1. We need depth at left back
I remember saying this before the start of the season, neither Gibbs nor Santos had convinced me. While Gibbs has proven me wrong with his great performances since the start of the season, his injury has only allayed fears of a lack of depth. I said in the last match report that there was way too much blame on Mannone for the goal. Santos was careless and played Norwich onside, and made the exact same mistake for the first goal in the Schalke game. The Schalke wingers ran past him with ease and quickly learned of our weakness and it was just plain embarassing.
2. Gnabry created the first real chance again
Yep, just like the Norwich game, a player who many of us hadn’t heard of a 17 year old kid was responsible for the first real shot on goal. For the Schalke game, the only shot on target, and it came in the third minute of stoppage time. Really don’t need to say much more, it is absolutely pathetic on every single level. The fact that we were at home, the fact we were trying to bounce back, its just unbelievable. The players attitudes must be questioned.
3. Defence is only the beginning of our problems
As discussed in point 2, we have a massive problem at the other end of the park. The midfield has looked absolutely lifeless, lacking ideas and the hunger. For a team that is known for its attacking prowess, I’d be more concerned with the attacking side of things and at how Wenger’s philosophy has gone horribly wrong in the past few games. Under this philosophy, the plan is to keep the ball, attack, score early, and repeat the process and put the opponent under more and more pressure, creating a vicious cycle. Unfortunately, with almost nothing to show for our possession, the jokes on us and we are put under pressure and eventually fall apart at the back.
4. This is a disturbing trend
Look I’ve watched football for many years, I know every team, even the best teams have their ups and downs, it happens. The disturbing trend with us is, every year, we tend to have more dry spells than the other big teams, and our dry spells tend to be much worse than theirs. You may think I’m overreacting here a bit, its only been two games, but if we look at how bad these two games were, where we could barely muster a goal on target and our most lively player was a 17 year old whom most of us had never heard of before last week. The Norwich loss put us 10 points behind the league leaders, a psychological blow of being double figure behind so early on in the season. The Schalke loss makes our Champions League qualification much harder. We had envisaged resting players for our last couple of games, but now that will not be possible. This sort of thing happens every season, we are going well, and our season jsut derails suddenly, and its not just an unfortunate bump in the journey, its a full blown derail which we can never get back on track for.
5. Its still early on in the season
The only positive that can come out of this is that it is early on in the season. If the team can stay fit and motivated and not have these ridiculous “bad runs”, or keep them to a minimum, there’s enough time to rectify this. 10 point leads have been clawed back, Champions Leagues have been won after slow starts. Its about how hungry the team is and how much desire they have, because we know they have the ability to succeed at the top level, its just frustrating to see them slip up so terribly from time to time.
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