Arsenal historically have based their game on an attacking philosophy and Wenger’s historical side with the golden Premier League trophy are the proper testament to that.
Swashbuckling awe-striking and ruthlessly fluid attacking display from Henry, Bergkamp, Pires and Ljungberg are what the Gooners who watched the games in the early 2000s have been fortunate to witness on a daily basis and had been quite used to expecting that from the teams during those days.
As the league changed so did Wengers choice of midfielders and attackers gradually as the team shifted from that to an overall balanced display which attack still on their minds but the thought of defending as a team gradually being seeded on their minds.
” Offense wins you games but defense wins you the league “
This has never been more true than now. If the recent league winning teams and statistics are anything to go by they will all point to this conclusion. Goal scoring is a must but if you are going to concede more than you score than what is that point.
Ask Liverpool and they will tell you for they have suffered from this on one too many times. Last season the league winners Chelsea conceded just 33 goals in an entire season whereas Arsenal and Liverpool conceded 44 and 42 goals to finish as the 4th and 5th in the league.
City this season seem destined to win the league given the huge gap they have created at the top of the table but below them what happens is anybodies guess and if you are an interesting in betting in Premier League, bookies all over are offering excellent odds and huge signing up offers here at odds changer where you can get access to daily betting tips, match previews and weekly articles.
Arsenal have conceded more goals (34) in the Premier League this season than bottom-of-the-table West Brom.
But at least they have another striker. 🤔 🤔 pic.twitter.com/5B8EVm4YZE
— SportNation (@TeamSportNation) January 31, 2018
While Arsenal seems to be miles off the top of the table, the huge reason behind this is not their lack of being able to score goals. It is their fragility at the back which has cost them even though they have scored sufficient number of goals. While they have conceded 35 goals already this season, the team at the top has conceded just 18 almost their half and its no coincidence that City are where they are.
Here at Arsenal before the January transfer window opened we had in our team 5 or 4 proper defenders and with them Xhaka and Wilshere/Ramsey also protecting the back four and tracking back. The others were Iwobi/Sanchez or Ozil and Lacazette. Apart from Iwobi the other three players quite frankly played no part in the defensive side of the game and as such creative and genuinely talented attackers you cannot expect much from them either.
Without being unfair on Ozil it is worth a mention that he does cover quite a lot of ground and tries to press quite often. But does he do more than what Iwobi does, certainly not. During the games against Chelsea Iwobi was there in the team ahead of Ozil frankly due to this. Arsenal needed to press and they needed to press hard which is exactly what Welback and Iwobi did in place of Sanchez and Ozil.
Sanchez is no more and instead we have now the fearsome front four of Lacazette, Mikhitaryan, Aubameyang and Ozil something which is huge and too good to believe but it also has its dark side. Lacazette will play as the striker and will almost certainly play no part in the defensive side of things.
In a team with these four together it will have to be a back four team which will then only enable all of them to be accommodated. That leaves us without that extra center back at the back and that added defensive stability already gone. Now with four defenders at the back the onus falls on the midfield duo of Xhaka and Wilshere/Ramsey to protect the back four and to flush out counter attacks.
While watching Mikhitaryan at United one thing was obvious that defending was not his forte and this is something Jose very well knew and I believe contributed to his decision of letting him go. Mikhitaryan is an excellent attacker and a very creative midfielder but he is a number 10 and not a number 6. Being the holding midfielder is not his cup of tea and he will certainly not be as good as Iwobi when pressing or as good as Coquelin in tackling or preventing counter attacks.
Having all these four attackers in the team is bound to leave create spaces in our half of the field and something which counter attacking teams like Liverpool or even Bournemouth will be well aware of. Goals are certain with them in the team but then again what good are goals conceded if you end up conceding more than that.
How do you fit Lacazette, Mikhitaryan, Aubameyang and Ozil into the team one beside another and tell them to track back or tackle and flush out counter attacks when neither of these four have a defensive mind. When the ball goes away they will feel like it is the other players in the team who are supposed to get back the ball and provide it to them.
How do you tell these attackers to go and get the ball back from the other team when you know that is not what they have been trained for in their life. Well that is for the boss to figure out and for our sake and the clubs sake we hope there is a right balance and a right chemistry in this team that can be created with them on the field rather than off the field because as we know very well this season, defense is killing us and we cannot afford to make it worse than what we already have.