Arsenal currently trail league leaders Chelsea by a staggering 11 points already and look far from in the title race, to say disappointment runs through the veins of many an Arsenal fan would be the understatement of the Century. Following a very mediocre display at Anderlecht where Wenger would have been lucky to escape with one point let alone all 3 things need to massively improve. Paul Merson said on Wednesday night “If that was a performance against a Real Madrid side Arsenal would have lost by 6 or 7″ and he is right.
Mertesacker mentioned that the reason for these poor performances was down to poor attitude in training, this has since been denied by Wenger but would you expect anything else? Arsenal have not put an impressive 90 minutes display in all season, the best performance was probably against Galatasary in a 4-1 win and even that had its hairy moments. Defensively Wenger’s side are a shambles and are light years away from challenging for major honours again this campaign.
Today they visit a Sunderland side that were hammered 8-0 at Southampton last weekend surely this is an easy 3 points? Arsenal have been in this position before the main worry is that they go into this game thinking just as everyone else does. Pre-match preparation has been something that Wenger has been criticised for in the past, well the lack of it anyway. He has admitted he doesn’t feel the need to focus on the opposition because he is confident his team can beat anyone on their day, yes he is actually serious. Any World Class coach worth his crust researches the opposition no matter who they are, would you ever get the likes of Jose Mourinho, Jurgen Klopp or Carlo Ancelotti being as arrogant as that? I very much doubt it.
If we learned anything from last weeks home game against Hull City it is Arsenal do not have the ability to kill off sides or even see a game out. After Sanchez put Arsenal 1-0 to the good numerous chances were squandered, then came the infamous calamitous defending of set pieces something that still has not been addressed. As Gary Neville said before the Chelsea defeat ” If Arsenal are defending a set piece, as a fan you will be hiding behind the sofa” it made me laugh at the time but he is exactly right. Long gone are the days when a well drilled defence were absolutely deadly in attacking set pieces and gave away very little at the other end. Defending is a fine art form something that is void at the club, the best defender at the club is Laurent Koscielny and he relies on his pace to get himself out of the reoccurring jam that he has a knack of putting himself in.
Things need to change dramatically and soon if Arsenal are going to keep up with the pace of the others and it has to start today at Sunderland.
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