Is Sanchez The Answer To Arsenal’s Woes ?

The way I feel right now, this could be my last article. I’ve lost faith in people to think or behave reasonably. The negativity is stomach turning. Still, this is not another rallying call, or a dig at the fans, goodness knows we all have reasons to be unhappy.

Before I go on, let me first admit that what you are about to read is ill researched, and based on my thoughts, which as far as tactics go, are about as valuable as a handful of beans.

Lets first look at what we know.

A) Arsenal are worse than last year.

B) Arsenal are  just not playing like Arsenal.

C) Something has gone badly wrong.

D) Something has happened to make A B and C come about.

When we were at our best last year, we had Arteta and Ramsey in the deeper positions shielding the back 4. That system basically won Szczesny the golden glove. In most games both players had passing % in the mid 90’s and sometimes upward of 100 touches each on the ball.

In front of them we had Mesut, a player you can give the ball to and he will cherish it, if he cant make a telling pass, he simple recycles it and control is kept, the ball is kept. Control is keep. Calm is keep.

Giroud could be given the ball, he would hold it up and lay it of to the MF, we know how effective Aaron was arriving from deep. We looked good, top of the league and going well . The system worked. The league standings for two thirds of the campaign proved it.

However, there was a problem. Without Theo (or anyone else with pace) teams could come out and pressure the MF sure in the knowledge that Giroud, or anyone else, would not run in behind them. Without pace there was a way of stopping us.

When we bought Sanchez my thoughts were that he would give the pace and goals that Theo gives in that system. he seemed the perfect answer.  He could play wide right until Theo was fit, he could play wide left for Santi, and if needs be he could play at CF if a shake up was required. In other words we could rotate and have cover for injuries in all the areas where pace is vital.

Of course fate took a hand and we lost Giroud, Ozil, and for much of the time Arteta.

So rather than coming in to a settled team and improving us, Sanchez has come into a totally disrupted team and changed us.

For all his heroics he struggles to make 70% pass completion. That, from mainly the centre of the field, is shocking. For all his effort and endeavour his ball retention is pathetic. And yes , I know he he is a marvelous player and scores goals right left and centre, but he is like a rower in a boat that’s stronger than the other guys but because hes rowing out of sync the boat is going slower.

It gets worse when other players think  it a good idea to play like that and go chasing the ball or turning it over for no obvious reason. It worried me when the Ox, said  “we should follow the example of Alexis” . Thats fine if the example followed is chasing down the ball in the final third and scoring goals. However, if its giving the ball away time after time in the middle of the park and not managing to pass the simplest of balls to a teammate, not so much.

For a long time I’ve though our tactics have been to start fast and if we didn’t get a goal early control possession and run the legs off the opposition. Then go again in the last 20 minutes when they were tired and Arsene’s famous late substitutions were made. Now though its us who have no legs in the last 20 and have our legs run off chasing the ball.

We will just have to wait and see how it all works when we have the players back. But its not working right now.

Should we have bought a 4th choice CB ? Well yes, on the face of it

Should we have bought a player that can cover or replace Mikel ? Well yes, on the face of it.

But would that have altered any of the things I’ve mentioned ?

Ramsey is simply not the player he was last year ! Or does he just suffer from the loss of shape that saw him playing to his strengths ?

The greatest strength of our team has been weaving patterns of play that confuse the opponents and open up opportunities. There is zero chance of that happening with a 70% pass completion .

Of course if would be better if Koscielny and Debuchy were fit, but they would just be better defenders playing behind the same chaos.

Arsene cant be exempt from criticism. No matter what the circumstances its his job to find the answers. But I for one am willing to wait until we at least see something resembling our best 11 and he is given the chance to bring in the players of world class level I believe he is searching for, in the positions we all know are weaknesses.

I understand the frustrations of fans, indeed I share them, but I am not about to suggest throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

So thats it , my tuppence worth. Like it or lump it. I accept that it could be complete bollocks.

Now as far as this site goes, I’m going to see how the comments go and decide if the blog has a future or purpose. To be quite honest it feels like I’m pissing into the wind at the moment.




Comment navigation

Newer Comments →

117 comments on “Is Sanchez The Answer To Arsenal’s Woes ?

  1. Glad I found this blog. Getting tired of all the constant whinging out there. Especially those who seem to think Arsenal just ‘was’ successful & won’t give Wenger any credit for signing & developing talent. Please don’t pack it in!


  2. fabregas is a midfielder while alexis is a striker. it will be rather hash to judge cesc on goal score as it will be of alexis on pass completion. to say alexis played mainly in the midfield for arsenal is beyond me. maybe i have not been seeing enough of arsenal games. and how come he scored so many goal when players like ramsey and cazorla who have become strikers since alexis moved to midfield not been able to score goals.

    if there is anyone to blame for alexis distrupting our play, it the man who bought him. i’m not the one complaining though.


  3. pass complation of some strikers last season
    messi : 85.03%
    suarez :74.74%
    alexiz : 79.69%
    ronaldo : 80.29%
    giroud : 68.94%
    lewandowski : 72.35%
    benzema : 81.13%
    costa : 75.54%
    mandzukic : 72.78%
    immobile : 71.41%

    this season, squawka starts for alexiz in the league isnt too bad either.
    appearance 10, goals 8, avg. shot accuracy 73%, total chances created 23, avg. pass accuracy 77%, avg. length of pass 15m, avg. duel won 44%, avg. defensive action 1, total defensive error 0, yellow 2.
    so we can see that barca couldnt have sold him for not being a great passer of the ball and again went ahead to replace him with a player with worse pass completion stats. his average in the epl is is still close to his average last season in la liga and still better than suarez’s stats in epl last season. another fact is that his average range of passes is 15m and not 4m – 5m. although i feel its too hasty to call arsenal a one man team, i also think its too hasty to slate him or attribute our failings to him. he is just geting used to the team. it takes some players months to even get their first goal for us. i believe the picture will be clearer by january when hopefully, our players will be available or we have some now addition to the squad.

    hope the rumour of arteta extending with arsenal is true. we need him to groom some of our midfielders on how to be a proper midfielder. keep it simple. simple.


  4. those planning protest against wenger must have thought usmanov is arsenal’s owner.


  5. Keep ya wings on PG, we’re fighting a for the souls of the unborn.
    We have fought well so far and are in the final stages.
    Limit the twittering to say once a week till the tide turns, and maybe bring back that ultimate destroyer of doomerlings…hunter 13!

    To the Q asked, “is Sanchez the answer?”.
    Yes he is. The next level rqd for a staunch assault on 1st entered its 3rd phase with the capture of the Chilean.
    Getting the mileage on the strongest kids was 1st.
    Procuring a world class maestro 2nd, and vavavooming our attack was 3rd.

    Watching Alexis, Ox & DW23 in synchronized assault is a joy to behold. AW’s remade the Henry-Pires-Freddie tandem version 2.0 and Theo, Gnabry & JC28 are not in on it yet!
    Absolutely fantastic when in synch adding that next level with speed, shots from everywhere, more killers in the box, the outrageous, swift ball retrieval an dguile for the better part of 70mins per game.
    Its been a welcome addition to our basic style of play, though I feel its had to be deployed so much because too many are out injured.

    Transition ain’t easy.
    AW has to adjust the timing & choice of his substitutions to maintain, step up and close out games more decisively.
    With the likes of Poldi, TR, TW, JC & Rambo (who’s clearly no up to speed yet) as first choices off the bench.
    OG, Sanogo, Gnabry, Diaby*, Ozil* & MD2* yet to come.

    Also Nacho might have to alternate with Chambers and Hector depending on the opposition to reduce the number of simple goals we are conceding.
    I still think he looks more assured as a CB for about 65mins per game and should not be removed to appease the lemmings at all.

    All in all we are making progress and are looking good for the 2nd half.
    The last 6 weeks of the year should restore confidence and pride if AW is the same AW we’ve learned to respect.
    Half full sits the glass.
    Keep the faith gooners!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “and maybe bring back that ultimate destroyer of doomerlings…hunter 13!”

    And there I was thinking that Aman was Hunter all along!


  7. Major Catastrophe and his Doomerlings

    I like it


  8. Limestone

    You are very welcome.
    I might be going to the Dortmund game, if you are then let’s see if we can say hello!


  9. Layksite. I’m not sure what you are missing here “This is ok if its in the box or playing through ball like Arshavin did. But not when playing as the No 10. Its the rank poor passing in MF that worries me. he can lose it as often as he likes going for goal.”


  10. Mills

    Rotation is an interesting consideration. There was a comment from AW at the start I the season explaining the staggered reintroduction of players post WC where he said it takes several games for a player to really get their groove on coming in from scratch. Arteta said last week it was going to take him three games to get over his strain, and for those sixty odd minutes in the CL he was back up to his levels.

    I think what we might see when OG is back is both him and Welbeck rotating a little more obviously. Playing three games a week must be tiring so hopefully if he’s back for Xmas we’ll see fresh CFs starting every game over the crunch period where in recent years AFC have played twice in fourty eight hours.


  11. I miss ZimPaul

    As our other Paul would say, we were blessed.


  12. I’m too laid back to be hunter13, foreverheady.
    Dude is hard core when it comes to defending AW.
    I miss him….the DM of the goonersphere!


  13. Sorry I mean MV not mills @ 12.17 above


  14. George quick comment before I read the new post (with lunch!):

    I went on a few non-football or work related blogs recently. Outside the two I usually prefer to escape away from a screen, but I wanted to see what people were saying about a soon to be released book called “The Winds of Winter” (Winter is coming!). And they have a fairly strict comments policy. I think if you want to provide a forum that allows people to go into detail and a genuinely genuine dialogue about Football and not the PGMOB rules variant then this is the way forward for Arsenal supporters.

    The media attack on the club is so transparent it has reached the realm of the absurd with Merson, someone who is not well, now being exploited to the maximum by his exploiters, to his own denigration. And the AAAA support this! Because it’s their allies exploiting this former Arsenal player (& Chelsea fan!). Sado-masochistic tendencies. And worse.

    We are in an environment where Arsenal Football Club has more appreciation outside of the UK for remaining a football club as a result of the extreme levels of propaganda against a club that *coughs* appears to be paying half the market rate for the talent, which can’t be pleasing the power brokers in the game: the Mendes’ etc. or those who who seek to push the Neo-Dickenisan philosophy of debt peonage.

    In this context your efforts are appreciated and this blog is a necessity!


  15. P.S.: I know I was saying this all summer long, but I might as well repeat myself: I’ve long believed that Sanchez would be a great signing.

    The prospect of him developing and playing alongside Walcott (that lob to a very rusty Theo on Sunday!), Chamberlain, Welbeck, it’s enough to make me start to drool. Where’s me bib…


  16. alright sir george. lets drop it here while go read the new post.


Comment navigation

Newer Comments →

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: