So Arsenal, new season - same situation, selling our 2 most influential players. But wait, 1 second…mertesacker, santos, Podolski, Giroud, Cazorla? ALL 25+ as well as being full internationals; something has clearly gotten into the Arsenal board. They’ve got so thirsty for success that they’ve ignored THR Brita purifier and drank the hard “investment” water straight. Yay to chloride! I could sit here discussing football economy using many more metaphors, but I lack a passion for economics which then leads onto not pursuing extra curricular information. In that same breath I won’t delve into the RvP & Song sagas. Both were outstanding for us last season but e move on & focus on those that have stayed and be, rightfully, excited by those that have joined in the last year & over the summer. Now to the example at hand, Sunderland. An EXTREMELY frustrating yet inspiring performance. Considering the match, a win was nothing more than a morale booster.
Putting matters into context, we had a Mertesacker - 30*something pace on FIFA, highline?! LOL I don’t think so! (In 3 little women voice) - the couple of times we were countered in the first half, it was clear that was a tactical myth.
NOW, when a defence is deep, by default the whole team drops and usually relies on a target man; PODOLSKI? (again LOL). We’re Arsenal & in the same way RvP became a “target attacking slingshot” for ou widemen - Wenger (and Steve Bould ) knows. It took 30+ mins for the team to truly get it, but get it they did.
The central midfield area post-song, especially Diaby & Arteta took on a more defensive responsibility. Don’t forget, although he was not a signed for his defensive capabilities, Santi can play there.
So yer tactics, playing deep etc… USUALLY invites pressure - Sunderland declined; so we he had HUGE gaps between the lines. However, due to our dynamic, ball-playing tekked out midfield, it’s no longer the job clencher for our CF to drop & collect. The adaptable, more dynamic, responsible and ball retaining midfield now collect, distribute & cover in both attacking & defensive capacities. Santi & Podolski’s development in understanding this during the game, complimented this. Often in each others way due to a clash of Podolski dropping deep & Santi being well…Cazorla. Towards the end of the half and before he was taken off, Podolski was available but not necessarily deep, hence his chances. Diaby demonstrated with his first half effort, to both the win-win situation of a free-dynamic midfield, combined with a forwards only having to be concerned with making runs to support or penetrate = opportunities. Opportunities that were missed, but swings & roundabouts is the term I believe sums up my attitude towards not finishing. Just know that Giroud’s movement to make the space and chance from Santi’s pass, created a blend of J.J. Abrams Cloverfield trailer & the second coming. Pure unadulterated optimistic anticipation. (That movement was not seen since the henry came back and left - even arshavin got involved)
So life after RvP & Song = a more tactically respsonsible midfield with an adaptable and penetrative front line. A front line that will now be more responsible for getting themselves goals. I’d rather 4-6 players, especially from CM getting 10-20 goals, than 1 on 30+ while the rest are -10. More threats, more decisive and more direct, it might take a couple of matches to get back into the swing of things, but I don’t mind waiting 2/3 games to get the Tarzan swag back into our game.
The depth in our squad, due to most of our youth players getting match time due to injuries or just fiath, now means we have quality. To finish 3/4 in the past 2 seasons will have been both educational & inspiring, considering we had beaten ALL the domestic champions by the time we were knocked out by AC Milan in the the champions league within the year - no slouches.
We have youth, quality, experience and depth. Invincibles? Well we’re yet to lose a game 0L 0W 1D/38 :D We have every right to be confident in our ambitions. The questions begging for another ST & DEF Mid player are for another time, but considering the current squad and our trophy cabinet in the past 7 years, be happy with the way things are looking.
Now, onto Stoke…