Arsene Wenger: Talking Tactics and Transfer Dilemnas

Samuel Mensah@@MensahBoGAnalyst IApril 24, 2011

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 07:  Arsene Wenger (R), Manager of Arsenal sits besides player Cesc Fabregas during a press conference ahead of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match against Barcelona at the Camp Nou stadium on March 7, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

Now it is safe to say Arsenal will not pick up anything for their troubles for the sixth season in a row. Can this be explained by selling or letting quality experience go? Perhaps it can be explained by the move to Emirates Stadium? Is it the lack of height? The terrible defence? The mediocre goalkeepers? Referees? Injuries? Set pieces?

The answer is that every one of these factors contributed. Half of them are situations every other manager has to contend with. The other half are the things the manager is supposed to be in charge of controlling.

Most blame should lie with Wenger and not the players. It was Wenger himself who heaped so much expectation onto (not so) young shoulders. Most of the players have not been good enough and should never have had such a run out in a team of Arsenal's prowess.

Such players include; Denilson, Almunia, Fabianski, Diaby, Rosicky, Eboue, Bendtner/Chamakh and Vela. There are more players that could sneak into this list however that would render Wenger without any type of squad.

Wenger's biggest enemy is himself and this means it can be beaten, if only he will allow us to help him. The first thing that needs work, and this goes without saying, is the defence.

Contrary to what some optimists say, Vermaelen is not the reason for this. The Arsenal defence was not great when he was in it, however I will admit it has worsened a great deal in his absence. He had one good season and that was riddled with a few mistakes and penalty giveaways. His goals did make his season look spectacular but the defence was still weak.

The full backs, the centre halfs and the goalkeeper all seem to be playing for different teams. Very bad organisation is to blame, as well as a lack of trust between the players. A unit they are not.

It is clear to anyone with half a football brain that a goalkeeper such as Shay Given is needed. A centre back such as Cahill, Samba or Jagielka and a midfielder such as Scott Parker would do more than paper over Arsenal's short comings. Not to mention these names have proven premiership experience.

I have been championing these names for years, only to be told that they are not good enough for Arsenal. Well, that is extremely funny considering the clowns who wear the shirt today. The team perhaps need another striker, a player who can score 20 goals and last a season almost unscathed.

This brings me to my final point and perhaps the most important. The formation must be tinkered with in order to make Arsenal appear more menacing. The 4-3-3 looks flashy but leaves Van Persie upfront on his own and the wing backs isolated under our attack.

Since the change of formation, Wenger has failed miserably and has made his tactics easier to read. He must look at going back to a 4-4-2, or a variation of, to protect the defence and to also support and offer different ideas to attack. Too often is a ball crossed into nobody in the box.

Van Persie is world class, and it is because of this that he is able to make a success out of the hard job Wenger gives him. For me he is in the same ilk as Dennis Bergkamp, the difference being Bergkamp was never used as a lone striker or a target man. Van Persie needs support so that if he drops off and plays the great football he does, he will also know he has a partner up front who will be looking to pick off the scraps in the box.

Premiership opposition should be spread open and to make these opportunities you need players who will hug the touchline, take players on and cross to an attacker who loves to get on the end of things. Arsenal's current stagnant way of playing football is easy to read and is in danger of becoming boring itself. How ironic.

There are a lot of issues with Arsenal FC and they include the quiet fans as well. If only people had listened to the warning signs and rallied for change. I fear too much damage has been done.

Cue a potential exodus, ie. Fabregas and more.