What can Arsenal do to be no 1? (all respect to Lord Arsene)


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What can Arsenal do to be number 1?

By Nachiketa Sharma

Sorry guys I know the title of this may hurt some of the hardcore gooners out there who like me think that we still are  the no1 team in the world when it comes down to actual field play (yup better than barca see p.s.)  ..but surprisingly that doesn’t translate into too many trophies….

Also some people might as well ask me why do I make a fuss now.. now that we’re beginning to do so well both in the league and elsewhere.  Now when we’re improving as a team proving our detractors wrong.. but then change is constant and necessary…and its better to keep the best club in world football the best by overcoming all slight frailties we may have.

Lets continue our journey towards perfection. Our team will win a couple of trophies this season but we can’t stop after that.. we have to keep improving .. till we win all we participate in and even after… ( its all philosophical I know)

Guys I’m from India and still 18 so if any of you fell that somewhere I have made a mistake please pardon me… I have a whole gonnerholic life ahead of me…  now coming to the points….

The real steps which we can take to stake claim at the top of the world order

1. the final third player

@the distance shoots

arsenal have made some great signings for this in the past few years… well let me explain to all you guys.. what we basically lack is an excellent shot…. Thomas Rosicky and Andrei Arshavin did light up the stage for sometime but now both of them seem to have forgotten this piece of art. Yes we do have the ever injury prone Robin van Persie .. I just feel that any forward/wing/midfield player who arrives at arsenal somehow loses this bit in the trade…he starts playing the Arsenal way which in turn leads to less yields in front of the goal(though Van Persie is brattish and didn’t change)…

Chamakh  our new arrival this season is no doubt a great player but he too fails to conquer this..i seriously don’t remember him scoring from any distance at all… I only remember him scoring either with headers or with no player between him and the keeper…

We at Arsenal seriously need a player to provide us with the gerrard like shot from distance…  of late bendtner has been showing some signs of this…I really hope he can do this for us. I remember how Henry and the likes did this so successfully… Denilson is another notable shot from far out but we need someone in the attack to do this…

Nasri after his shot against West ham is another notable answer-possible… otherwise we have to invest….

@the brute..

Yes even though  this is not the way Lord Arsene likes things..but we do need a player who can shrug off an Alex and a Vidic and shoot…I have so often seen that in the premier league a forward like Drogba or Rooney uses muscle power to gather the ball from the defender or shrug him off….. sometimes even going overboard but not being stopped by the ref and then maybe even go on to score a goal… we too need a player who can do this… (not the most necessary point on this list)

2. the defensive midfielder

All great teams have one or more great defensive midfielders…with Alex Song turning to a more box-to-box/holding role we do need a defensive mid-fielder…did anyone notice that we had been crying for clean sheets and suddenly now we have three… I agree that the biggest credit for this goes to the keepers…but there’s another piece of the jigsaw….yes  you guessed it right its Denilson,….

Notice how he starts three games in a row in defensive midfield and we not only win them but also keep clean sheets… with all respect to Wilshere and Ramsey who are very good in whatever roles they fill but Denilson is better suited than both of them at this role…he is more physical…more aggressive of the three. He is also the worst passer of the trio and needs to improve ..but I have a feeling that he can be our Mikel/Makelele/Carrick/Busquets/Khedira kind of a player..who just does nothing but simply passes the ball to his more creative mates …somebody must neutralize our game…Wilshere is a very good player at this position but I fail to see how he can stop a Malouda or an Essien or Drogba unless they falter…he is a an aggressive tackler..well somewhat too aggressive for his own good….he has earned several bookings this way… also he’s too young to be playing all our matches…  Aaron is a bit more of the Fabregas mould…and he will grow there only…Frimpong I hope does not get demoralized after his freak injury… another noteworthy player who I dream of in this position is vermaelen ….

3. the left footed midfielder

We at Arsenal have the strongest pool of upcoming/established midfielders in the whole of Europe…but what we really lack is a naturally left footed winger/midfielder.. strong teams do generally have one or more people suitable for this role… Manu without Gigs struggle so do Bayern without Robben and Inter without Cambiasso…Malouda is one of the most performing players for Chelsea this season… the trio of Van der Vaart Modric and bale is the heart of Tottenham. and.so on ..(not to mention that the Totts are really weak everywhere else..)

4 the winger…

Not many teams in the world come close to our lineup of attacking midfielders… but sadly none of then is a natural winger.. nobody in our team can continuously provide our tall Nasri/Chamkh/Bendtner with quality crosses from any of the flanks..captain fantastic Fabregas..Wilshere. Rosicky ..Nasri  all do chip in though. . I personally believe that a player in this mould can be a great value addition for arsenal… right now our best bets for continuous crosses are Clichy and Sagna on the overlap..which is good but not great news… I know I’m being a bit too cold and cheeky when I say this but Bale can be the answer to points 3 and 4.  Especially after his Inter demolition man job…

I seriously don’t think that we need a centre back this season or even the next or the season after that… I believe that Koscielny has been the best signing made by Wenger.. he has that Vidic type of talent…he can win trophies for us.. its amazing when I look at any arsenal match because he wins 70 percent of all aerial balls in our penalty box in any match..i wish him and the team my best of luck..

p.s. Barca just pass n pass n pass the ball…its skilful but boring at times .. they spoil any talented players they sign ( Villa and Ibra n even Eto’o ) ..they cannot beat a Wigan side without Messi..

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28 Replies to “What can Arsenal do to be no 1? (all respect to Lord Arsene)”

  1. what the hell are you on about haha barcelona cant beat a wigan team without messi haha what a joke. people that write stuff like this should be shot.

  2. Wilshere is actually a left footed midfielder so thats for point 3.

    For the rest I think I have to agree with you. We do lack real wingers but maybe that`s just not our style. Eventually we will play 4-4-2 again I think. Too many great strikers and no wingers = 4-4-2.

    Song was great at defensive midfielder last year. Too bad he thinks he has to play number 10 all the time. Although, it does add something to the team as we could see last week. Denilson has to improve big time for me. He gives away too many balls in the midfield.

    Oh and I think Chamakh is pretty impresive when it comes to brute force. I can`t remember what game it was and who the player was but he won a battle on the back line from an impressive defender.

  3. Oh and although I enjoyed your writing, maybe it`s an idea to stop using …. all the time ; )

  4. Didn’t need to read all the blog. Paragraph 1. The final third player summed up for me ,all that’s missing in the Arsenal locker. A copy should be forwarded to every member of the Club’s coaching staff…..from AW downwards.

  5. Can’t remember where I read it from but last season Arsenal scored from outside the area better than any other club! We had 20 goals from outside the area and next to us was Citeh with 9!

  6. Not much point in spending millions on a Drogba if he only sparkles for a season then lapses into the `Arsenal way` of pretty passing football and loses his edge to follow the rules.

    Wenger is a nice guy, probably one of the nicest around, but that doesn`t equate to winning Europe or even the Premier League.

    If we are to get the cutting edge it must start with Arsene`s attitude, we have to be more direct.

    Talking of being `direct` I can`t see Arsenal lifting silver they are just not in Chelsea`s class when it comes to consistency and overall maturity and many of our players will never achieve that I`m afraid. We are still carrying average players and `average` is not good enough.

  7. “What can Arsenal do to become number one” For those amongst you who have ,and still are ,calling for Wenger`s head here is a hyporthetical question.
    Which players of the existing 25 man squad would survive should Jose Mourinho take over at Arsenal? To make life easy I`ve selected the ones I don`t think would make the trip and a couple who, for various reasons, are doubtful. “The NO`S”….
    Almunia,Eboue,Djourou,Clichy,Diaby,Arshavin, Van Persie, Vela and Bendtner. “Doubtful”…Koscieiny, Fabregas and Ramsey.
    That`s twelve out of a 25 man squad. Does this frighten you or please you? Maybe we should stick with `the boss`, better the devil you know.

  8. Good article. You make some good, well reasoned points. Here is where I disagree:

    1. The distance shooter: I share your frustration here, it DOES seem that our players tend to lose this ability, but I think that is just a perception. We do take a lot of shots, and we take quite a lot of them from range as well. Last season we scored the most goals from outside the area (20).
    We could always try more shots from distance, but we don’t. There’s a reason behind it, and it’s simply that we are capable of creating better chances than just long range shots.

    2. I think Song, Denilson, and Diaby are very good defensive players. They are very good at winning the ball back. Our high possession stats have more to them than just good passing. To be good defensively in today’s game, you don’t necessarily have to be physically stronger than everyone, you have to have a good reading of the game. You don’t have to tackle anyone if you can intercept the passes. You don’t have t worry about outmuscling Drogba if you can prevent the ball getting to him.
    We have a lot of good midfielders and they are all young with a lot of room to grow and become even better.

    3. The winger – we don’t need a winger. Wenger has never really played with traditional wingers. We’ve always played with wide players who cut inside and find themselves in scoring positions. The reason is that players who’s starting position is in the center, they have to move wide to get away from their markers and find space. That takes them away from the goal.
    Wide players can find space if they move into a more central position, and in the process find themselves closer to the goal.
    So in our system, a lot of times the striker creates goals for the winger. But doesn’t this formation with no wingers become too narrow? Width is important because the wider you stretch the other team the more space you have between players. But that doesn’t mean the wide midfielders have to provide that width. It can come from anywhere. Sometimes it comes from our strikers, but usually it is provided by our full-backs.
    Wenger has always played with attacking fullbacks at Arsenal. The role of our fullbacks is to occupy the wide spaces and stretch the defence, as well as put in crosses from wide positions. They are our wingers.

    5. Not that I necessarily disagree, but one thing about playersi n the final third – Creating chances in the final third is all about decision making. It is about knowing the exact moment when to release the ball, knowing how much weight to put on the pass. If you’re gonna take a shot, you have to decide what kind of shot (powerful or placed, for example). If you don’t have the ball, you have to know where to run and how. A lot of little things like these affect the outcome of an attacking move. To become better decision makers, players need experience. The more you play, the better you get at knowing what to do and when. Recently Bergkamp said about our team that we seem to make all the right decisions in midfield but in attacking areas we pick all the wrong options. He was befuddled by this. The answer I think lies in the fact that our team, especially the reserve side we put out every week due to injuries, is still very young. Or at least was last season. As our team grows older and more experienced, they will learn to make better decisions in the final third and we will become more efficient with our possession.

  9. Quite surprised to find this piece on Untold. Very negative, so all we need is an attacking midfielder that shoots,a winger, a defensive midfielder, and a left footed midfielder so no worries there then !!! I quite like the midfield we already have and that all of them have been banging in goals this season. Wouldn’t want any of them to lose their place that they have worked so hard to gain so we could bring in a ‘big name’. Much as I hate that Barcelona team and structure that allegedly couldn’t beat Wigan without Messi. They must be gutted to only have 3 players in the top 10 for the Ballon d’Or rather than the 5 in the previous year. And I know that it is skewed because of the ridiculous way their club by is run etc. But we must remember that they battered us (ouch still hurts). What I think we can do to become number 1 is keep progressing as a team maturing together so that the players know each others strengths and weaknesses and play accordingly. The last thing I think we need is a new midfield ! What you need to know Nachiketa is that we’re the boys in red and white and we’re fucking dynamite !!! Up the Gunners

  10. If we had to change anything, I might buy pepe reina make wozzy no2 and change nothing else keep promoting the youth set up and continue to fight on all fronts for all trophies.

  11. Off topic but however
    PS anyone ever read that crap on ANR I could frikken choke that idiot.
    Title was give sp*rs credit

    Lets see we are higher in the league table
    we are Higher in champs league table
    we are still in the cups
    we are working with half the transfer budget

    I dont frikken think they deserve much credit ….

  12. for the final third player, how about Forlan, who seems to be talking up a move from Athleti?

    Dude is a finisher, no doubt, and can score from distance. He’s also a really clever player who would turn up in all sorts of useful spaces given our movement up front. He’s an excellent free kick taker, which I think I’ve read that we have a poor scoring record on. That’d help prevent teams from kicking us off our rhythm in attack, and give us another threat. He’s tremendously experienced (for those that emphasize such things, and even Wenger said that Sol’s experience gave us something we missed last year) and given his age, might not be that expensive.

    On the other hand, I can’t see it happening.

    Sorry, I hate it when supporters of other teams talk about which world class players they ought to buy, so just take this as banter between Gunners.

  13. This article is rubbish we have cesc & nasri both of which can shoot from distance and are bigger goal threats than even xavi and iniesta as good as those to are.. If starting with chanahk in CF a player who displays great control while u der pressure from the big defenders we cud have van p or the right cutting onto his left and arshavin on the left cutting in onto his right.. As for song becoming a box to box mid he o ly comes up when denilskn is in the side cos he will cover.. The only thing missing is a big CB like Terry/Ferdinand and a world class goalkeeper that is how we will become premiers..!!

  14. i am really sorry if anything i said has been perceived as anti-wenger or anti-arsenal… i just love our current setup the players the manager the coaches et al.. n i do not want any midfield overhaul..our midfield is already very good..but not the best..

  15. i just want us to make 1 or two additions to the whole team every year on these parameters..or whatever our needs truly reflect at that time..n i just love the way we dunn buy big and run up big losses….

  16. A certain Robert Pires was not a left footed player but yet Arsenal wreaked havoc whenever he drifted in. Andres Iniesta, Ronaldinho, Cristiano Ronaldo, Wesley Schneider etc are not left footed players but yet they are some of the most dangerous and effective players on the left side of midfield. It’s not the foot (left or right) but the player that matters. Or is it?;-)

  17. My initial reaction on seeing the Arsenal line-up for the game in Donetsk was that the holding midfielders were a pair of teenagers. Now Jack Wilshere is a prodigious talent, but asking him and Craig Eastmond to do the job of men was a little too much. It was a starting line-up that suggested to me that the manager felt that anything from this game would be a bonus. When you have nine points from three games and a home game against Partizan Belgrade to come, I guess you can afford to take this approach. Some first choice players did not make the trip and while others did, some were named as substitutes.

    Given the context of the game, I am in no mood to be over-critical of what transpired. Shakhtar’s impressive record at home exists because they are a better team than that which turned up in London a fortnight ago. Arsenal – even at their peak – struggled to get results in these parts. However, it was disappointing to see the lead they established so meekly surrendered.

    Theo’s goal was outstanding and well-taken. In the instant he hit the shot, I thought, he’s taken this too early. But it was a very good finish. However, the two goals the home side scored established why neither Eboue not Clichy are really top grade full backs. The free kick that led to the equaliser saw Eboue turned all ends up, forcing him to foul his opponent. The goal that followed from the flighted ball into the area was little surprise. Arsenal don’t do set pieces very well, a major Achilles’ heel in their ambition to compete with the best.

    As for the winning goal, what needs be said about Gael Clichy’s obsession with not putting the ball out of play when the occasion warrants it? It’s proved costly in the past and it’ll prove costly in the future. The lad has enjoyed a tremendous amount of goodwill based on the identity of the player he replaced, but the lad’s an athlete and not a defender. He does not have much of a clue really does he? He’s a solid young man in terms of his personality – a genuinely nice guy. But he is not really a very good full back. You’ve heard the term, ‘no nonsense defender’. Gael is a nonsense defender.

    Arsenal did create opportunities to equalise in the second half, and credit to them for remaining in a game Shakhtar might have run away with. It was significant that Eastmond was withdrawn on 58 minutes by a manager who resolutely refuses to sub anyone before the 68th in normal circumstances. He had a stinker, but he was way out of his depth, not helped by more experienced team-mates who were giving the ball away a little too easily a little too often. Bendtner was poor at the hold-up play and Chamakh need not fear for his place.

    Eduardo scored against Arsenal again and in fairness did not over-celebrate. Classy guy. He deserves success and I don’t begrudge him his winner. Shakhtar were the better team and worthy winners. Arsenal flew in on a wing and a prayer with a selection that didn’t mean business and didn’t do the business. They will still qualify from this group and in all probability win it. We won’t see Craig Eastmond in the Champions League again this season unless the Partizan Belgrade match is a complete formality. We will, sadly, see more of Gael Clichy, but Kieran Gibbs can’t get fit again soon enough for my money. Eboue’s Eboue. Great attitude, great tryer, but not the kind of player that is going to win you titles, at least not until a genuine defensive coach gets hold of him and teaches him the role. It seems that Martin Keown was doing a bit of that in 2006, but the benefit wore off a long time ago.

    There were other questionable displays in the Ukraine, but hopefully they won’t matter. Win all the home matches and with the win in Belgrade it will be enough to send Arsenal into the last 16. Shakhtar away will be forgotten about, although the lessons of this game should not be.

  18. I have to agree with superfly gunner. Just the few minutes we saw of JET on the field showed that his veins oozes class. He’s built like a tree.. with pace similar to Drogba.. finishes with both feet.. hits them from every angle…even outside.. and ended every game he played for the reserves with at least 1 goal and 1 assist. He’s VERY direct and loves taking on opposition defenses. Even Arsene knows he’s gonna be great that’s why he’s been getting those sub runs of late. I think next season he will be fully integrated into the first team and he will be a star!!

  19. sorry but untold is usually top quality and this article seemed to make a lot of presumptions!

  20. Randy – one of the points about Untold is that we do try and give space to new writers on Arsenal, and to cover quite a few areas of thought. So inevitably some writers will take a point of view that is going to be different from the norm.

    My own feeling as editor is, if I restricted our output too much, it would all get a bit boring.

  21. The final third player: I think you havent noticed Fabregas, Nasri or Arshavin taking long shots in the games. You can’t say they have to keep taking long shots every time they get the ball. Why should they shoot when they have a better option ie. they can pass it or send someone through on goal. Which one do you think has better chances of scoring. Second thing, you loose possession everytime you shoot and will end up in a goal kick, which teams like blackburn, westham take hours to launch back it into play. I sometimes think each player has a quota of ONE shot every match. People like Denilson, Song or some matches Vermaelen go for long shots one per match.

    the defensive midfielder: Answers SONG, Denilson, Frimpong, Diaby, Eastmong. When we talk about world class, lets talk about Song and Denilson for now. Song is a pure Defensive midfielder. Just because he scored 4 goals doesnt mean his role has changed. Those are his first priorities. Only when teams come with Park-the-bus mentality, he surges forward to add an extra dimension to the attack and to create chaos in their defense.. Which I he can do it to perfection. Atleast 3 of his 4 goals came this way. Lets be clear in this Song is a DEFENSIVE MIDFIELDER first who can also play box-to-box.
    Denilson can be really good in that holding role. In my opinion, he just needs a run of games. He is a true ball winner not necessarily thru tackles. Its true he cannot outmuscle an onrushing Drogba but he can stop 4 out 5 balls from reaching him. Plus he also has that good shot. Dont forget the goals it gave us that last season.
    Leftfooted Midfielder: what for? When it comes to midfield we are there among the best in the world. Besides, we already have Wilshere for your point. But i still would agree with the need for a left footed Winger. for that case, there is Vela who can play in that role, as well as there is Gibbs who can fit into that role. But the problem is they are not finished articles yet. As far as the concers of true wingers are concerned, i would prefer Theo in that position than anybody else. He just needs to improve his 1v1 capabilities. A point to be noted is having a winger who sends in cross after cross is just not Arsenal style.

    Off topic, I’m quite surprised to see an 18 year old Indian girl on Untold (Apologies if it sounded little low). Now-a-days I get to meet more Gunners here(India). Surely Arsenal is on the rise in India !! that too in a period where we didnt win a trophy for what 5 years?? Must all be True Gooners.

  22. Guyz, I will end these arguments now… The writer clearly lacks some football knowledge and the repliers clearly not being generous…

    Long time ago, Arsene Wenger had already explained his tactics and motives in an interview… He truly adores the 1970 World Cup winning Brazilian team and set it as THE blueprint for all his teams… He prefers pace, movement and technique in players and gameplay… His right hand man, Boro Primac is a highly intellegent first team coach who emphasizes on fitness, tactics and skills… (he speaks 8 languages too!) Generally, Wenger prefers players who can play in multiple positions providing multiple varieties of gameplay… Thus, the sight of Alex Song bulldozing forward in most games… An Wenger’s invention, a defensive midfielder higher up the pitch to pressure the opponents in their own half while a ballplaying midfielder shields the defense… Sometimes, Song does stay back depending on the opponents setup… He is also an excellent centerback… How about Nasri, who can play as a winger, midfielder, forward or an anchor…? His willingness to play for his team while sacrificing his own game is admirable… He knows one player will not win a game… Constant passing game will tire the opponents fast and confuse them with our players movements… This requires teamwork and years of playing experience among the players to ensure excellent understanding of the team and the game… Please my dear Gunners, dont come up with ridiculous comments about this player not in his natural position, that player is not shooting from far enough… Football has evolved and Wenger knows that… Intelligence and flexibility among players is important in the modern game… At the moment, Wenger has plenty of different type of players to suit his gameplan… Of course, the younglings are mould of the seniors in a way because thats what Wenger is trying to create at Arsenal… TOTAL FOOTBALLERS…! As a former football player, I know that having intelligent players is more effective than having intelligent game tactics…

    Nostalgic Gunners will never forget the Invicible Team but some emotional freeks wil never move on… Players are not cyborgs to be recreated again and again… New time provides new challenges and new adverseries… Thus, new inventions and players… The greater a team, the greater time it took to build one… So, be patient… Part of a great team is its great supporters… So, whine and moarn as much as you want now, because I know all of you will try to join the victory wagon sooner or later…

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