By Avenell Dave
Few of us who watched Arsenal on Saturday could convincingly plead that the performance was convincing.
Forget the MotD generalisations. The fact is, our defence isn’t good enough.
Where once we had Patrick Vieira and Manu Petit covering the back four to make sure nothing got through, now we play a formation that basically encourages five players to take forward positions and exposes an already vulnerable defence to invite on the opposition.
Even before Laurent Koscielny went off on Saturday with concussion, Diomansy Kamara was getting through and beating our offside trap time after time.
The sad thing about watching Arsenal is that virtually everyone in the ground knows that a two or even a three goal lead is not enough.
And as chance after chance went begging, even sitting in a new area from my usual seat, the feeling was the same – it’s only a matter of time before we concede. And so it was.
So it’s startling to see that Arsene Wenger is encouraging Alex Song to get forward at every opportunity, leaving the already fragile defence totally exposed.
As a fellow Addict said to me this morning, why not just put another attacking midfielder in there if the obsession is only with getting forward.
It simply makes no sense.
Thankfully, we managed to get the three points that have taken us top of the league.
But credit must got to Johann Djourou who is turning into the commanding and dominant defender we have been missing for years.
Brought on only because of Laurent Koscielny’s injury, I can totally understand why Wenger is easing him back into the team.
But it has to be said that he and TV should be our first choice central defensive partnership when fit with the other two biding their time on the sidelines.
Djourou has added aggression and finesse to his game. Sure, he makes the occasion mistake but show me a game where a defender never makes a mistake and I’ll show you a Premier league team playing a minnow.
Maybe it’s time to think about going back to 4-4-2, where we have two forwards working in tandem together (I still believe that although he holds the ball up well, Maroune Chamakh is better with someone alongside him) and players who know their duties and roles.
It feels like we flatter to deceive at the moment and maybe now is not the time to change things with two massive games coming up.
But we’re top of the league and, as a certain M*nu defender said on Twitter yesterday, what really matters is who is top of the table at the end of May.
We can be there – and only a little fine tuning is required to make it happen.