Sunday, 28 August 2011

Arsenal humiliated by United

Sir Alex Ferguson showed sympathy for Arsene Wenger in midweek and claimed the criticism that his old rival was receiving was unfair. However, when it came to matters on the pitch, there was to be no sympathy shown by his young team whatsoever as they cruised to an 8-2 victory.

Inevitably, after their worst ever Premier League defeat, some Gunners fans will be calling for the Frenchman's head and there are others who have been doing that for a while. On one hand, it's hard to imagine where Arsenal might be without Arsene Wenger. He has built a brilliant legacy at Arsenal and we have seen some of the most mesmerizing football as a result. He has transformed Arsenal completely since his arrival and deserves so much credit for the job he has done there.

Nevertheless, football can be cruel and many football fans have a short memory. I've lost count of the amount of managers we have seen unfairly sacked in recent years because of a lack of patience in the boardroom. However, you have to have a good memory to remember Arsenal's last trophy back in 2005 when they lifted the FA Cup and since then Wenger has attempted to build a brilliant side with a group of young players. But in recent weeks Fabregas, Nasri and Clichy have all departed and there could be more to follow if Arsenal's trophy drought continues.

Arsenal's side looked depleted; partly because of bad luck through injuries but it has mainly been self-inflicted by Wenger's reluctance to spend money on quality players. It has been blatantly obvious for a while now that Arsenal have needed experience and better defenders to compliment their young, talented attacking stars. Whilst every football fan seemed to agree, Wenger remained adamant that they didn't need more additions and now, seemingly, we are seeing the consequences.

Focusing more specifically on today's game, I found it absolutely amazing that, despite the fact Arsenal had should an injury hit squad and had to field a weakened side, Arsene Wenger seemed to think they could go to Old Trafford and play as open as they usually do.

Their defensive strategy was also flawed and quite obviously so. Arsenal played a high defensive line and within minutes of the start of the game, it was obvious that United were easily able to exploit the space in behind. However, there was no tactical change from Wenger and United continued to carve them open at will.

We shouldn't of course forget how good Man Utd were today but most teams would have been able to find the gaping holes in Arsenal's defence. If Wenger doesn't part with some money over the next few days, his position as Arsenal manager could be seriously under threat.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Norwich win does not hide Chelsea's flaws

Chelsea may have seen off newly-promoted Norwich today with a 3-1 win at Stamford Bridge but two home wins out of two fail to cover up some off Chelsea's obvious flaws which will need to be dealt with if Chelsea are to challenge the Premier League title this season.

One of the biggest problems Chelsea seem to have at the moment is a lack of creativity and imagination. Chelsea have also been a big and strong side with powerhouses such as Terry, Essien and Drogba in their team. In spite of his small and fragile appearance, it appears that Ramires also possesses plenty of power and strength. However, they don't seem to have someone who can spot a defense splitting pass or control a game from the centre of the park. Often when they go forward it is slow, laboured and predictable.

This explains Chelsea's continued interest in Tottenham's Luka Modric despite Tottenham's claims that he won't be leaving White Hart Lane. However, if they fail to bring in the Croatian or some imagination to their team they may continue to break teams down.

The other clear problem Chelsea seem to have is a lack of pace and width. Andre Villas Boas will hope that the arrival of Mata will help them in that department but before his arrival, the only pace and width within the Chelsea team was provided by the full backs. Whilst there can be no denying of the attacking quality of both Bosingwa and Ashley Cole, we have rarely seen a Chelsea player in the wide positions beat their man and whip in a quality cross; the sort of service that Drogba and Torres could thrive on.
HostGator promos