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I am a gooner from India. I really like your posts and thought of sharing my personal views to you and to our readers.
In our country it is said that cricket is religion and every single person has his or her own views. I don’t like cricket much,but then sometime back on a news channel I saw a report on how Indian cricket can improve. I just remembered that programme after I was shattered by our defeat to Newcastle. I believe some of its concepts can be applied to our team Arsenal as well.
As i live in India, I don’t really know how our teams goes about its preparation for a match so if any mistake by me should be pardoned.So here are the few things…
1.We last won the league the league in 2003-2004 season. I believe our whole current squad should have a deep conversation with some of the players who have won the league for us like Bergkamp, Seaman etc. These people can tell our players what sort of a mentality was in the team before each of their matches, what they used to talk when they were one down at halftime, different techniques, different experiences which I feel with due respect to lord Wenger, only a player can tell another.So this might help our team to get motivated and play with ease.
2. The second thing they said in that report was…We should play a fixed team again and again to increase team chemistry. Most of us will agree that we already have a fixed team but when our players get injured that when the real question comes.I think for this we should have a solution. Our team should be divided in pairs, like in case Fabregas is injured, Nasri takes his role. Denilson for Wilshere, Bendtner for Chamakh, Vela for Arshavin or Van persie. Let these pairs train together, share their ideas, thoughts etc.
When Vermaelen is injured, Djourou or Squillaci takes his place. If we have a group of Koscielny, Vermaelen, Squillaci and Djourou training in all possible pairs then that can increase team chemistry. I am sure this point is already taken care by our coaches but this was in that report.
3.Necessity of a PLAN B and also PLAN C. This is what I think Arsenal lack. When nothing is working in a match, Wenger substitutes Arshavin or Nasri by Walcott or Vela for example but does that really change our tactics? No I don’t think so, what it changes is only the personnel and brings some fresh legs so speed and activeness come into account. What we really need is a tactical change.
I am no one to challenge Wenger’s tactics but I’ll give my view. In a match Arshavin starts from the left and Nasri from right and they cut inside,what they should do is they should not have a fixed position. They should keep on interchanging like even Chamakh or Van Persie to the left, Nasri through the middle, Arshavin taking Fab’s role and Fab on right.
What this will do is that it can give a hard time to defenders who mark out their players before the game…like they know Arshavin on the left is expected, but what will happen if they get Chamakh and Fabregas instead?
Also this will unleash the playmaking powers of both Nasri and Arshavin who are now in the shadows of Fabregas. Also Fab can get width find space and give that killer pass. Also we can use Walcott through the middle which Wenger is trying out these days.
When we are desperate for goal why not change tactics, like letting Clichy and Sagna play as wingers with Song and Diaby or Wilshere dropping back. Fabregas and Nasri playing as play makers. So that makes an attack of 6 players, when we lose the ball theres no need for Arshavin to track back coz there is Clichy just behind him and Wilshere behind that. So that makes our central part quite empty, but either one of Fab or Nasri can get back quickly chasing the player while Sagna or Clichy tackle them in midfield so we get the ball and we still have 4 players ahead and we launch an attack ahead. This is just a view of mine, I may be wrong.
4. Resting players is crucial. Chamakh for example as been playing in almost our every league match, give him a day or two off as Redknapp gave to Bale. This can do wonders. Or simply rotate him with Bendtner for a match against say the lesser competitive sides. Give every player a chance to shine. Give Vela a start, if thing are not going well you can always replace him at half time but giving him a start now and then can do wonders to his confidence.
5. Getting new players. I really do feel we have a really good deep squad but some people complain about our GK or a need of one more defensive midfielder. I think Fabianski was playing really well until Carroll highlighted his lack of decision making. He is a good shot stopper but is that only enough? What if we have a goalkeeper who has good height and collects crosses well… it will make our defence more confident that they atleast have to mark and stop their opponent from getting to the ball and the ball will safely be collected by our keeper. A keeper who launches attacks, who shouts at team mates and show their mistakes. I thinks that’s what Arsenal lack but that doesn’t mean that Fabianski should be dropped immediately, maybe Newcastle was a small blurr Maybe he’ll improve. Give him a run until January, if he keeps clean sheets then well and good if not then straight away go for some other commanding keeper.
5. Cold wars within the team. I don’t know if this is present in our team, maybe nobody knows. It may be or may not but its a serious issue. A solution to this is after every match holding a session where every player gets to tell his view about what went wrong or right. This way one could finish their complaints in front of Wenger and he’ll solve it.
6. Playing like Champions. This thing is really missing in our current team. We have all the fire power but what is lacking is that killer instinct. Look at our past teams who won the cup, or look at Barcelona although now I hate them, but the fact is that they start to play their game from the first whistle till the final whistle. We sometime take time to settle into our rhythm and at least take 25-30 mins for creating a spectacular chance or scoring a goal. I really don’t remember the last time when we scored inside 10 mins in consecutive matches! Also defending from the first minute like you have a goal to protect in injury time in second half. Be brutal, give those scary glances, show some attitude. Cheering our team mates in between…these are the small things that turn a squad into a single minded unit and champions are made of these.
7. Complacency. I think this a big factor that differentiates Champions from Wannabe’s…and I feel our current team has it. Playing against Newcastle and West Brom thinking that even if they are playing defensively solid,we will get a goal or two. I think that’s what cost us 6 valuable points. If we had shown urgency and the flow of our passing from the start, I am sure their defence would have leaked a goal or two.
8. Nobody is special in the team. This point should be taken seriously by Wenger. Against Newcastle Fab had a bad game..even after half time he was poor. I didn’t understand why Wenger didn’t replace him with Rosicky. Okay Fab can create something out of nothing, but an odd off day should be sensed by half time. Also Arshavin has many off days, he should immediately be replaced. It’s the time the substitutes get that matters. Expecting Vela or Walcott to show miracles every time in just 5-15 minutes is not done. Substitute a player between 55-65th min, give him some time, some chances.
9. A captain’s role. In football there’s not much role to a captain as in cricket but a captain is the captain.He should dominate players in a good manner. Make them calm down while they silly tackles make. Shouting at them for a mistake as well as appreciating them for a good pass etc. This will create a respect for the captain amongst the team.
10. Composure. Keeping their heads cool is one of the most important thing. When we concede a goal,suddenly our morale goes low,we create more confusion and tension and urgency in our play which in turn helps the opponent to defend more effectively. Here the captain steps in, tells everyone to calm down and motivate them as if nothing happened and start playing our game again.
>Okay I end my article here. I am just 20 years old and as I said before I have limited sources in India to know about the proceedings in London.So plz excuse me if there is any mistake.
My warm regards to all,
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