Arsenal: 4 Ways They Might Have Killed Their EPL Title Hopes
As an Arsenal fan, I have watched almost every game of the Gunners this season. I enjoyed the period when they were winning by large score margins, especially when they beat Barcelona in the Champions League first league round of sixteen clash (it wasn't a huge score, it was a huge win).
Also I watched them when they got kicked out of three competitions in less than two weeks and when they drew two successive games which should have been easy victories. These were all omens which were caused by certain flaws in the team.
As the season draws to a close, Arsenal winning the Premier League sounds a little bit unrealistic especially with the form Manchester United is in.
Arsenal's season might be trophy-less once again due to some faults which could have been avoided.
No Plan B
Arsenal has one of the most predictable game plays in the world of football. This is not bad, but when Wenger doesn't know any other style of play other than the worshipped "tiki taka" then, the team certainly has problems.
Arsenal are of course known for their amazing way of playing the beautiful game which to me is simply passing the ball around perfectly. They have mastered this style of play so well that rumors have it that Barcelona learned it from them. Very impressive! but what else does Arsenal know apart from smooth passing and missing glorious chances? nothing! no matter the condition, they always try to play tiki taka. It wouldn't work all the time!
In the game against Newcastle which ended in a staggering 4-4 draw, the lack of back-up tactics destroyed Arsenal's four goal lead. After Diaby was sent off in the game, Arsenal should have taken a more defensive approach towards the game, but they didn't, they still wanted to add more goals being a man down and that certainly didn't work out. Newcastle almost won the game 5-4 and I have to admit, Arsenal were lucky to survive that.
Even though Eboue was brought on in the game, he didn't help much defensively and so did the other wingers. This takes me to my next point.
Note: "Parking the bus" is not anti-football or cheating, they're simple tactics.
The Wingers Just Wouldn't Help Defensively
If there's any reason why Barcelona are currently that good, it's probably because every player helps both in the defense and in the attack, even the almighty Messi defends.
Anyway, somewhere in North London, some players are just too big to defend. This has been a huge problem for the Gunners. The forward players allow pressure to be mounted on the defenders and Alexander Song. They rarely try to help out.
In the defense, Clichy and Sagna always have to mark 2-3 wingers on their own. Nasri, Theo Walcott and Arshavin will be no where to be seen. They literally live in the opposition's half.
Andrei Arshavin by the way has started tracking back (miracle!). In the Blackburn game, he made a superb last ditch to deny them a glorious opportunity.
Chamakh Wasn't Played Frequently
The Moroccan has been impressive so far this season, especially in the early part of the season. Unfortunately, his impressive stint came to halt after the return of the in-form Van Persie.
There is no doubt that that Van Persie has been in solid form. Anyway, there is no harm in partnering him with Chamakh. Chamakh provides a much needed height and physical presence in the Arsenal attack.Due to his absence, hundreds of crosses had been wasted in the the opposition's eighteen yard box. Even in some games, Arsenal tried to limit crosses, and simply passed their way into the attack because headers aren't one of Van Persie's main strengths. This wouldn't have happened if Chamakh was played more often along with Van Persie. This definitely opens up more options for Arsenal style of play. Van Persie for grounders and Chamakh for the air.
Arsene Wenger probably bought him because he was French, not because he had talent, because he doesn't.
Squillaci has been nothing short of disappointing for Arsenal this season. He has probably one of the main culprits responsible for Arsenal's downfall in some games.
He hasn't adapted to the hustle and bustle of the Premier league and doesn't look like doing so in the near future.
Due to Djorou's injury, Arsenal will have to see more of the French man. He has caused a lot havoc already and might still have a lot more damage to inflict on the team. Wenger can do the club a favor by selling him and getting a much more better defender in the transfer season.