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My Vision

Written by Mean Lean on Monday, 28 January 2013 14:24

A jolly good afternoon to you, it has been a while since I wrote a blog but it is my 28th Jan resolution to get back on the horse and do my best to keep riding. Mini Lean is now three weeks old so as you can expect, life has been a lot busier than it was a month or so ago. It is really just a case of finding the best time to write.

The mood hasn't been great overall when it comes to Arsenal this season on the whole, it has been pretty much doom and gloom and in truth I haven't felt very inspired to write in recent weeks but that has changed.

Beating two lesser talented teams during a time where we have been beaten at home to City and away to Chelsea shouldn't be cause to crack open the bubbly and celebrate but I think I can finally see where this squad is supposed to be heading.

At the start of the season I think we lost our identity and Arsene and Bould were desperately looking for the answers. There has been talk of Arsene and Bould not getting on because the manager has prevented his assistant from having sole responsibility for the defending.

Firstly I think this has been totally blown up out of proportion but my feeling is that there is some truth to the story. If I was to join in the conjecture then my take is this, Steve Bould had full control or close to that of the defenders, about where they should be positioned etc and the result of this was that our attacking game suffered too much.

Think back to the start of the season when we struggled to break down the opposition. Sunderland (h) and Stoke (a) and a few more, we had defended very well but were not creating enough chances. I thought it was solely down to the team not understanding each other and needing time to gel which to an extent would be true but I believe that our new set up had hindered our offensive game. We would finish matches only having a handful of attempts on the opponents goal.

Having to build our game up after sitting behind the ball when we lost it was too much for a team who were newly constructed.

My guess is that Arsene being an attack minded coach, a man who has always wanted to play attacking football realised that a mixture of Bould's work with the defenders and his attacking ideas would not work. Bould would yank the handbrake on Arsene's vision so he decided to scrap it and go back to playing further up the pitch.

This idea that Wenger was jealous of the praise that Steve Bould was getting so decided to take the responsibility away from Bould sounds a little teenage girl school prom-ish. Basically it is ridiculous that anyone thought of this in my opinion.

Arsene the dictator slamming his fist on the table after reading about Steve Bould's contribution to our 0-0 with Sunderland. Yeah, ok then.

Watching our dour 1-0 defeat at the hands of Norwich this season was awful. I didn't recognise us at all. There has been a few of those, Bradford, Villa and a few others. These were far lower points for me than the recent defeats to City and Chelsea, because at least we saw 45 minutes of Arsenal. The real Arsenal. We have seen one touch football, we have seen support of Giroud, we have seen a better understanding between Wilshere and Cazorla. It is coming together and I can see our identity once more.

I read a comment on Yogi's Warrior's, A Cultured Left Foot from someone giving their take on our 45 minute matches and it kind of makes sense. Cannot remember who this was so apologies for the lack of credit but he thought that Arsene was sending them out in the first half to conserve energy and then go for it in the second. Which kind of makes sense when you think of it.

Arsene Wenger is mad on statistics, red zones and his GPS system. It is the reason as to why he is removing Lukas Podolski at 70 minutes every game.

Perhaps Arsene feels as if his team cannot press at full pelt for 90 minutes every three days. Perhaps our lack of intensity for 45 minutes has been planned but perhaps the stupid individual mistakes and switching off are not so planned.

Maybe the idea has been to defend well, keep the ball away from the opposition and go in at half time at least level to then go for the juggler in the second half. It is the only way to explain the recent continuing theme.

While we may have regressed back roughly to 2009 in term of rebuilding the team, I am of the belief that things will only get better from here on in. The team is clicking together and we have signed our young Brit's to long term contracts. Unlike the young Denilson, Bendtner, Eboue and so on, I expect this new group to take the step forward that those before them didn't. Well I say expect, but it is more hope.

In the shorter term I have been enthused from what I have seen in recent weeks. Jack Wilshere is looking the player we all knew he would. He will get better as the season goes on. Giroud has found a purple patch so has Lukas Podolski. Santi Cazorla is due another run of good form and Theo is looking stronger and stronger. Gibbs is a beast, Rosicky is back and Arteta is around the corner.

I am hoping we finally find some consistency and stay on a winning run, something we have yet to do this season. I also believe that we will also buy on deadline day but we shall see.

I wanted to write about something different to the Usmanov, David Villa stuff so I have. It may well be incorrect but it is how I see things at the moment.

Looking forward to Wednesday night and fingers crossed we can do the double over the Scousers.

Back (hopefully) tomorrow.

Comments (25)

  • Arley Trotman
    Nice piece fella. Keep it coming
  • pedantic george
    Wonderful stuff
  • Nizam
    Beating less talented teams is no big deal. The question is can the gunners beat Liverpool?I have my doubts especially with the way the defence comcede goals to 3nd tier team
  • Ross
    I agree that beating smaller teams is no cause for celebration, but let's not forget that it's the smaller teams that have often been our stumbling block over the years, mostly due to the way they set up to defend. Good article
  • pedantic george
    Its a uphill battle these days ML.
  • g clarke  - lesser teams
    Liverpool chel spuds would love to have beat LESSER TEAMS
  • Gangster  - Good Article
    Well written keep up the good work :!:
  • Jez  - We won
    Liverpool lost against a championship side who scored goals for fun against them. We may conceed a few against Liverpool but we will hit them for 6 because there defence is actually worse than ours.
  • MeanLean
    It is not hard to see why we were inconsistent so far this season. Can anyone think of a team going through so much on pitch change in the space of two years?

    That is not a rhetorical question either. I cannot think of one. Arsene's post invincibles team (When broke I might add) took years to build and was it not for a spectacular collapse (Arsene should share a slice of that blame imo) they could have won the title.

    I am not sure it is so easy to revamp almost a full squad in two years and hit the ground running for the whole season.
  • Way
    :?: :!:
  • JWilshere's biggest fan  - -----
    Awesome piece,we will beat Sh*tpool,COYG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • naked goon  - going for it
    not sure about conserving the energy for the first 45 thing, it might be more useful to start a game on time, go for it get 2 or 3 goals ahead and defend properly and keep possesion during the second half, that is what we used to do, even against Madrid and Barca, just watch the opening 15 minutes of those 2006 CL games.
  • cesc
    really nice read.
    but you never once mentioned our incompetent defenders or our accident prone goalie.
    i think our problems go deeper than bould v wenger.
    wenger sticking wiith average to poor defenders doesn't help our defence.

    what other manager would tolerate santos at the club never mind in the team. someone tell me what santos can or has brought to our team. he is useless as a defender. how could wenger leave santos on the pitch for so long against brighton? but we all know wenger and how stubborn he can be so don't be surprised to see santos playing again soon.
    you only need to look at how our centre halfs were incapable of dealing with the brighton crosses to see our problems go deeper than wenger v bould.
    defenders should at the very least be able to head a ball, shield the ball, push forwards with the ball wide away from danger.
    our centre halfs fail in all 3 of these areas. never win an header in our box.
    always diving in and getting caught out.
    we have a great midfield, a greaqt attack but a poor defence and golaie that is our problem.
  • Paul N
    Great stuff, Mean Lean and congrats on the little one mi bredrin.

    Cesc, talk all you want. Arsenal have one of the best defensive records in the PL. Unless you think it is all an accident, the defenders are not as imcompetent as you suggest, infact, they are not.

    Santos has played one match in how long and you are killing him. Mind you, this is the same Santos that played quite well last season.
  • MeanLean
    Thank you Paul. How are your two (?) doing?

    Agree with you on Santos, whilst clearly not setting the world alight it is easy to forget that most players need games to get to their best. I'm not sure that his style suits our shape at present as we need overlapping full backs rather than his drifting inside and getting on the ball style but that does not mean he isn't a good player when match fit and sharp
  • Paul N
    The babies are doing well, you should ask me how I am coping. ha!

    I am blessed!

    Could be right about Santos there, he does like to cut in (and shoot from distance. I have to laugh) more than anything else and it that it does slow down the attacking on the left. He can learn all the same.

    Everytime I think of Santos I think our wins over Chelsea and City last season. He was immense in the second half against Chelsea (scored a nice goal) and he came in in the second half of the City and dealt with Balotelli, physically that is.

    He seems to really out of it, all the same. Something is up with him.
  • ant
    Diaby legs take 45mins to warm up. :(
  • davi  - comment
    "Everytime I think of Santos I think our wins over Chelsea and City last season."
    So do I. Like Eboue, he has it in him to be a classy fullback but he's lost his confidence and teams are targetting him so he looks worse than he really is.

    BTW on Santos' shooting - his record for every club before he joined us is a goal every 5 games. That's incredible really for a fullback (although he was a winger in his younger days) and the reason he likes to cut in and shoot is most likely because he's actually pretty good at it. One word: confidence.

    Anyway, like many others before him, he's lost his way a bit at Arsenal and may need to move on to rediscover himself.
  • Alan  - Defenders? Web have'nt got any
    Just take a look at Brighton's first goal. A corner from the right. Two Brighton players jumped for the ball, but not one Arsenal player left the ground. What is Steve Bould teaching these defenders? TIDLYWINKS. Come on Steve, you played better stuff than that. I remember, I am a 77year old Arsenal man .
  • Paul N
    Maybe Davi, or the man could just need a run of games.

    I wonder if the players ever got over him asking for RVP's shirt at halftime? I know they were ticked off big time.
  • slugboy  - not buying it
    Nah, not buying it.

    The tactic not to press in the first half is a rubbish one. The oppo team gain confidence and once head can defend deep.

    For some reason we think we do not have to press all over the pitch. We saw with WHU that when we press, we win easily. Barca do it so we should do it. Maybe we are not fit enough?

    Bould is responsible for the zonal marking which is killing us at the moment. The zonal marking problem is compounded by a keeper lacking confidence to dominate his penalty area.

    The quick change we need is press all over and man to man marking from set pieces. Man to man marking should stop the opposition from having free runs (running jumps) compared to our static jumps.
  • siribrahim  - TRUE
  • Archimedes
    AW social wage structure retains journeymen while stars leave
  • paspartu
    ha ped george, paul, fungunner....has yogi turned into stalin? :wink:
  • JC  - Pat Rice vs Bould
    Previously with Pat Rice, AW were always talking and complaining to him, Rice was AW's talking dummy. Whereas with Bould, AW is rarely communicating or looking at each other in the dug out! The body language speaks louder than word!
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