Today's 2-1 defeat at White Hart Lane perhaps solidified the reversal in fortunes over the last few years for both clubs. Arsenal have stagnated since going a whole season unbeaten, while Spurs have gained strength, playing in the Champions League and now becoming Premiership regulars in the race for the top four.
Arsenal's recent defeat leaves them 15th after seven games. Arsenal as a club must have expected more from themselves at this stage, at least to appear in the top half of the table. This has been the worst start in Arsenal's history, only registering two wins out of seven and conceding a total of 16 goals while only scoring 10.
In post-game interviews, Arsene Wenger tends to say the same things: "I didn't see it," "We were a bit unlucky," "We dominated the game," etc.
The one he tends to use the most these days would be, "We need to take the positives from the match." I think it's this narrowmindedness which has caused problems at Arsenal.
Wenger needs to focus on the negatives and work harder than ever to solve the problems his team has.
For instance, the defense still does not look like they are working as a unit. You could fit the Titanic in the spaces between the full backs and the centre backs. Also, there is no connection to the midfield.
Wenger has openly stated that he will not be bringing in a defensive coach despite his team's defensive frailties. He must let go of his stubborn ego because he is a major contribution to why Arsenal are sinking in an ever dense ocean.
The team still does not have a vocal leader and this is why organisation cannot exist in the Arsenal team. I see a bunch of individuals trying not to be embarrassed, rather than a team confident of a win. Wenger is not identifying true captains. His last correct pick for the accolade was Viera. Since then, he has just given the armband to star players.
Wenger has to update his scouts or freshen up his opinions on players. Per Mertesacker turns and runs like tank; he actually does more harm than good.
Why Wenger didn't look to purchase two premiership-ready defenders is beyond a mystery. Christopher Samba and Gary Cahill would have been great buys no matter how you look at it.
Scott Parker looked strong for Spurs today and that is another player Wenger has shunned. Unfortunately players like Ramsey, Walcott and Arsharvin are not the players Wenger hoped they would be, therefore he must see that his philosophy and predictions are not always as solid as he would like to think.
Maybe he needs to look at his tactical approach to games. Though Arsenal played better today and a draw would have been a fairer result, the formation and the players used has to be addressed.
Wenger has to look squarely at the negatives and needs to stop hiding from his demons. He needs to look them straight in the eye, admit he needs help and rectify the situation. He needs to concede that his critics may be right and a defensive coach is needed.
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