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    (Original post by JK.)
    Definitely agree about the DM, I think that's the most important signing as most DM's are versatile - I think that versatility could help cover the need for another CB, too. 3 quality CB's, 2 DM's that can comfortably slot back into the position and Bartley + Miquel coming through should be enough. Wrt the left winger, dunno how much you've seen of Miyaichi? He looks ****ing amazing already and I'm really not sure it'd be worth splashing £20-30mil on someone like Hazard when we've got him pretty much ready made for that role.

    I'm not really confident with Gibbs' defensive capabilities but keeping Clichy should be prioritised. The two of them, Traore to come back from Juve and a fit Vermaelen is more than enough to cover the position.
    Agree fully.

    Also, Wojciech avatar :coma:

    I'm hoping to get a GIF of him taking out Bale/winking. :mmm:
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    (Original post by JK.)
    Definitely agree about the DM, I think that's the most important signing as most DM's are versatile - I think that versatility could help cover the need for another CB, too. 3 quality CB's, 2 DM's that can comfortably slot back into the position and Bartley + Miquel coming through should be enough. Wrt the left winger, dunno how much you've seen of Miyaichi? He looks ****ing amazing already and I'm really not sure it'd be worth splashing £20-30mil on someone like Hazard when we've got him pretty much ready made for that role.

    I'm not really confident with Gibbs' defensive capabilities but keeping Clichy should be prioritised. The two of them, Traore to come back from Juve and a fit Vermaelen is more than enough to cover the position.
    Are you suggesting with the addition of 1 dm, and miyaichi and we're ready for next season?

    Will that really get us over the line?

    I'd think a striker was essential. Someone who could be relied on game after game to score. So that we're not relying on rvp to score as he can break v easily.
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    No doubt a penalty box striker is needed at Arsenal. Getting rid of the deadwood would be a start.
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    (Original post by JK.)
    Definitely agree about the DM, I think that's the most important signing as most DM's are versatile - I think that versatility could help cover the need for another CB, too. 3 quality CB's, 2 DM's that can comfortably slot back into the position and Bartley + Miquel coming through should be enough. Wrt the left winger, dunno how much you've seen of Miyaichi? He looks ****ing amazing already and I'm really not sure it'd be worth splashing £20-30mil on someone like Hazard when we've got him pretty much ready made for that role.

    I'm not really confident with Gibbs' defensive capabilities but keeping Clichy should be prioritised. The two of them, Traore to come back from Juve and a fit Vermaelen is more than enough to cover the position.
    Miyaichi isn't ready for the Premier League and will probably play Carling Cup.Someone like Hazard or Menez is needed.
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    Chamakh was on fire from Aug-Dec until Van Persie came back, he was just better.

    we need to get rid of Bentdner, and bring in someone else. Vela needs to be played as well, and Miyaichi should come to us now. I would love to have someone like De Jong in our team as well.
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    (Original post by Ano1)
    Chamakh was on fire from Aug-Dec until Van Persie came back, he was just better.

    we need to get rid of Bentdner, and bring in someone else. Vela needs to be played as well, and Miyaichi should come to us now. I would love to have someone like De Jong in our team as well.

    It seems strange to me that people always wheel out the stat about Chamakh that he hasn't scored (Orient aside) since before Christmas. The reason for that isn't solely bad form it's because he's gone from playing 90mins often twice a week (hence the fatigue) in the first half of the season to barely playing at all because he's been displaced by RvP who's been in exceptional scoring form.
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    (Original post by marcusmerehay)
    Agree fully.

    Also, Wojciech avatar :coma:

    I'm hoping to get a GIF of him taking out Bale/winking. :mmm:
    I wanted the wink but couldn't find a pic. :sigh:

    (Original post by keira)
    Are you suggesting with the addition of 1 dm, and miyaichi and we're ready for next season?

    Will that really get us over the line?

    I'd think a striker was essential. Someone who could be relied on game after game to score. So that we're not relying on rvp to score as he can break v easily.
    Look at how we've ****ed this season up, it's the games we should have easily won/won from the position we'd got ourselves in (i.e. Spurs/Newcastle) that have cost us the league, not games where we've been outclassed by a better group of players. The ability of the players isn't the problem, it's their mentality, they just don't seem to care enough or have the fight in them to really perform under pressure. But, the mentality can be changed by a number of things:

    Introducing more accountability - if players have a **** game/do something wrong they need to know and need the kick up the arse that'll stop them making the same mistakes, Wenger defending them in the media is all very well, but it's clear as **** that he still doesn't give them that kick even when the cameras are off.

    Wenger also needs to accept when he's made tactical errors rather than complain about certain other factors that may have gone against us, again, I'd have no problem with him being a petulant **** and moaning straight after such a failure - him being a bad loser is good imo, it shows he cares, the problem is, he doesn't then go away, look back and realise the mistakes; he just papers over them with excuses and doesn't learn a thing.

    The other issue is on the field leadership, Cesc has been the best captain we could have had out of the group of players we've been fielding this year, but frankly he's not good enough. When he's on his game he sets a great example to everyone else, he's the only player that gets in the ref's face and gets us the decisions we need, but, when things go against us he lets his head drop. He himself has been making an increasing amount of mistakes and having **** games which doesn't bode well for the whole 'lead by example' thing and he's looking more and more like he'd just rather be at Barca. We need someone that has the fire and passion all the time, someone who'll pick the team up, won't crack under pressure, will be proud to play for us and truly lead by example. You look at the squad this year and think there's nobody there that really fits the bill, however, someone who we've dearly missed might be the answer - Tommy Vermaelen. He was being touted as a potential future captain after a just few weeks of playing for us and if he can stay fit I think he's a great shout tbh. He's exactly the sort of guy we need to lead the side and I guess he doesn't necessarily need to be captain to do that, though it'd help. With him back I really fancy our chances next year, but we need to look to continue strengthening the squad anyway.

    As I've said, the position where I think we most need to strengthen is DM, other than the fact that we play a system that requires 2 DM's and only have 1.5 good DM's atm anyway, it's often players in that position that show that spirit we've been missing. With a solid DM that has that fight in him, I reckon we've probably got enough to finally start winning things.

    The obvious overall solution would be to get rid of Wenger, all the problems stem from him, but the fact we are so close to winning despite these problems is testament to just how great he is in other aspects of management. Given all he's done for the club and how close we are, I really want him to recognise the faults and sort them out but I know he won't become any less stubborn or introduce the discipline the players need. The only way that I can see him being able to sort the problems out and not amend the faults he clearly won't amend is by using his fantastic eye for talent to bring in the type of player I've been describing (unless Verm stays fit and steps up to the task). The fact is though, that's just too much of a risk even if he were to buy such a player, especially given how long he persists with players who clearly haven't got it, so really I think we should go with a change of manager. Who? If we could get him, Villas Boas would be my pick, but as the board have made it clear Wenger is going nowhere, I don't see the point of dwelling on something that definitely won't happen - we should work with what we've got. Imo, what we've got is a situation that could greatly be improved by a versatile DM with some GELish attributes. :teeth:

    As for the striking situation, I don't really see why every time that someone says we need to get rid of one of the current strikers, Chamakh isn't mentioned. He wasn't on fire from August-Dec, he was getting a decent return for a striker spearheading a side with an incredible attacking force but often looking distinctly average. Since that time Chamakh's done absolutely **** all when given the chances, which have admittedly been few and far between, but still... He's become so afraid of shooting that due to him not being a great technical player he offers nothing to the side. I know everyone hates Bendtner but he's certainly no worse than Chamakh atm, I'm starting to think that personally I would rather get rid of the latter, ignore the bull**** he comes out with about being the best player in the world and look at what we've got with Bendtner, he's a young player that is improving and has the potential to be a quality striker. Thanks to his arrogance when he wasn't playing well a while ago, nobody is willing to even give him a chance these days. He's not exactly had a great deal of gametime this season and in some of the chances he's been given he's ****ed up, but not that many and given glimpses of the player he can be (that fantastic strike away at City and that beautiful goal in the Ipswich replay) I find it frustrating that people aren't willing to give him more of a chance. I think that position of striker is the second most important in terms of looking to strengthen, but I can't emphasise enough just how utterly pointless I think it'd be to spend £20mil+ on a quality striker without sorting out the other problems.

    MoMatrix - you can't say Miyaichi wouldn't be able to handle the prem straight away without giving him the chance. We couldn't afford to give him that chance if he were to be the only player that could play that position, but he's not, we've still got Arsh and Nasri who can play that role more than well enough. I think that we'd do well to stick with the current left sided players and give Miyaichi his chances over the next season or so to help him develop and prove himself rather than spunk £20mil that is needed elsewhere in the squad on a massive risk of a player, derailing Miyaichi's progress in the process. :dontknow:
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    holy ****, great post
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    We're currently losing 1-0 to Frankfurt in the Dallas Cup semi, though Freeman isn't playing because of a knock.

    Hajrovic has had a bit of a bad game thus far but Emi Martinez has pulled off a string of stunning saves and Ozyakup is looking good once more.
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    (Original post by JK.)
    I wanted the wink but couldn't find a pic. :sigh:



    Look at how we've ****ed this season up, it's the games we should have easily won/won from the position we'd got ourselves in (i.e. Spurs/Newcastle) that have cost us the league, not games where we've been outclassed by a better group of players. The ability of the players isn't the problem, it's their mentality, they just don't seem to care enough or have the fight in them to really perform under pressure. But, the mentality can be changed by a number of things:

    Introducing more accountability - if players have a **** game/do something wrong they need to know and need the kick up the arse that'll stop them making the same mistakes, Wenger defending them in the media is all very well, but it's clear as **** that he still doesn't give them that kick even when the cameras are off.

    Wenger also needs to accept when he's made tactical errors rather than complain about certain other factors that may have gone against us, again, I'd have no problem with him being a petulant **** and moaning straight after such a failure - him being a bad loser is good imo, it shows he cares, the problem is, he doesn't then go away, look back and realise the mistakes; he just papers over them with excuses and doesn't learn a thing.

    The other issue is on the field leadership, Cesc has been the best captain we could have had out of the group of players we've been fielding this year, but frankly he's not good enough. When he's on his game he sets a great example to everyone else, he's the only player that gets in the ref's face and gets us the decisions we need, but, when things go against us he lets his head drop. He himself has been making an increasing amount of mistakes and having **** games which doesn't bode well for the whole 'lead by example' thing and he's looking more and more like he'd just rather be at Barca. We need someone that has the fire and passion all the time, someone who'll pick the team up, won't crack under pressure, will be proud to play for us and truly lead by example. You look at the squad this year and think there's nobody there that really fits the bill, however, someone who we've dearly missed might be the answer - Tommy Vermaelen. He was being touted as a potential future captain after a just few weeks of playing for us and if he can stay fit I think he's a great shout tbh. He's exactly the sort of guy we need to lead the side and I guess he doesn't necessarily need to be captain to do that, though it'd help. With him back I really fancy our chances next year, but we need to look to continue strengthening the squad anyway.

    As I've said, the position where I think we most need to strengthen is DM, other than the fact that we play a system that requires 2 DM's and only have 1.5 good DM's atm anyway, it's often players in that position that show that spirit we've been missing. With a solid DM that has that fight in him, I reckon we've probably got enough to finally start winning things.

    The obvious overall solution would be to get rid of Wenger, all the problems stem from him, but the fact we are so close to winning despite these problems is testament to just how great he is in other aspects of management. Given all he's done for the club and how close we are, I really want him to recognise the faults and sort them out but I know he won't become any less stubborn or introduce the discipline the players need. The only way that I can see him being able to sort the problems out and not amend the faults he clearly won't amend is by using his fantastic eye for talent to bring in the type of player I've been describing (unless Verm stays fit and steps up to the task). The fact is though, that's just too much of a risk even if he were to buy such a player, especially given how long he persists with players who clearly haven't got it, so really I think we should go with a change of manager. Who? If we could get him, Villas Boas would be my pick, but as the board have made it clear Wenger is going nowhere, I don't see the point of dwelling on something that definitely won't happen - we should work with what we've got. Imo, what we've got is a situation that could greatly be improved by a versatile DM with some GELish attributes. :teeth:

    As for the striking situation, I don't really see why every time that someone says we need to get rid of one of the current strikers, Chamakh isn't mentioned. He wasn't on fire from August-Dec, he was getting a decent return for a striker spearheading a side with an incredible attacking force but often looking distinctly average. Since that time Chamakh's done absolutely **** all when given the chances, which have admittedly been few and far between, but still... He's become so afraid of shooting that due to him not being a great technical player he offers nothing to the side. I know everyone hates Bendtner but he's certainly no worse than Chamakh atm, I'm starting to think that personally I would rather get rid of the latter, ignore the bull**** he comes out with about being the best player in the world and look at what we've got with Bendtner, he's a young player that is improving and has the potential to be a quality striker. Thanks to his arrogance when he wasn't playing well a while ago, nobody is willing to even give him a chance these days. He's not exactly had a great deal of gametime this season and in some of the chances he's been given he's ****ed up, but not that many and given glimpses of the player he can be (that fantastic strike away at City and that beautiful goal in the Ipswich replay) I find it frustrating that people aren't willing to give him more of a chance. I think that position of striker is the second most important in terms of looking to strengthen, but I can't emphasise enough just how utterly pointless I think it'd be to spend £20mil+ on a quality striker without sorting out the other problems.

    MoMatrix - you can't say Miyaichi wouldn't be able to handle the prem straight away without giving him the chance. We couldn't afford to give him that chance if he were to be the only player that could play that position, but he's not, we've still got Arsh and Nasri who can play that role more than well enough. I think that we'd do well to stick with the current left sided players and give Miyaichi his chances over the next season or so to help him develop and prove himself rather than spunk £20mil that is needed elsewhere in the squad on a massive risk of a player, derailing Miyaichi's progress in the process. :dontknow:
    You legend
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    I don't get it, I really don't get it. Why are the experts so convinced that we need a CB and a DM to become a top side? Look at the results which lost us the title; Sunderland 0-0, Blackburn 0-0, Liverpool 1-1. How do you look at those results and say, "Yep, that's the defence letting the team down there"? If you don't score, you don't win. There was a similar situation a while ago when we were adrift in 5th, every pundit in the land was convinced we needed more DMs, better CBs, a better keeper. We bought Arshavin. "Madness", they cried, "what foolishness is this!?" Arshavin then tore it up, with direct and aggressive football, we started scoring again and took 4th back from Villa comfortably.

    How long do people need to bang on about balancing the team, who is good enough, who can revolutionize the team before someone says "Err hang on, isn't the problem that we can't break down teams that defend deep and in numbers? Haven't we tried different players, both in attack and defence? Hasn't it made **** all difference?".

    Possession for the sake of possession is meaningless. Yes, the majority of time, if you control possession, you control the game, but if the other team foregoes trying to actively win the ball, then there is nothing to be gained from possession. You don't prevent them building an attack since they won't try to do so. You don't tire them out chasing the ball as they don't do that either. In fact, all you do is wind down the clock and risk losing your own shape and getting caught out after one sloppy pass.

    Mourinho's Inter did this to win the CL beautifully, whenever they got ball their only intent was to go to goal as quickly as possible, if this was a punt to one man upfront or an attempt to dribble past 4 players, so be it. If possession was lost, the 8/9 men behind you will prevent any danger. Whilst this is an extreme, this philosophy was also present to an extent in the Invincibles team. Pires, Ljungberg, Henry were never afraid to run at a man, to attack the goal, should possession be lost, Vieira and Petit would soon get it back. That directness, that willingness to take responsibility and go for goal has been lost, Arshavin and Walcott have it to an extent, but so often they are only given the ball when surrounded with nowhere to go, and nowhere in the team is there the strength and power to be a threat around the area.

    Teams know, put numbers around the area and Arsenal will try to play through you, try time and time again to get that sequence of intricate passes to allow a 6 yard tap in. It's beautiful to watch, but there will always be sides that defend too well, days when it just doesn't click, times when another way is needed. I don't advocate a complete change in mentality or style, I definitely don't want to see a negative mindset or long balls to a big man, I just want to see the realisation that sometimes a different way needs to be deployed. Whether that is a greater intent to counter attack at pace or a thought that, if teams are so willing to allow vast amounts of possession around the area, let's think of ways to exploit that, it needs to come about. Currently there is no variation in tactics or approach, not game to game nor from 2-0 up after 10 minutes or 0-0 at 89. That just won't work enough to win a title and that is the major failing of this side.

    What happened to the days where a manager said "The worst thing that can happen against Arsenal is you get a corner"? When was the last time you saw Arsenal score like Huddlestone did on Wednesday, by just getting a good clean strike on the ball? Someone once said the longest time something remains surprising for in football is 10 games. Arsenal haven't changed a thing for years, why are we so surprised it's been found out?
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    Wenger should start reading and commenting on this thread.
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    I guess it depends on what you define as the games that have cost us the league, you've taken the most recent failings at home to be those games as they have all but ended our chances, but had we not ****ed up earlier on, not only would those games not be an issue, but I suspect we'd have bagged the points anyway. I agree that our defensive record is overly criticised, the actual number of goals we concede is impressive, it's just the manner in which we do concede that's a problem, and it is a big problem. When we're drawing with clean sheets to Blackburn and Sunderland of course the defence aren't to blame, but when we're losing 4-0 leads to Newcastle, when we're losing 2-0 and 3-1 leads to Spurs, when we're conceding 3 goals at home to West Brom and conceding in the last seconds at Sunderland, you have to question the part they've played in our failure this season. We could buy Hazard and he could have the same effect Arsh first did, but say he was playing this weekend at the Reebok and put us into a 3 goal lead, if we conceded a goal with half an hour left would you feel safe in that game? We'd still have a 2 goal lead which for us should be more than enough, but there's no way would I feel safe because without fail when a crack appears we completely crumble.

    As I've said before I don't think another CB is what we really need, but given we play a 4-2-3-1 and our recognised DM's are Song, Denilson and Wilshere, I think it's vital we look to strengthen there. Song is fine. Wilshere can do a job but isn't an out and out DM, he's perfect for the games where we're going with a more attacking strategy to break teams down as he's a great link man and the extra cover is often unnecessary but when it comes to games where we do need the extra cover, where that protection and ability to break down an attack before it really starts is needed, he's not the right choice, imo. He can be a fiery character at times, but he just restrains himself too much when it's exactly what is needed. Denilson is ****e. So that leaves effectively 1.5 good enough DM's in a system that uses 2 DM's. It's also worth remembering that number will be reduced to .5 for a month when Song heads off to ACoN at the start of next year. Out of all positions in the squad this is where we're most lacking any decent level of depth, so it has to be rectified. Especially when it's our best chance of helping close up the midfield and protect the defence when we do need to slow the tempo and retake control having conceded and lost momentum in a game.

    The other positions where we lack strength in depth are the fullback positions and up top. I've always stressed the preference for a versatile DM so as to help cover the fullback positions, but I'd agree we'd be better off cutting one player loose and looking for something different up front. I still maintain that more than anything we need to improve the mental strength of the side, this group should be winning stuff without any strengthening and so strengthening may not make a difference, especially if we fail to bring in players that have the right sort of character as well as footballing abilities.

    I completely agree with what you say about the need to go direct and how possession is pointless unless you make it count. Been saying the same thing myself quite a bit recently, with the pace we have up top and the comparative lack of pace the vast majority of defences have, it just seems idiotic to build from the back allowing them to regroup and shape rather than hitting them straight off. We went direct a few times against Blackpool the other week and it worked a treat, really wish we'd do it more.

    I'm not sure I fully agree with what you say about our failure to break teams down being the cause of a lot of our problems and how that roots from us varying the style of play so little. I agree we should switch things up more often but I feel that the real root of the problem is once again the mindset of the players. Given the form of those Blackburn and Sunderland sides, they looked to be 2 of the easiest games of the season, whether they knew how to set up against us or not we should easily have the capacity to break them down. Firstly, I think the Sunderland game is a bit of a poor example as that was one that really was decided by poor officiating, a goal and a pen not given was the difference there. I'd also point out that we did vary our approach in that game by sticking Chamakh and Bendtner on, sure enough this was when we looked most threatening so I guess that further strengthens the case for doing so more often and at times from the outset rather than with 25mins left to go. The Blackburn game is a better example imo, there can't really be any complaints about the lack of 3 points as we were just useless. Personally, I feel that it wasn't a matter of the system failing, it was that the components of the system failed. The players just weren't putting in any effort, it was as if the exit from the cup competitions had just created some sort of mental barrier and now they didn't care about anything as it'd only lead to more upset when the seemingly inevitable loss of the competition finally came.

    We have an awful habit of not treating the banker games with the respect that they deserve, ignoring the Sunderland/Blackburn games as those results could perhaps be explained by the fragile mental state post cup exits, there's still Newcastle/WBA at home as well as WBA/Wigan away that were just wasted points. Perhaps the away games shouldn't be used as examples given the mass changes in the Wigan game and the form of the resurgent WBA side, but the home games we certainly turned up to thinking we'd come away with 3 points without needing to do any work. It may well be that the 6-0 over Blackpool in our first home game was actually the worst result of our season, in a relatively inexperienced side, it's understandably that such a comfortable win despite our best players not having yet returned led to a certain degree of complacency. With the discipline to recognise that those games aren't below us, to see that in the grand scheme of things, they're pretty ****ing important and with the defensive capabilities/mental strength to not completely capitulate whenever we concede a single goal, we'll be laughing, the squad, or the first team at least, have it in them to be incredible, which is what makes it all the more frustrating when you see them pissing away the golden chances they're given. But until we sort the issues out, they'll just continue to **** up anything and everything that's handed to them.
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    Meant to add -

    How would people feel about replacing Pat Rice? The guy is an Arsenal legend but you get the distinct feeling that Wenger would be better off with someone else to bounce ideas off, someone who'd stand up to him and question his decisions and someone who'd instill the discipline that's needed in the side. Saves us getting rid of Wenger, wouldn't be expensive and it could help sort a lot of the problems.

    We'd obviously be offering Paddy some sort of coaching capacity in this scenario btw.
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    (Original post by JK.)
    Meant to add -

    How would people feel about replacing Pat Rice? The guy is an Arsenal legend but you get the distinct feeling that Wenger would be better off with someone else to bounce ideas off, someone who'd stand up to him and question his decisions and someone who'd instill the discipline that's needed in the side. Saves us getting rid of Wenger, wouldn't be expensive and it could help sort a lot of the problems.

    We'd obviously be offering Paddy some sort of coaching capacity in this scenario btw.
    I've been hearing rumours all week that Rice is on his way out, wouldn't be surprised if Dragan Stojkovic came in from Grampus since Wenger is nearing retirement and that's the man he says he wants to take over.

    Given that Arsene essentially transitioned into the club rather than an immediate change (asking the club to sign Vieira etc) I think he'd want to go out in a similar fashion.

    In Dallas Cup news, we lost 2-0 in the semi-finals to an impressive counter-attacking Frankfurt side, who will go on to play Tigres in the final.

    Bit of a worry is that Frimpong had to be withdrawn early in the second half with a troublesome knee.
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    (Original post by JK.)
    .....
    Wow, +1 when I'm allowed.
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    (Original post by JK.)
    I wanted the wink but couldn't find a pic. :sigh:
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    Arsenal need leaders. Our defence has not actually let us down too much this season. I mean all the draws we have been getting have been 0-0 mostly, what does the defence have to do with that? Arsenal lack a player who has been there, done that, if you know what I mean. We need leaders who can spur the team on, someone like John Terry who is vocal and organised. And as we need another CDM, in my opinion anyway, we could buy a player with those attributes in that position. I hope Wenger finds the new Patrick Vieira!
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    (Original post by Panthalic)
    I don't get it, I really don't get it. Why are the experts so convinced that we need a CB and a DM to become a top side? Look at the results which lost us the title; Sunderland 0-0, Blackburn 0-0, Liverpool 1-1. How do you look at those results and say, "Yep, that's the defence letting the team down there"? If you don't score, you don't win. There was a similar situation a while ago when we were adrift in 5th, every pundit in the land was convinced we needed more DMs, better CBs, a better keeper. We bought Arshavin. "Madness", they cried, "what foolishness is this!?" Arshavin then tore it up, with direct and aggressive football, we started scoring again and took 4th back from Villa comfortably.

    How long do people need to bang on about balancing the team, who is good enough, who can revolutionize the team before someone says "Err hang on, isn't the problem that we can't break down teams that defend deep and in numbers? Haven't we tried different players, both in attack and defence? Hasn't it made **** all difference?".

    Possession for the sake of possession is meaningless. Yes, the majority of time, if you control possession, you control the game, but if the other team foregoes trying to actively win the ball, then there is nothing to be gained from possession. You don't prevent them building an attack since they won't try to do so. You don't tire them out chasing the ball as they don't do that either. In fact, all you do is wind down the clock and risk losing your own shape and getting caught out after one sloppy pass.

    Mourinho's Inter did this to win the CL beautifully, whenever they got ball their only intent was to go to goal as quickly as possible, if this was a punt to one man upfront or an attempt to dribble past 4 players, so be it. If possession was lost, the 8/9 men behind you will prevent any danger. Whilst this is an extreme, this philosophy was also present to an extent in the Invincibles team. Pires, Ljungberg, Henry were never afraid to run at a man, to attack the goal, should possession be lost, Vieira and Petit would soon get it back. That directness, that willingness to take responsibility and go for goal has been lost, Arshavin and Walcott have it to an extent, but so often they are only given the ball when surrounded with nowhere to go, and nowhere in the team is there the strength and power to be a threat around the area.

    Teams know, put numbers around the area and Arsenal will try to play through you, try time and time again to get that sequence of intricate passes to allow a 6 yard tap in. It's beautiful to watch, but there will always be sides that defend too well, days when it just doesn't click, times when another way is needed. I don't advocate a complete change in mentality or style, I definitely don't want to see a negative mindset or long balls to a big man, I just want to see the realisation that sometimes a different way needs to be deployed. Whether that is a greater intent to counter attack at pace or a thought that, if teams are so willing to allow vast amounts of possession around the area, let's think of ways to exploit that, it needs to come about. Currently there is no variation in tactics or approach, not game to game nor from 2-0 up after 10 minutes or 0-0 at 89. That just won't work enough to win a title and that is the major failing of this side.

    What happened to the days where a manager said "The worst thing that can happen against Arsenal is you get a corner"? When was the last time you saw Arsenal score like Huddlestone did on Wednesday, by just getting a good clean strike on the ball? Someone once said the longest time something remains surprising for in football is 10 games. Arsenal haven't changed a thing for years, why are we so surprised it's been found out?
    Magnificent post.

    Two key things you highlighted which caught my attention, was:

    1) Currently there is no variation in tactics or approach, not game to game nor from 2-0 up after 10 minutes or 0-0 at 89. That just won't work enough to win a title and that is the major failing of this side.

    2)When was the last time you saw Arsenal score like Huddlestone did on Wednesday, by just getting a good clean strike on the ball?


    The first point is why it is sometimes embarrassing being an Arsenal fan. We play football at an IQ level lower than any other premiership team, and it is very embarrassing. I can never support stupidness. Never ever. And with regards to the second point, I don't think we've scored/attempted a proper long range shot all season.
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    (Original post by JK.)
    As for the striking situation, I don't really see why every time that someone says we need to get rid of one of the current strikers, Chamakh isn't mentioned. He wasn't on fire from August-Dec, he was getting a decent return for a striker spearheading a side with an incredible attacking force but often looking distinctly average. Since that time Chamakh's done absolutely **** all when given the chances, which have admittedly been few and far between, but still... He's become so afraid of shooting that due to him not being a great technical player he offers nothing to the side. I know everyone hates Bendtner but he's certainly no worse than Chamakh atm, I'm starting to think that personally I would rather get rid of the latter, ignore the bull**** he comes out with about being the best player in the world and look at what we've got with Bendtner, he's a young player that is improving and has the potential to be a quality striker. Thanks to his arrogance when he wasn't playing well a while ago, nobody is willing to even give him a chance these days. He's not exactly had a great deal of gametime this season and in some of the chances he's been given he's ****ed up, but not that many and given glimpses of the player he can be (that fantastic strike away at City and that beautiful goal in the Ipswich replay) I find it frustrating that people aren't willing to give him more of a chance. I think that position of striker is the second most important in terms of looking to strengthen, but I can't emphasise enough just how utterly pointless I think it'd be to spend £20mil+ on a quality striker without sorting out the other problems.
    Really good post.

    I would disagree with about Chamahk though, he does add something to your team. He is a pretty average striker, but he is good in the air. Teams can put 10 men behind the ball, but if you have an aerial threat you can keep putting those ball into the box and aiming for a big man. A target man would also mean you wouldn't always have to pass the ball out of your own box, you have someone who can hold the ball up. He offers something slightly different to your usual style, which you need to have if you are having 60-70% possession and still struggling to score. He has scored 7 goal and had 5 assists, in a debut season he has done really well 25 games, and only 17 starts. Looking at the times he scores he also scores a crucial times, just after halftime and at the end of games. You can drop a striker like Chamakh for games on end, then bring him back in his first season and expect him to be on form.

    Bendtner's whole confidence thing, I think its bull****. When a striker is confident the things you see are them taking on shots, from long range, taking players on, and most of the time a striker high on confidence is a clinical striker. Bendtner is none of those, he's strong and has good movement, thats it. For me the side of his game that should develop over time, is good enough for a second PL striker, yet he isn't. Bendtner is young but not that young, he is older than Hernandez, Welbeck, Kiko, Sturridge, Ballotelli. These are the quality of young strikers you opposition are/are going to be fielding, is he that good?

    Arsenal need a plan B, Barca don't have one because they don't need one, Arsenal have needed one plenty of times this season.
 
 
 
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