HOW TO FIX IT……….RAMBO OUT!………RAMBO IN!………AND WE ARE IN BUSINESS!
Once again the dream seem about to be shredded and Arsenal fans are huddled together seeking warmth from their very cold bodies. The sky is overcast, and dark shadows of doubt are beginning to appear. 11 games to go and many have started looking nervously over their shoulders wondering if its another nail biting struggle for a fourth place finish. “Can it be fixed?” they are asking as they search each other’s faces, eyes refusing to meet eyes.
Per is way way safer than Gabby. Raw determination pales before intelligence. I here rest my case on this issue.
Rambo’s will and determination to run into the opposition’s box creating a sudden overload is without equal within our squad. It is a vital attribute treasured in football. Rambo also has a wide range of technical skills as well as a huge engine. Because of these latter qualities we, including apparently Monsieur Wenger, were shepherded into believing that a versatile role ( B2B) hangs perfectly on him. B2B is a role that is delicately poised between defensive and offensive duties. What many of us don’t fully recognize is that defensive ability has everything to do with attitude, almost.
First and foremost a defender must be able to recognize danger to his team, actual or potential. Secondly that recognition must cause energize the defender into a countering initiative. Observe Rambo very well and you will see clearly that energy courses through him when he is pushing forward into enemy territory, but tracking backwards he looks drained of energy. In contrast, think of Bellerin tracking back, or Nacho, or Coquelin, not to talk of the CBs. The difference is stark. In short, Rambo, despite his large repertoire of skills lacks the true defenders awareness and attitude and instead is an amazingly committed attacking beast. Playing him B2B therefore means the balance of the team is skewed very much against defence. We all know that the possible costs of one man less in the defence far out ways the possible gains of one man extra in attack, so that if there has to be any such skewing it ought to be in the other direction.
Is it a glass half full or half empty? Is it Rambo out quickly or Rambo the unfortunate victim of a gross misuse? Just imagine darling Ozil given a huge defensive responsibility or rather don’t try to imagine it. Is Rambo a hero vilified? It’s all balanced on a knife edge. I want thim out and I want him in!?? That’s me of course.
Quite often in solving one problem, another is created. If Rambo is removed who can effectively replaces him in that pivot role, Santi being still unavailable. If he has to be reintroduce somewhere else where is he to be placed and who goes. The latter task appears easier, so I will start there.
I have made reference to Ramsey’s impressive qualities capped by his fairly unique (as far as our team is concerned) ability to cause unexpected overload by his intelligent late runs into the opposition box. He definitely is a good material for a place in our front four. #10 is out because the untouchable Ozil is there. #9 is also out because his skill sets don’t tally with that position. Wide right? Ramsey hasn’t got pace( speed). He also likes drifting inside which leaves the ball on his weaker left foot. The high point of his play is his runs into the box, but having to come from the right side of the field constrains his ability to finish a ball laid to him with his stronger right foot. Wide right therefore does not maximize his huge potentials. The only position remaining (front 4) is wide left but Alexis is there!
Alexis is yet to find his form with nearly thee quarters of the season gone. Or is he actually fully in form but completely neutralized by epl defenders who have wizened up to his game from the wide left position? The defenders know that he would cut in. They also know that they cannot do anything to stop that. So they leave him alone to cut in. Then they pressure him, quite often from all over the places knowing fully well that he is unsighted to give a pass with eyes fully on the ball, fruitlessly intent on forcing out a space to have a crack at goal. This play repeats itself with such monotonous regularity it’s now almost painfull to watch.
Sanchez has a wide range of mesmerizing techniques and it is a pity that he is constrained to operate in a narrow band that has been so well found out. From the center as a front man Sanchez would be able to employ his full range of dazzling techniques. Those tecniques heighten in potency in high pressure areas of in and around the box, and because his style elicits fouls from the opposition, penalty kicks in our favour, amongst other calls, would to be regularly guaranteed.
Sanchez can also operate effectively from the wide right position where he has to employ a different set of skills, that the opposition is yet not familiar with. You have noticed that his sideway-swing footed shots are much weaker than when he puts his laces on the ball with forward-swings. It Is of interest to know that different groups of muscles controls those two different tecniques of hitting the ball, and that one group of muscles might have gotten better developed in him than the other. Cutting in from the right Alexis hits the ball invariably with the sideway-swing footed shot. Striking at goal coming from the right creates better chances for putting his laces on the ball with a forward-swing footed shot. His high shots rate at goal would, most likely, yield more from the right. His crosses that we have seen from that side are also quite difficult to deal with for the opposition.
You must have already guessed that I want Alexis moved either wide right or center as a striker, and the vacancy at wide left filled by Rambo. Rambo loves the central attacking area of the pitch. So when he cuts in from the left he is moving towards his comfort zone with the ball on his right foot. Furthermore the space created behind him allows our left full back to overlap, and I believe Rambo will interact better than Alexis with that overlapping. Finally and maybe most crucially Rambo’s unexpected runs into the opposition box from the left allows any well placed ball to be finished with his better right foot. Some of his loveliest goals have come that way.
Walcott has been given a long long rope which he has only used to hurt his standing. His overall work rate is so low that only efficient utilization of his opportunities would have compensated adequately. Sadly that is no longer forthcoming and in this last stretch of the race it makes no sense risking using him.
Welbeck has been impressive since his return. People describe him as a hybrid of Giroud/Walcott. I see him more as a midfielder/striker hybrid. With his high pressing energy, he fills in well in any of the front thee positions.
Giroud is amazing in the air both offensively and defensively. His holdup play is sufficiently impressive. Still, somehow, you go home with the nagging feeling that a team aspiring for the very top needs a little bit more.
Back to the nearly forgotten task of filling the vacancy of who plays with Coquelin in the double pivot role vacated by Rambo. Santi is the obvious choice followed by Jack, but both are unavailable. Other contestants in my opinion are Flamini (not a great passer), Arteta (must have lost too much form), Elneny and Chambers. I am yet to put a label on Elneny but one thing I already know is that he is not a DM. He is a tidy pass and move player but I worry if he has got much else beyond that. Chambers deserves more credit for his ball playing ability, but his poor head must be spinning by now having to play in so many different roles. If I have to place my money somewhere, it will be on Elneny with Coquelin mopping up behind him. Thus;
I am seeing shafts of sunlight breaking through the dark clouds. Gunners let us get from you how you feel our day can be cheered.
By: Pony Eye