the club will receive much scrutiny. The kind of spirit unleashed whenever the likes of Steven Gerrard, Henry, Frank Lampard, Paul Scholes, including our very own Jack Wilshere, put on their respective club’s jersey and play/played their hearts out. You will agree with me that if Arsenal had three or four more players that shared the same spirit as Wilshere, Manchester United would have been gunned down last weekend. But it is pathetic to see that the present set of Arsenal players severely lacks the love-factor. Literally, these players are hardly motivated. They may proclaim their love in interviews, but they hardly reveal it on the pitch, especially when it matters most.
I hope Wenger talks real sense into them and make them realise fans are not getting happier every summer – enough of watching our bitter rivals triumph while we bite our fingers in faith.
This article is courtesy of Ayobami’s Blog
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