Arsenal’s Weakness part 2: Midfield and Wingers
As you read this morning Arsenal have a problem caused much by their Center Backs hesitation to step to the ball. For the second part I want to focus on the midfield and forwards because there are some players who are gettinlg some undeserved stick from fans. I want to look at a few of these players and see what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong.
Andrey Arshavin – Everyone is giving him a bad time about him not working hard enough, and not tracking back enough. Now I will admit, he’s lost a bit of his zest and by a little I mean almost all of it. He looks uninterested and I won’t be surprised to see him back in Russia for the start of next season. My problem with the fans right now is them asking Arshavin to track back all the way to help Clichy and he should…to a point.
Arshavin is a winger, not a midfielder. His position is to attack! Think of it this way: Arshavin is a striker who stays on the left side, Walcott is a striker who plays on the right side. Arshavin should be helping out in the defense, for about 1/2 the field. Once his at midfield he shouldn’t just give up but he should definitely not be defending close to our 18. If Arshavin is around the 18, and Walcott gets sucked back in as well we’re as good as pinned in our own half. He’s not meant to be that far back, he’s supposed to be stay up front on the left and attack, that is what a winger does.
Most of you are thinking, :well he still doesn’t work hard enough to get the ball.” Occasionally yes, but thats usually when he’s just lost it other than that he does work fairly hard but his attacking has gone down severely. While he may have many assists this year, he did lose his starting spot and its hard to say he’s done well when his assist in that one game was his only contribution.
The reason that Arsenal play a 4-3-3 is so that the wingers don’t have to come back and defend, we have 3 centrally located mid-fielders. When it comes to the left Wilshere is there to help out Clichy, Song slides over towards Wilshere and Ramsey/Fabregas/Nasri/whoever is playing behind the striker can move back into the midfield to where Song is and should be in an open area for when the ball returns to Arsenal. Our two holding mid-fielders are there basically to fill in for whoever has gone out of position or to help cover for the outside backs. If our holding mid-fielders don’t work with the rest of the team, then there are holes everywhere which is why Denilson lost his place. He didn’t work hard enough to fill in those spots. I’ve always thought of Denilson as more of an attacker than a holding mid-fielder type though.