By 1970’s Gooner
As with many things in football, as in life, it’s what you can do rather than what the others do, that will go a long way in determining your fate.
And looking at Arsenal’s performances so far this season there are three areas that need to improve if all the points against Newcastle are secured.
Central defensive efficiency
Both Kolo and Gallas have not been playing at their best. Their marking and positioning has been below their usual standards culminating in that stupid goal conceded at Fulham from another set piece.
I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them is dropped and Song brought in to add that tenacity, close marking and very good distribution out of defence that he can bring to the team.
Whoever plays in the end this is a vital area that will need to tighten up.
Defensive midfielder needed
The return of the little magician has restored the creativity and penetrative passing that has been distinctly lacking in the two League games so far.
This means that Denilson will have to perform his midfield defensive duties in a Flamini like manner so as to provide the basis for Fabregas to be more creative and offensively minded.
If Denilson is chosen to play then his defensive performance will go a long way in determining Arsenal’s fate this afternoon.
Arsene Wenger has another interesting option in my opinion and that is to opt for Song who is after all a naturally defensive midfielder and a strong candidate to make that position his this season.
I would feel much more comfortable with Song in midfield but Wenger seems to have decided that he will be a central defender…
The Adebayor and Van Persie pairing: get your finger out
Both these players have been below par so far. Adebayor has looked dangly and uncertain rather than forceful and dangerous. Van Persie has looked anxious and lacking movement (is he unfit?).
They both have to get their finger out and start playing together as a unit, making those runs behind the defence and link the play with rest of the team.
The only players to have performed well so far have been the two full backs, Sagna and Clichy and the excellent Nasri who seems to have fitted into English football as well and as quickly as Sagna did last season.
When the rest of the team catch up with them and the injured players return then we will surprise a lot of people this season, again.
Lets start with Newcastle.
Sagna, Gallas, Song, Clichy
Walcott, Fabregas, Denilson, Nasri
Adebayor, Van Persie
Score: Arsenal 1 Newcastle 0
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