A Second Look at Arsenal Vs. Boca Juniors.
After taking my night of work and thinking about the game I was able to come to some opinionated conclusions that I think many will agree with me on. I was able to think about the game and come up with a couple of positives about the game and a couple of major negatives that I think need to be addressed for Arsenal to be successful this year.
There were some great performances today by Frimpong, Wilshere, Gervinho and a few others. The combination play between Van Persie and Gervinho was quite brilliant and it seems they are very much in sync! The team had some good fitness and we were even able to see some the places we need to improve on as a team.
Many are saying that we need to buy a center back pronto to deal with our set pieces. There are 15-16 guys in the box, maybe 1 will help but it won’t fix the problem. Bringing Samba will cause more problems than fix as well with him not really fitting into the Arsenal style center back it will hurt us more than help us in the run of play. Our problem is our team defense and the guys not giving everything they have to put their head on the ball. It’s like at the other end when we get a cross in, who is willing to sacrifice everything to get that ball in the net…usually nobody which is why we’re always going for the perfect goal! Our guys can’t hand that responsibility off to someone else and its weird to say but on defensive corners, Adebayor was always a beast!
Our quality in depth is not much better than last year. Many of the players that are leaving aren’t being replaced and it will hurt us in the long run. Frimpong as a back up is fabulous and will give Song some much needed rest during the year, and will have a big role to play when the African Cup of Nations comes up. We will also have Coquelin to help out there as well. Our mids, we have Wilshere, Nasri (maybe) Ramsey, Rosicky, Fabregas (maybe), Diaby if he’s ever healthy, and Lansbury if he gets his chance. We already need to strengthen there as Rosicky hasn’t been able to get back to his best, Diaby is always hurt and we still have question marks over Nasri and Fabregas. Wenger says he likes Mata but he really needs to buy before someone comes in and takes him away…Spurs don’t have a chance but other teams may.
Our forwards we have Arshavin, Gervinho, Van Persie, Chamakh, Vela, Walcott, possibly Miyaichi, and Afobe is in the squad for now. There’s a need to buy with Arshavin not always at his best, Gervinho will be at AFN Vela and Chamakh aren’t top quality and Miyaichi may not get a permit. If we do buy Mata he may come in and play winger more than attacking midfielder but our depth isn’t great especially when Walcott is hurt now, we don’t know how long Van Persie will make it and if we lose those two we could be in trouble.
Finally the back line…well we saw today what our starting Center backs will be at the beginning of the season. Kos and Verm look great together and Kos now has a year under his belt to work with. I’m hoping Wenger will start tomorrow with Vermaelen and Bartley but not counting on it. So with Squillaci and Djourou we have two average defenders when we need above average to great defenders. Bartley needs to be given a chance as Squillaci has failed time and time again. If Vermaelen gets hurt again we cannot go another year with those three running things. Squillaci is a liability as he not only plays bad, but also makes his partner look worse than they are as well. Not sure why we’re going for Jagielka though…
Finally, two things I was very disappointed about at the game today was:
1. Giving Samir Nasri the armband: You said it yourself after the game Arsene, you need to make sure both Fabregas and Nasri is committed to the cause. If you can’t tell that Nasri isn’t committed I don’t really understand, because we can all tell he isn’t and you even get to speak with him, we just watch! He looks like a completely new and lackluster player. He doesn’t fight for the ball, he doesn’t have that spark any more. I felt like it was more of an attempt to get him to be committed or sign a new contract by handing him the armband. Sell him and bring in someone who cares!
2. The substitutions Wenger made were poor and maybe they were because of tomorrow but two I’m quite unhappy about are Squillaci and Eboue. Last year at the end of the year I saw Wenger pull of Squillaci two games in a row half way through the game. Wenger only subs his center backs in EPL when they are hurt but he obviously lost his faith in him…what restored it. You know what your going to get with Squillaci so why not give the Young Gun a chance to prove himself. He’s already played in the Europa League against tough competition, he can handle it.
Second was Eboue…why? he was completely invisible the entire time he was on for one thing and secondly…you’ve told him he can leave! Why are you playing him?! Afobe is a player for the future but yet your not going to let him play, or give him the opportunity to play in a situation like this!? Bothers the crap out of me that you sub in a player you’ve given permission to leave.
Either way, we’ll look to see a better outing tomorrow against the New York Red Bulls and Thierry Henry! Here’s my hopeful lineup for tomorrow!
Sagna Bartley Verm Gibbs
Gervinho RvP Juan Mata (jk) Lansbury!