Another unconvincing performance but at least there was 3 points gained to have some hope that we can achieve a top 4 finish.
What was highlighted again yesterday is that some players are clearly off form or not good enough yet due to excruciating lack of squad depth we are left to stick with them through this period. Where’s the pressure on these guys to improve their performance levels??
It’s frustrating because we (like all teams) had a chance to somewhat rectify this during the January transfer window but Wenger was holding out for “super, super quality”.
Has been poor since the end of last season, a horrific Euro 2012 (in his home country) and continued into 2012-13. Aside from Sunderland away he’s been possibly our most underperforming player. But who to replace him with? Mannone, Fabianski? Is this all we have to call on. Surely there’s a steady experienced goalie available on the cheap who’d jump at the chance to be here?? Man Utd have Lindergaard, Spurs have Fridel
The captaincy might be partly to blame but truth be told he’s been poor for a while. A stellar first season including goals and fine defensive displays made us hopeful of the future yet several injury plagued seasons later he’s regressed to a clumsy, indescsive defender. Ask yourself honestly when was the last time he played really well? IMO it was Everton away last year
Aside from the recent week where he got 5 goals he’s been really off form. I know Wenger was rumored to be keen on David Villa but surely there must have been other options. Theo and Podolski are alternatives as well but it seems insane to not have another recognized striker. In his last 10 league starts he’s failed to score in 7 games!!
About 18 months ago Arsenal opened a new Medical Centre after touring the world and other sports to find best ideas and methods out there.
And to be fair our injury record has been far improved ever since…unfortunately/fortunately it helped the injury cursed RVP but also many others. There will always be the Diaby, Rosicky, Sagna issues but other than that we’ve actually done really well on the injury front this season. Out first 11 have played in 78% of our games compare that to the unbeaten season which was 88%.
So going back to the squad issue Wenger typically relies more on having a solid 11-13 players and this season those players have just not been good enough.
However, even when we did stick to a core group of players in successful seasons we still had the likes of Wiltord, Kanu, Edu, etc for extra depth. I think even the less talented players were coming into a much, much better team and therefore able to perform to a higher level (Chris Wreh, Manninger, Grimandi, etc)
Some might bring up finances as the issue and the inability to spend money on fringe players however although there are examples of teams with benches costing more than most Premier League first teams, there are plenty examples of excellent affordable squad players on their books as well.
This summer we need some major reinforcements who are top quality but in addition we need some reliable, effective squad players who aren’t going to break the bank but will provide competition and the ability to rest players when needed.
What might help with that is giving some of these upcoming youngsters more of a crack!! Why hasn’t Eisfeld been on the bench, or given a shot in the cup games?