What are Arsenal doing to avoid painful mega-losses in the new season? Answer: not much as yet!
Two months ago the season finished and there are just three weeks left till the Charity Shield commences. The question that went through my mind this morning is: what has the club done to prevent more embarrassing large defeats by title contenders in the coming season?
To a large extent this is a question about defending. There are two ways of looking at Arsenal’s defending: defending as a team and the defence itself. Defending as a team is as important as the quality of our defenders, but for this post I would like to concentrate on the latter. And for the avoidance of doubt, I see the defence as the GK, the back four and the two deeper laying midfielders.
Against Mansour City away, our defence got significantly weakened after Flamini was substituted in the second half. Against Pool away, the defence had a nightmare from the start and it was even worse against the Chavs away. These were big, big losses that hurt the club, the players and the fans a hell of a lot. I am sure not to be the only one saying that more of these heavy losses in the new season will be unacceptable. Of course, every club can have a bad day in a season, when everything goes wrong and the players get a real spanking. But with heavy losses against the above mentioned teams and a similarly painful one against Everton away in just one season, we cannot use the ‘bad day at the office’ excuse anymore.
Something needs to change.
And the club has not added to our defence with only weeks to go to the new season. Sagna and Fabianski left, and rumours remain strong that the Lion of Flanders is on his way as well. We got Debuchy to replace Sagna at right back, but nobody else has been signed to strengthen our defence.
We have been crying out for more metal and energy in our double-DM pivot and the links with Khedira were promising for a while. But nothing has happened and the momentum seems to have gone. Quality central midfielders – either DM (my preference) or all-round midfielder ala the German rock – are hard to find. I guess we can cope for a while with the Flamini-Ramsey combo and a fit Arteta can add value as well. However, to really make a step forward we need to add real quality and the sooner this happens the quicker the new signing can play himself into the team.
We also still don’t have a replacement for Fabianski, which could bite us in the arse badly at the start of the season. Whoever we will get, they will need to practice with our back four to get to know how we play and there is now very little time left to safeguard our keeper-cover. An injury to Sir Cesny and we could be in trouble.
But just as pressing is the Centre Back situation. Sagna provided cover for BFG but he has now departed, and TV5 might be on his way as well; which leaves us with just a tired/initially unavailable BFG and Koz. One injury or a straight red, and we could be in trouble.
So what is Wenger going to do here?
Is he going to push Ignasi Miquel forward? Or does he have plans for Jenkinson, Nacho Monreal or even Flamini to become back-up CBs? Or is he going to buy? Some might argue that we need a quality replacement for the BFG in the big games anyway, as to give us a defensive plan-B when necessary. The Germans left the BFG out in the final games and they looked stronger for it (as they like to play with a high-line which can leave our Per very exposed) and we might need to do this as well.
So, fine fellow Gooners, let’s be having your views:
What do we need to do to strengthen our defence significantly in order to make painful mega-losses against our competitors a thing of the past?
Written by: TotalArsenal.