This is The Arsenal and we are not scared of anyone, right?!
Nobody likes losing, but nothing is worse than getting beaten by the Mancs whilst the whole team is oozing a gigantic inferiority complex: a collective lack of belief from the moment the first kick is made. I hate that more than anything else. How many times have we gone to Old Trafford in the last few years with that same resignation; that same anticipation of imminent defeat? Simply unacceptable!
Vermaelen is no leader
I have said it a number of times in recent weeks: Thomas Vermaelen is not a leader. He is a specialist: a bloody brilliant CB who on his day is simply unbeatable. He is, however, not a leader and the added responsibility to captain the team has made him error-prone, insecure and lost at sea at times. In the big games, Thomas has made a number of mistakes which have cost us in more than one sense. He should be oozing calm and organise the team; set the right examples and fill everyone with confidence. He is doing the opposite, and I reckon this will not change anytime soon.
There is an added complication, as others have already pointed out previously: the best CB pairing is probably Mert-Koz. But as TV is our captain, Arsene has left himself with a bit of a CB-selection pickle: he simply has to select Vermaelen even when it would be best to give preference to Koscielny.
Arsene has got to sort this out as soon as possible: there are better options for the captaincy within our team, and he would get back again a specialist warrior in TV.
Arsene needs to re-inject some much needed va-va-voom into the team
Our 4-3-3 formation with Pod-Giroud-Ramsey (as a false winger/fourth midfielder) is totally not working. Arsenal are so toothless at the moment that we would struggle to make a dent in a cream-cake. Why Wenger is persevering with those three up-front only he knows. Podolski has not made an impact on the game since the end of the inter-lull. For me he is the perfect CF for Arsenal, and a lot better than Giroud. Giroud gets no service at the moment, though, and I cannot see this change for the foreseeable future. Arsenal are simply not a team to play a classical CF up-front, and I don’t understand why we bought him to play in a 4-3-3 system without proper wingers.
Now is time for Arsene to inject some va-va-voom; to spice things up a bit. It is of paramount importance to sort out the front-three situation as soon as possible. If it was me, I would start with Ox-Giroud-Theo upfront, or even better: Ox-Pod-Theo. Even Pod-Theo-Ox could work, as they all add speed, attacking menace, unpredictability and some much needed new thrust: some va va bloody voom!
It is time for Arsene to re-inject some belief by taking a bit of risk and trying something new.
Jack is our hope
We have Jack back – although suspended for the next PL game now – and together with Cazorla and Arteta, he can boss the midfield. For me, he was the man of the match against the Mancs, as he was setting an example to many of his colleagues by battling away and now and again putting in a strong tackle. He had attitude and was fighting for his and the club’s honour.
And that’s exactly the spirit we need to get back to The Arsenal we know and are proud of: the one that is feared and admired by our opponents at the same time.