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Are Arsenal Players Still Lightweight? (Comparing the Arsenal of 2004 and the present batch)
By Nitesh Padhi
A common complaint against this present Arsenal team is that they are too lightweight. Of course, we can never ever forget the Invincibles and the Tony Adams era, men who were known to be tough ones who would sooner murder you on the field than concede defeat. This puzzled me, so I decided to do a little more research.
All goalkeepers certainly seem to be tall enough. A bit low on the weight, which enables them to be roughed up by teams like Blackburn and Stoke. But their performances this season have been much better than earlier. I would say that they are very close to Lehmann. Not quite there, but no one can be. Jens was absolutely cracked, and that’s what we loved.
The defenders seem to be doing okay. But we need to see that Clichy (2003-04) and Lauren didn’t play week in week out. Take them out and the average increases. Also Sol Campbell, the giant, would play every week. The only one close to Sol in the present batch is Djourou, and he cannot play nearly as many games, with injuries weighing him down.
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We have a couple of midfielders more than before and still we occasionally fall short in numbers. Thuggery is rampant in the premier league, but I don’t think we can just blame this on it. In both cases, we fall short by exactly 5. What’s it with that number?
|5||Jose Antonio Reyes||175||71|
|Present||1||Robin Van Persie||183||71|
While the midfielders increased, the forwards have decreased. We went from a 2-striker formation to a single striker one. I do not feel you can count the wide players as forwards. They play a major role in tracking back and that’s a big part of their game.
Our forwards are taller? Way to go! But now also we know that in no way were Aliadiere and Reyes starters all the time. Take them out and the stats inevitably change. But lets leave that aside.
I guess all I can say is no, we are certainly not lightweight at all and no, we can certainly not be dominated physically all the time. It is time to let go of old stereotypes. Arsenal has moved on.
We do not need a massive, traditionally strong player to play for us in every position. Like the example of Barcelona [forgive me Lord for I have sinned, I have actually praised the apocalypse!! A team doesn’t need Shawcross’ and Robinsons’ and huge players to do the job. We can dictate teams in our own sweet way, and that’s what we love.