Do’s And Dont’s – Things That Arsenal Should Look At To Turn Around A Poor Start To The Season
Arsenal have started off the season poorly. Although they won their first game quite fortuitously against Leicester City, they came crashing down in their second league fixture, against perennial bogey team Stoke City. The Gunners struggled to impose themselves in the game and failed to cause any sort of real threat in the opposition box.
Summer signings Alexandre Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac have impressed, with the former getting a goal in their first game whereas the latter scored in pre-season and put on a strong show. Just where is Arsene Wenger getting it wrong? Does he need to make a few more signings? I reckon he must dip into the transfer market again in order to strengthen his side. Although the squad size is quite huge, Wenger must look to let go of a few fringe players and bring in players with substantial prowess.
Tactics & mindset
Another thing Wenger can look to change is how he sets his team up to play. The 3-4-3 system aided the team quite well towards the fag end of the season, with the emphasis being on the three attackers up front. Welbeck, Giroud, Sanchez, and Ozil benefitted from the change in formation and did quite well to get the team their share of goals.
But Wenger can look to make changes in the formation which will suit the team better. Last season, the Gunners were in charge of the title race in the initial part of the season but tapered off towards the latter part of the season. That’s the problem they’ve faced from a couple of years now. They start off the season really well, but end up making a hash of it towards the end of a campaign.
Arsenal as a team have been reliant on possession-based total football which sees them score some scrumptious goals. But there is a need to change the trend and alter the kind of football they play. They need to be more rugged in the way they organise themselves. There is a certain need for balance between defensive solidarity and attacking prowess.
It’s in Wenger’s hands to change the trend and play productive football which creates a lot of chances. In the game against Stoke, they looked very stagnant and there was no positivity about the way they went about their game. Once Stoke went 1-0 up, there was clear evidence that the Potters were going to “park the bus”. Yet, Arsenal had no answer for it.
When it comes to new signings, there’s been a link with Julian Draxler whose services are no longer needed at Paris Saint Germain. The German was linked with Arsenal when he had trouble at Wolfsburg, but he eventually chose to go to Paris last January where he impressed in his half a campaign there. But the arrival of Neymar has seen him go down the pecking order and it’s lead to him being benched. So that could be an area for Arsenal to exploit.
Defensively, they are quite sound when it comes to the players they have. But they must look to replace Gabriel who has moved to Valencia. They should look to bring in a young lad like Rob Holding who can learn from the senior pros at the club. If that is not the case, Wenger should at least look to keep Calum Chambers at the club as Gabriel’s replacement, and rather not send him out on loan.
With 36 games left in the season plus Europa League football to look forward to, the Gunners should look to do well on all 4 fronts. The FA Cup victory last season will give them confidence. Besides that, they should look to emulate Manchester United’s success from last season and win the Europa League in order to qualify for the Champions league next term.