Former Gunners May Be Struggling Because They Were Made for Arsenal

Zip ZoolanderCorrespondent IJanuary 6, 2009

With Mathieu Flamini and Alexander Hleb failing to make the same impact at their clubs that they did at Arsenal, it is argued Arsene Wenger sold them by identification of a declining career. However, such players may be found struggling because they were made by Arsenal for Arsenal.

The main case being Ashley Cole, who was switched to left back after beginning his career in attack. The transition was so successful he forced his way into the senior squad putting in some great performances which arguably made him best left back in the world.

Jose Mourinho signed Ashley Cole as he tried to complete his team with the best players to fit his system. However Cole never hit the same form as at Arsenal; his defending was as good as ever but was used to playing short passes and then breaking forward, failing to fully get to grips with crossing and long balls. There are signs this season he is adjusting but just old habits do die large and at times looks to try and play the way at Arsenal.

Mathieu Flamini was signed by Milan after his man of the match performances against them and seen as the natural successor to Gattuso. This means playing on the right or left of a central midfield diamond and basically running around the pitch to try and get the ball.

The problem is he is a defensive midfielder but the with players like Pirlo and Emersonin the position, their definition of such a defensive midfielder is different. Playing in a more advanced position exposes his average passing ability.

Alexander Hleb is also playing in a more advanced role on the left of a forward three rather than the creative winger at Arsenal. Both players have the undoubted ability to make an impact (even Flamini regardless of his one "great" season) it’s just a matter of either adjusting to their new roles and respective league or playing in their correct position.

If it is the former the clubs may even have to expect that they are not going to get the same players they saw at Arsenal.