The season has been a difficult one so far, featuring the complete disintegration of an Arsenal side which was heavily fancied to secure a top four finish. The analysis of the situation is constant as we collectively look for the answers that may make the predicament more palatable.
Emery, a highly regarded and previously successful manager, couldn’t turn Arsenal into an attractive and competitive side after 18 months of trying.
Arsenal invested heavily in the squad, spending a reported £138m, which was greeted with unanimous approval, simultaneously fueling feverish expectations, but that hasn’t worked either.
It’s a real puzzle, a bonafide head scratcher but one which I think, can be solved to some degree. Arsenal are brimming with talent which comprises of experienced personnel, fabulous emerging academy prospects and recent acquisitions.
On paper, they should be already challenging for a top four slot but I’m afraid that they are going to struggle all season long on the evidence of what we’ve seen and although Ljungberg will inject an infectious football philosophy and energy, it won’t improve Arsenal’s plight significantly.
We will see glimpses of an old Arsenal in terms of intensity and intent, but they won’t achieve their aspirations or force their way back into contention at the end of this campaign. It’s not being a pessimist, I’m just trying to be realistic because Arsenal have a fundamental problem that can’t be resolved until a long term manager is appointed.
Defence ? No, it’s worse than that.
The problem is, as I see it, is that the team is completely incompatible in so many areas. It contains many extremely talented, individual parts, which are incapable of producing results.
Much has been made of Arsenal’s flimsy defence and there’s no denying it is dysfunctional. Yet, look at the team as a whole and you may eventually agree that the same problems are obvious in all departments.
The central defence pairing is ineffective. The holding midfielder partnership and creative engine of the side are also poor. The service from the flanks doesn’t equate to goals for the two world class strikers, who have to poach and live off their predatory instincts.
In short, the team is set for failure because hardly any of its components fit together comfortably. At the moment, I think it’s too big a job for Arteta or Ljungberg and is more suited to the organisational mind of Allegri, Pochettino, Naglesmann or Benitez.
It’s said that one of Arsenal’s top targets has reservations about the current squad and is seeking assurances that he can make substantial alterations and additions to turn them into a credible force again.
Massimiliano Allegri must be at the top or close to the top of Arsenal’s shopping list for a manager, but he may also be on the radar of other big name clubs including Manchester United. He was considered previously before Emery’s appointment but David Ornstein claimed that there were concerns over his abilities to communicate, which will be seen as ridiculous after Unai Emery’s troubles.
Allegri also wanted to bring in up to nine backroom staff which would mean dismissing a number of high profile names such as Ljungberg and Mertesacker. It’s said that Allegri has potential interest in the job but had serious reservations over the current Arsenal squad, which also supports my theory.
Nothing will become clear until a manager is appointed, but it’s clear that there is a considerable amount of work to do and possibly more incomings and outgoings on the horizon.