Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Friday, December 29, 2023

The major issues Arteta has to correct for the game at Fulham

 By the Coach

The first and most important major issue is the drop off in performance from the front three. 

This has been building up recently but it became very evident against Villa, Liverpool and now the very disappointing defeat at home against West Ham.

All three forwards are below their best especially Martinelli who seems to be shorn of the confidence he has so wonderfully shown last season in particular.

Saka is also below par, nowhere his best. A lot has to do with the two pronged defence that is usually employed by the opposition. 

Saka's effectiveness is also impaired when White's overlaps are nowhere to be seen. But they are very effective because it drags one of the two defenders out of position and gives Saka a fair chance to take his defender on. 

Or White can cross the ball from a dangerous position as he did for the header that Jesus missed. 

Jesus keeps missing very good chances and I wonder how long he can keep his place in the team if he carries on like this.

I consider that Martinelli has to be rested for the Fulham game and either play Trossard there or even give Riece Nelson a chance. Alternatively Arteta might consider playing Trossard as a false 9 and deploy Jesus on the wing.

This might prove to be a more interesting option as Trossard's movement may help drag defenders out of position and create spaces to be exploited. Trossard and Jesus may also swap positions which may create more confusion. 

The second major issue in my mind is the slow built up after we get control of the ball. 

What has been very apparent this season is the unwillingness of our defenders and midfielders to get the ball to the forwards, especially to the wide players, quickly.

We seem to amble along moving the ball forward but slowly. This unwillingness to play a fast paced game gives the opportunity to the opponents to return to their positions in their low block formation and maintain their structure, which includes of course doubling up on our wingers.

Let's change that please.

And the third issue is that we rarely take shots from outside the area. How many did we have against West Ham? Three I can remember.  

But we have to give the opposition something else to worry about other than trying  to create intricate patterns with short passes inside a very congested penalty area.  They might come out of position to prevent that happening. 

Or you never know we might even score!