Today’s guest post comes from @zefa22 – Please read, enjoy and share.
Arsenal FC face Reading FC in the Premier League fixture on Monday, 17 December 2012. They are hoping to move on and close the chapter on their embarrassing defeat against Bradford in the Captial One Cup last Tuesday. The Gunners have visited the Madejski Stadium earlier in October where they accomplished a fantastic comeback against the home side winning 5-7. However, their recent form has made them unable to chase down even a single goal lead. A look at a few factors that haven’t been too convincing and shouldn’t be repeated if the Gunners want to keep any hopes alive of winning anything this season.
– Players shouldn’t dive.
This might not be amongst the most pressing issues at Arsenal lately and needless to say it happened only once, it hits like a brick to see talented players like Santi Cazorla dive. Therefore, it needs to be addressed. Regardless of how and why it might have happened it doesn’t suit the Spanish midfielder because he has the skills to turn the game around without falling to lowly tricks like diving. It also tarnishes Arsenal’s image of a club which rarely falls in the midst of having to deal with accusations of getting goals through non-appreciative means.
– Defence shouldn’t act as Tom chasing Jerry.
Of all the goals Gunners have conceded the most frustrating are the ones scored through set pieces or lack of challenge from the defence. The defensive line should start reading opponents’ moves, act before it’s too late and before the rival player has gone off with the ball far too ahead to be tackled or chased down.
– Result shouldn’t be a sum of individual efforts but united accomplishments.
The results have mostly been unsurprising defeats and victories haven’t been convincing. Lack of a united front has been of the main causes of Arsenal’s demise. The performances have been short of team efforts. The key links between defenders, midfielders and strikers have been missing. It’ll do Gunners good to break whatever communication barriers that remain or have arisen (if any) between players. The link-up play between midfielders and forwards have to become more productive.
– Players hiding behind their ‘fearless’ Manager.
Lack of spirit, responsibility and determination. That’s all Arsenal has been associated with lately. The team falls short of a quality performance and the blame is unquestionably carried by Arsene Wenger. The manager may be at fault but the players needs to man up and shoulder the blame. What happens on the pitch in the 90 minutes is influenced directly only twice by the man on the touchline, before the kick-off and after the half time whistle. Cut the manager some slack and force the players to bear some responsibility and play like they’ve got everything to lose.
– “You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.”
Physical presence during the game is obviously not enough. A strong presence of mind and mental attitude is needed to survive a game between clashing talents. The team against Bradford showed complacency, indifference and lack of spirit. Players might have endured 120+ minutes long match against a fourth division side but they lost against a team that had a fearless attitude. It seems whenever Gunners have lost it’s not because of injured players, or lack of physical strength but because of an absence of spirit and commitment to give hundred percent for the name of the club they carry with them on the pitch.
– Living on the wrong end of the two extremes.
Where players have shown impregnable strength, and undeterred spirit against Reading Fc trailing four goals behind the home side, they have shown equally indifference character against Bradford, Norwich, and Swansea where comeback was a lot easier. If players like living on the edge, they should stay on the extreme where they play with the mentality of ‘Ain’t no mountain high enough’ with a spirit that’s hard to shake off.
Consistency is the key. While there is consistency, it’s not seen in the form of victories but constant lack of a fighting spirit. The squad may be without star names who used to associate themselves with the club but they’re history. While the club has realized that by now it is important to move on. The current squad is strong enough. The players need to believe in themselves and the fans need to support the team and help nurture that self-belief once the team realises they have it in them to win trophies that have been in the waiting for far too long.