Arsenal have a board with zero footballing aspirations, meaning Arsene Wenger is without a doubt going to be our manager next season. We can fawn over Simeones and Tuchels all we want, as long as Arsenes milking Mr Kroenke’s cash cows titty in the big city nothings changing. So rightly or wrongly the majority of us have to suck it up and face the music. And I’m happy for it to happen on one massive condition, he needs to go back to the start. Not this dithering, perplexed and defeated Arsene we see before and after matches. I want the old Arsene, who looked seething to the point of breaking after a defeat, you could look in his eyes and feel his rage. Now he just looks beaten after a negative result and just makes up some utter bizarre statements. What happened to playing mind games, he used to be able to drop a comment that would even get under Fergie’s skin, and he hasn’t made one ploy at Leicester or the spuds this season. So come on Le Prof lets re light the fire inside, stick on a Cher CD and believe again.
Not only does he need to act like its 1998 again but he needs to go back to profiling the players he’s signing like it is. Players were bought that were needed and fitted into the system we wanted to play. Ian Wright’s powers were on the wane up step Nicholas Anelka for example. We also need more physical attributes, enough of midgets Arsene. Vieira and Petit were awesome footballers but my goodness they were specimens and that’s what wins you games on rainy nights in Stoke I know it’s cliché but c’est la vie I’m afraid. What leaves me even more bewitched is why we haven’t got any proper defenders in the side. Yes I’m all for the continental defender who can pass out from the back and read the game with his eyes shut but there’s always a place for an old fashion British centre half next to one. And my goodness we’ve missed one ever since big Sol ran out of Highbury into his Range Rover, Sol was a lot more than your average centre half but you catch my drift. Just someone who’s going to relish a battle with an Andy Carroll and not shit his pants. Imagine Adams and Keown at Old Trafford or the Boleyn Ground this season. Yeah were five points better off.
How many titles have we won since we changed to a 3 man central midfield? None that’s right none, admittedly when Jose’s Chelsea won back to back titles doing it seemed like a good idea. Which is why when the gunners were taking steps in the same direction it seemed like the best decision to make tactically at the time but when you look back in hindsight it was a tragedy. Arsene changed his blue print for success. We went from Vieira/Gilberto to Fabregas/Flamini/Denilson, and out went 4-4-2 and in came 4-5-1 and slowly but surely here we are today at 4-2-3-1. So why on earth not go back to the start and play four four f..king two to quote Mike Bassett.
How nice has it been in recent weeks to see two more physical players in the centre of are midfield? I think it’s been refreshing, we’ve hardly seen our centre backs exposed through the middle at all forcing our opponents to come at us from wide areas. And there not the only combination that can play there. We know Coqzorla works and between Wilshere and Elneny we can find some more combos in the engine room for sure. You need bite and silk in the premier league and between the four of them we can produce both. So let’s learn from our own and Arsene’s own history and have a go at 4-4-2 once more.
As much as this probably seems like nostalgic ramblings I honestly think tactically it would make us more secure and as a result more in control of games. Without the ball you’re a lot better set up to defend positional wise. Just because it’s easier to make two banks of four without the ball because the roles of the wide men in the team are more clearly defined from a defensive point of view and the natural distances between winger and full back would be shorter. Which in turn makes it easier to make the pitch smaller without the ball which is the name of the game when defending. For too long now our team’s looks lost defensively so let’s help the players out and make their roles simple. It also should make our transition from defence to attack quicker meaning no more slow insipid tika-taka in the middle third because we’ll have less bodies in there so in turn leaves no option but to get the ball up the pitch quicker making the ball travel greater distances. Like the old days when we used to score a goal in three passes, this squads got the pace to do it. So don’t be frozen in our 4-2-3-1 and lets pray to the Madonna we make the switch back to 4-4-2, if not for results it would bring the entertainment factor back which is what we’ve seriously lacked this season as well as results.
This train of thought hasn’t just been driven by nostalgia its seeing Leicester’s success this season. I look at the maverick’s team and I see our team of 98. A commanding goal keeper, a well drilled back four of proper defence first defenders, a central two that are physical and hardworking, one flank with a worker and the other with a sprinkle magic and pace. Then a blistering number 9 leading the line, the only difference is they don’t have a Bergkamp so they added a bit more hustle in Okazaki. And guess what we have a Dennis available to us in Ozil so why not let him dance the night away just off the front man without any defensive responsibility. Cause now it looks as if the 3 behind the striker all aren’t sure who’s meant to go back when defending leaving our full backs exposed time and time again so just make it simpler.
Iwobi Elneny Coquelin Sanchez Overmars Vieira Petit Parlour
Nacho Koscielny Gabriel Bellerin Winterburn Keown Adams Dixon
That’s just showing the current favoured 11 in the shape without adding in Cazorla, Wilshere or Ramsey into the centre, the fact Ozil, Iwobi, Sanchez and even Giroud can come in to play off the striker. Chamberlain and Campbell can come into the wide areas. We obviously need summer surgery, a new centre half, physical midfielder and another number 9 (I say wincing to myself). But what has Arsene Wenger got to lose by going back to where it all started? He surely can’t lose anymore supporters, unless of course Mr Kroenke is a massive fan of 4-2-3-1. So come on and freak me I think this is the way to take this team to another level. It’s a system Arsene knows and had all his major successes with, when you’re stuck in a rut go back to what you know.
Because I’m sick of trying to be like other teams I want to be like us again. So let’s do it. That’s my condition!
Red member and 26-year-old engineer from Dorset. My life’s biggest regret is never going to Highbury. I try to attend as many games as possible. I’ve always had a love of Arsenal left wings, starting with Overmars, through Pires and Nasri, right up to Alexis. I don’t have an agenda: I just write about the game and club I love as I see it.