Jonny Forumer: Arsenal fans debate current failings

Jonny ForumerWho cares what a bunch of disinterested hacks have to say when you can get the skinny direct from those to whom it matters most? Well, good news – Football Burp’s very own Jonny Forumer, lurker extraordinaire, is here to collate choice message board analysis so you can get the lowdown from the people who really know what they’re on about. Take it away, Jonny…

Morning folks, Jonny Forumer signing in. Arsenal followed up the weekend’s dismal 1-0 defeat at Norwich City with an equally dismal 2-0 Champions League defeat to Schalke at the Emirates last night, so I hotfooted it down to online Gunners joints Arsenal Mania and Arseblog to listen in on folks debating where Arsene Wenger and his side are going wrong…

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
Wenger… Only human (Image by Tim Boyd)

truth_hurts, Arsenal Mania…

What the hell has happened to us? It wasn’t that long ago when we used to keep the ball for 60% of the game as minimum in home games and we all used to rue the fact the we had so many chances but couldn’t convert!

This was mainly due to the fact we had plenty of ball playing ability (Cesc, Hleb, Rosicky) but nobody in midfield to strike the ball. I amongst other used to become very frustrated with this type of football though as it wasn’t direct enough. I was excited to think we could have a front 3 of Podolski, Giroud and Theo this season as they are 3 forwards who know where the goal is. With Cazorla coming in I was thinking teams will be terrified of our goal scoring potential.

What the hell has happened to us?

Even Liverpool have a huge amount of chances at home and they are woeful. This is a lot of text but the question i’m trying to ask: is this is a coaching/tactical issue? (management) or do we simply lack the quality? (players/board). My perspective is that we lack the quality is the major issue but even last season the same issues still existed just a couple of moments of magic from Song/RVP masked it.

*123fourfive6*, Arseblog…

The biggest problem with Arsenal is the lack of a Plan B. Everything seems to be pre-planned. Always wait for 70 minutes to make substitutions.

I’m also tired of this “staying true to philosophy.” When our short passes don’t work, we never try to change tactics and play long balls into the area. We could have brought Giroud on a lot earlier.

And I am not going to talk about playing Ramsey on the right. This is beyond ridiculous now.

North Bank, Arseblog…

The subs were closer to 75 minutes and that is just not enough to affect a game. Giroud and Gnabry (has the makings of a great player) at 60 minutes might have won us the game. Though if even the manager has no faith in Giroud, we’ve got real problems there.

Do you reckon they will ask preliminary questions of shareholders at the AGM to weed out any “dissidents”. PHW may even want to cancel it, knowing what’s coming.

We can do much better than this, but Arsene needs to accept the fans have a point about the team.

dpt49, Arsenal Mania…

In the last two games against Norwich and Schalke I can’t remember a decent shot on target.

We have had poor form in recent seasons but at least we used to create chances, it was finishing them we used to struggle with.

Personally I think we have become too predictable, especially at home, and apart from Cazorla and possibly Walcott, we lack skill, pace and ingenuity.

We desperately need Wilshere, Walcott and even Rosicky back to give us some options and two major signings in the next transfer window, even then I’m not sure it will make that much difference.

EmperorGooner, Arseblog…

the problem is wenger not having accountability…no one can expect a perfect manager..but when you know the club you support will not hold responsible the person at helm even after 8 years of massive clusterfuck , you start to feat about stagnation and regression..that to me in unacceptable , because it goes against the law of nature of survival

truth_hurts, Arsenal Mania…

I agree it is the formation but they way we play is so timid. Schalkes front 3 of Affelay, Huntelaar and Farfan on paper isn’t any different in style to Ramsey, Giroud and Gervinho but the gulf in quality is huge.

Anyway I think the bigger problem is our midfield because as much as I rate both Coquellin and Arteta play far too safe to cause a forward threat which means all that you need to do is stop Cazorla to stop our supply. Ramsey and Podolski don’t run at players so the wide outball isn’t much of an attacking threat either.

I think possibly if we had Wilshere, Cazorla and Rosicky in the same team the pass and move style may create a few openings but we need at least 1 forward who runs at defences all of Theo, Gervinho and Ox are capable but all are so horribly out of form.

rod, Arseblog…

Everybody knows how arsenal play and if you have disciplined mifielders you can basically shut the game down. Here is where wenger needs to do something diffrent. ie v Qpr start with Giroud and lump a few balls up to him, throw some crosses in, they won’t have planned for that kind of physical play and it could open up other areas to exploit. Do what the opposition least expects

Anzac, Arsenal Mania…

Shots taken and chances created are two very different scenarios,
and IMO our issue is still very much that we don’t look to shoot unless inside the area 1v1 on the GK,
and to achieve that we look to pass through the defence via the D.

Cazorla has created more chances inside the final 3rd than any other player in the PL – 30 chances created but less than a handful converted.
He’s 2nd to Baines re Key Passes per game & leads for Accurate Through Balls.
We simply lack a forward/striker capable to convert as well as the movement off the ball to exploit/create space.

Carlos, Arseblog…

Couple things..
First is injury woes at Arsenal is ridiculous. I’m not saying we would have won but if we at least had guys like Diaby, Rosicky, Wilshire, Walcott, and the Ox available to change things up it only could have helped us.
Secondly we need a world class striker in Jan. but that was obvious before the damn season started! What is going on at Arsenal where they are so reluctant to do what needs to be done so the team can compete with the other big clubs we’re compared to?
Also let’s face it, the coaches need to accept accountability too for our failures over the past 7 years. We’ve had a lot of great players that should have won something!

THunter, Arsenal Mania…

Lack of movement is certainly one of the massive problems we currently have IMO. We must be one of the worst teams in the final third when it comes to players making runs etc. Look at Chelsea for instance against Spurs last Saturday, the movement from players such as Mata, Oscar and Hazard caused all sorts of problems and led to 2 or 3 goals because the Spurs defence just couldn’t handle them.

Then look at us against Norwich, Shalke and probably numerous other sides, Podolski hasn’t got the pace to get past players so when teams just sit deep against us – which they do 99% of the time, he’s basically useless. Gervinho sometimes shows some clever movement, but lets himself down with horrendous ball control and decision making and Giroud is a slug.

The best in our squad at it IMO is Theo and we saw how well he used to link up with Cesc due to this.

Until we sign quality, clever individuals to play in our attack, we’ll continue to struggle to break teams down and create chances like we used too. Adrian is the type of player we need and are meant to be in for so that’s good, but it’s something we should have sorted out ages ago.

Our midfield with Jack back in it should improve and create more chances as well but it’s all wishful thinking ATM.

Also @Truth, Liverpool create loads of chances because the movement from their front three, Suarez, Borini and Sterling is brilliant. Borini isn’s very good in front of goal, nor is Suarez, but their off the ball movement is top class.

evoh_1, Arsenal Mania…

This arsenal team isn’t that creative outside santi and we have a ethic to keep the ball rather then try a push a difficult pass, this often gets you what happened last night:

Per to arteta, arteta to ramsey, ramsey to jenkinson, jenkinson to vermalen etc etc.

No movement form the players and no confidence in the passing, can’t see how going 442 would change anything without us have an ethic of getting the ball onto the head of giroud for knock downs.

123fourfive6, Arseblog…

We are reluctant to experiment with our formation or style of play. 4-3-3 is what we say we play, it was more like 4-2-1-3 with either Arteta or Cazorla getting isolated with Coquelin finding it difficult to hold on to his position.

We should try a flat middle four of Gervinho, Coquelin, Cazorla, Podolski with Giroud on his own on top. Let Arteta sit back and protect the back four.

At least try something new and see how it works.

kofigunner, Arsenal Mania…

We don’t really have 4 play-makers in midfield. Santi yes, and that’s about it. Arteta could be more influential if he was further upfield but he has to stay back because he’s the ‘DM’ and isn’t quick enough to recover when he’s further upfield. Ramsey has never been a creative force unto himself like Jack Wilshere is. Our wide forwards have limited creative ability but can do more damage when they get the ball further up, especially Gervinho.
One of the major differences from last season apart from losing RVP has been losing Song. With the current formation and mindset, Arteta’s partner has more wiggle room to move forward to some extent to press and distribute. Song was good at putting the ball into space for our runners to pounce on. Coquelin, Ramsey and to a major extent Diaby, not so much. We’re missing Diaby a lot because he at least can burst forward with attacking menace much moreseo than Coquelin or Ramsey. Plus Diaby tracks back well with those willing long legs of his.

Not so sunny in Philadelphia, Arseblog…

After all the trophy less years something is structurally wrong. If its not fixed, there will be more empty seats, luxury boxes will be sold at a discount and sponsors will find greener pastures – Arsenal will end up wearing Macron kits. In sport, you gotta spend it to make it. Maybe Stan would just be happy being in the black with mid table finishes. His US sports holdings can attest to that. January will come around and we will hear the usual refrain about there being no quality out there to improve the team. At this point, Bendtner is starting to look good.

What do you put the current malaise down to, Arsenal fans? Have your say in the comments section below…