Written by Mean Lean on Tuesday, 27 November 2012 13:12
I have been super busy of late so much so that I had forgotten what sleep was like until last night and I must say, proper sleep is actually quite enjoyable. So I had missed out on both match preview and match review of the Villa game, something that I haven't done for a while now.
I do not wish to revisit it too much as the result didn't turn out how we would have wanted. I will say this though, I thought we had moved the ball around much quicker than we had in recent weeks, some of our combinations in the middle of the pitch were pretty good but as has been the case for much of this season, we are lacking a stylish creative player to link up with Santi Cazorla. A player that can carve out chances, that can beat a man and score goals. Asking a bit much? Perhaps.
Many people have different ideas of what they think this team need. A new full back, a strong dominating central midfielder, a striker or a goalkeeper. You could argue all of these points in one way or another but none of those players are going to create chances when the team is not clicking in the opposition third of the pitch. Unless we can find a time machine for Thierry Henry or Dennis Bergkamp.
I haven't yet understood why when we need a goal in a game that almost the first player to be substituted is a striker who is playing out on the left. That switch for Gervinho was more frustrating that taking Giroud off in my opinion. I assume that Wenger has noticed that he runs less in the last part of games and that would explain his late changes, I remember the same happening to Dennis Bergkamp at one point during his career. But my argument would be that if you move Podolski into a striking position with 20 minutes to go then he would not need to cover as much ground as he would have to on the left of the pitch. If we are to throw caution to the wind and still keep our numerical advantage in the middle of the pitch then why not switch to 3-5-2 and ask Gibbs and Sagna or indeed Jenkinson as it was on the weekend to supply crosses for Giroud and Podolski along with any of our midfielders who are arriving in the box. But hey, I am not the manager and I do not know Arsene's arguments for not switching the team shape when our current system is not working as well as it could.
So a point at Villa isn't ideal when we are trying to build some momentum after back to back victories against Tottenham and Montpelier. That said, I would have been happy with four points from Villa and Everton before we stepped out at Villa Park, I just expected the results to go the other way round. We have a very good record at Goodison Park but they are looking very strong on home soil at present. I hope this is a case of everyone and his dog expecting us to fail while we put in a strong performance and win the game. Certainly a massively difficult game tomorrow evening.
Arsene Wenger has hinted that the club are trying to hand Jack Wilshere a new contract which seems a sensible thing to do at this time. I am sure clubs are constantly whispering in players agents ears trying to persuade them not to sign new deals at their current clubs just to gain strength in any possible future tapping up's further down the line.
With the extra commercial revenue coming in, it is imperative that we keep hold of the young established players as they will be the foundation of this club. Whether it be Arsene or his successor whenever that will be, it is key that we build around Wilshere, Jenkinson, Chamberlain, Ramsey and hopefully Walcott although I think that is unlikely to happen at this stage.
While we are short in some areas of the squad and have lost out on signing players in the past due to transfer fees I believe that retaining the services of what we have is far more important than the amount of notes exchanged between us and other clubs.
Before I disappear for today I just want to high five those that care about Tomas Rosicky being back in training. I am looking forward to our Czech maestro linking up with Cazorla and Wilshere. I am hoping we can restore some of that creative edge back into our team that has been missing too many times this season.