Lessons for Arsenal in fantastic Chelsea win

I think the consensus of opinion is that 10-man Chelsea played perhaps the best game of the year against Barcelona last night, in the Champions League semi-final. And the win by Chelsea against great odds was definitely well deserved.

Would an Arsenal team forced to play Barcelona under the same circumstances as Chelsea have done as well? I think the consensus of opinion would be that they would have capitulated quite easily. But perhaps the same opinionated people would have to concede that Arsenal is a superior team to Chelsea in several areas.

But not in the one that mattered the most last night.

Chelsea could teach Arsenal a thing or three about defending resolutely. And about hanging on, no matter what. Arsenal have the class of Barcelona, but without the tenacity and sheer will to win against great odds, the physical and mental toughness, they are not going to become giant killers like Chelsea or consistent winners like Barcelona.

Arsenal have however got probably the best manager in the business in Wenger, and a crop of promising players that have the potential. But will that potential mature in time for next season?

Let’s wait and see…

In defence of Arsenal

There is none! It’s that simple.

The defensive is a shambles. It’s like watching a bunch of headless chickens running around, stumbling into each other and falling over. And oh, how painful it is to hold one’s head in horror, watching the comedy of errors at the back, week after week.

The regular injuries to the players at the back point to a clear lack of training and focus in that area. Either that, or Wenger has spent a lot of money on clearly incompetent players.

Even Vermaelen, who everyone hailed as the saviour for Arsenal in defense, makes far too many mistakes. Perhaps that’s in large part due to the hopeless team-mates he has at the back. And even though Szczesny is constantly improving in goal, he is still far from the sort of confident take-charge person that is required in this position.

And let’s not even waste time discussing Johan Djourou. He does not belong in any position in any football team, let alone in the Arsenal defense.

Arsenal’s defense does not strike fear into any advancing opposition. In fact, every team in the league must surely be licking their lips in glee, knowing that scoring against the current Arsenal team, is liking taking candy from kids.

And it was never like that.

What’s changed? Has the pursuit of profits taken precedence over the brilliant football that Arsenal are were legendary for?

And will the fans stick around in the future to find out?

Have the Arsenal signed on a few spectators?

It’s becoming all too much to bear.  Another dreadful night of football with the Arsenal not being able to get past Wigan; which they should have done quite comfortably.

Wenger has no excuses this time – he can’t blame the pitch, or the two atrocious refereeing decisions. Arsenal should have won despite this. But they didn’t . And perhaps Wenger needs to admit for once that he screwed up.

His starting lineup showed a great deal of arrogance and disrespect for Wigan. He is not going to win games against the so-called minnows if he insists on picking players who would be visibly more comfortable sitting in the stands watching the game. Even though Arshavin and Bendtner both scored, they were mere spectators for large parts of the game.

The Arsenal are in desperate need of players who are prepared to put in some work; not just wait for the ball to roll up to their feet. Bendtner, Arshavin, Denilson and Chamakh to a certain extent are just far too lazy, and don’t make the extra efforts required to get to the ball in cases where the passes are not 100% accurate.

It’s time Wenger looked at offloading these spectators and employing some honest hard-working no-nonsense footballers, even if they’re supposedly not as talented as this lot. And boy does that defense need some attention. Make-shift is hardly the word to describe the disaster-in-waiting that passes for a defense.

If Wenger thinks he’s going to win any trophies this year with these low levels of commitment on regular display, then he must be the most optimistic professor of football, ever.