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.