Sunday, August 3, 2008

Arsenal Need A New Defender - Eduardo Returns

Hola. I'm writing this during half time of the Arsenal-Real Madrid match and it's still 0-0. Yesterday we lost 1-0 to Juventus on a goal that was CLEARLY offside by David Trezeguet. Referee is clearly in preseason form as well. I'm not going to bother with a match report but if you want to read one I'm sure you can find one somewhere.

What I am going to talk about is the defense, which has looked shaky at best against Stuttgart, Juve, and Madrid at times. Going forward we have looked fairly strong. I think Denilson, Wilshere, and Ramsey have all had exceptional preseasons along with Vela and Bendtner. Adebayor and RvP don't have their full match sharpness yet so we haven't put goals in yet in this tournament but they will come with more games. The chances we have created will be put in the back of the net during the real season. Offensively is not where my concerns lie, however.

There have been several cases this preseason where the defensive marking has been questionable. I realize that several of the center back pairings haven't played with each other much and it is only preseason, but they are mistakes that you don't often see from solid defenses at this level. Too much space has been given to opposing strikers, and I remember especially against Stuttgart they had several good chances with strikers getting free behind the defense because of poor marking. Our problem last year was our inability to cope with long balls and pick up the strikers when the ball was on the way in, and that vulnerability seems to remain. I don't know if it is a communication error or just not having the familiarity, but it is something that needs to be remedied as soon as possible.

At the start of the transfer season Arsene Wenger was asked about his targets for the summer and his answer was that we would sign "A playmaker and a powerful defender." Well we have our playmaker in Samir Nasri but it appears that Wenger has forgotten about the defender. Djourou and Senderos have never been convincing over an extended period of time and the Gallas/Toure partnership hasn't ever been as successful as it should be with two players of their caliber. We need a new defender. It's as simple as that. More than we need any holding midfielder, our first priority HAS to be a defender. There are loads of good ones, who have been solid consistently, that can play at high levels, and one of them needs to be brought in. Another season of leaking long balls that turn into goals is unacceptable. If it happens again than Wenger has to be blamed. He said himself that we need a defender and he has failed to bring one in. I'm a Wenger guy 100% but after watching the defense in these matches and having the same problems as we had all last year, I realize that a change has to be made.

Some other observations...As I said earlier, I think Denilson has been great this preseason. He has looked strong in the tackle, comfortable on the ball and with his distribution, and not afraid to take a shot when he has a sight of goal. We haven't gotten to see a whole lot of Diaby, but I think Denilson has made the most of his run in the team. Do you think he could be up to the job of playing beside Cesc? Judging by his play so far I'd say he can.

Last, I wanna talk about Eduardo, who returned today to a massive reception. It was great to see him walking around and they interviewed him as well. Great to hear from him and especially great to hear the roaring of the crowd when they saw him. Big ups from myself to all the fans who showed him how much we are all rooting for him. Get well soon mate, we're all praying for you.

Let me know what you think about everything. Hope Arsenal go out and win in this 2nd half. Cheers.


Joaquin said...

A deserved victory, didn't really show that killer instinct but definitely had the better run of play. Madrid did look as though this was their first game back, very unorganized. Regardless a victory over Madrid is always something to be proud of. Wilshere looks good and I think we are going to see him in the Theo cameo role this season when we face some of the lesser opponents.

Anonymous said...

I won't be as negative as u, but i will stay calm and wait for the season.I guess gallas and jouru have worked well together.Jouru for me is the cover for either gallas or toure.The boys have really looked great in pre-season.Van is getting his fitness back and adebayor.wilshire top class.Theo have been great through out this pre-season.He has stamina and he takes on people with out fear,He has matured in otherwords. Denilson has lookd good over all.Diaby was great today though he lost possesion a couple of times.He will improve as time goes on considering he hasnt played in cm for a long time.Vela is fantastic,the premiership has to watch out.Nasri is still finding his feet

Anonymous said...

we dont need defender. all we need is a world class goalkeeper.

joshuad said...

You say that there are plenty of defenders available. Exactly who are they? How many CB's are available for a descent price that are better than Toure and Gallas?

I agree with the previous anonymous. We need a new keeper. My biggest fear is that we will miss Flamini and Lehmann this season. When we played AC Milan, Almunia was injured but guess what; we had Lehmann. Could you imagine young Fabianski that night against Milan?

Sure we could find someone who could do more technically than Flamini but what about his leadership and fighting spirit? How many were calling Arsenal a soft touch last year? That was in no small part to Flamini's personality and fight.

Sorry mate but I have to disagree with you all the way around.

ArseNole said...

joshuad, im not talking about how good gallas and toure are individually, but they haven't ever worked well together over a period of time. They are too similar and they miscommunicate.

And ps: Almunia is a good goalkeeper

dan said...

we require a world class dm, yesterday. almunia is a fine keep. as for central defence toure and gallas could be as good as rio and vidic but they do need to understand each other better to get to that next level, and yes i agree they may be a bit too similar. regarding wilshere, if i'm wenger i'm very reluctant to expose him to too much too quickly, i'd recommend limiting him to the reserves for the first half of the season.

davo said...

Diaby the next Viera? If we are going to match up red and yellow cards maybe! Felt bad for sneijder. I thought nasri played well- hardly ever lost the ball was tracking back well to cover clichy, he is fitting in fast. Walcott I think is still having to learn when to pass and when to run at the right time but is improving all the time. Defenders in the middle was a problem all last season... Madrids one real chance. A one on one when one ball cuts through the middle to raul. Senderos was in the middle of nowhere. I like senderos, he comes forward and he is a good passer creating a suprising number of chances but have to worry when its defending time. I'd be happy to have a new CB but who would you drop? Captain sulk or toure?