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Wenger (20 years pt 2) Is it back to the future?

By Merlion
March 30 2017

   Having given an overview of Wenger's first 20 years, in Part 1, most fans are more interested in what will happen in the next two. What are the possibilties if Wenger stays or goes in what will probably be an Arsemal with Ozil and Sanchez

Part 2 Back To The Future Bring Back Fabregas?

Whither Arsenal 2017/18?

I believe Arsene Wenger knew the problems and intended to stay on to solve those self-created problems for the past 12 seasons. He is no quitter and wanted to do it right before he leaves. He knew that he needed to cull those players that had effectively stopped playing for him, those that failed to develop and those who are just mediocre players.

However, I believe a proud Arsene Wenger will leave the club he loves in a lurch of his own making, and he wanted to stay at least one more season to get it right for the next manager by turning hatchet man to perform drastic surgery on the current squad.

Players like Alexis and Ozil had effectively stopped playing for the club. A big question mark is on the fragile mentality Brit Pack who seems to rollover with no grits, not fighting passionate for the badge, no fighting spirit, unable to dig deep within themselves to continue swinging even they are down, get up and swinging again, frequently down but never out; standing tall to hold the line against all odds.

 What will rebooted Arsenal Mark 4.1 look like?

Bring back a 30-year-old Cesc Fabregas, surplus to requirement at Chelski for next season, to take control and command of midfield (He certainly knows how to get rid of managers, which could come in handy if Wenger wont go. Editor). His vision and passing skills are sorely missing in the 2016/17 team. His grit, defensive attributes and a matured leadership are the “missing link” in current team.

He will be the catalyst that will sparkle the midfield to life and bring out the best in Iwobi, Walcott, Welbeck, Wilshere, Bellerin, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles, Coquelin, OX (if he stays) and future buys to fit into Arsene Wenger tactical formation.

Fabregas-Xhaka pairing will complement each other when Fabregas drives forward to link-up plays, with Xhaka behind executing his accurate long passes to our runners at the flank or through the centre. Both are not angels, Xhaka brutal tackling and Fabregas sly ankle-tapping. Walcott thrives on those over-the-top accurate long passes. A quick Welbeck, Iwobi and OX (dare I say also Joel Campbell?) will run into passing channels that Fabregas can spot quickly.I cannot see any other midfielder available, other than Fabregas that suits our Attacking Football to a “T”.


Guardiola, Klopp, Ponchettino and Conte had all move forward with their high-pressing or gegenpressing 3-4-3 with 3 no. CB and 2 no. wingbacks attacking high up, leaving Arsene Wenger behind with his dreadful Crab Football 4-2-3-1. A high-pressing game to shut-down space and constant pressing opponents to win the balls with a pair of quick wingbacks who can delivered crosses accurately.

 Arsenal play a passive pressing game, ceding space in central one-third of the pitch to our opponent and only started pressing them actively around the two-third areas of our half. Hence, we leak goals for the past two months due to the team easily losing its shape, no leader, no organiser and playing like eleven strangers on the pitch.

 Plus, “midget” midfielders offering no protection to “midget” centre backs which were cruelly exploited by Tony Pulis WBA. Clearly, we need a physical presence, a leader, an organiser that neither Koscielny nor Mustafi provided in the box. For next season, we need a tall and physical centre-back like Calum Chambers or Rob Holding or even Bielik to partner either Koscielny or Mustafi.

 Perhaps, it is time to deploy Chambers or Bielik as the defensive midfielder in a “Vieira” or “Gilberto” role that when defending, they slip into the space between CB as the “third CB” to close the centre against deep-running opponent through our exposed gaps between defenders. We cannot have a missing “midfield shield” to allow the likes of Bayern Munich to run directly at our Back-4 and passed the balls into the net.

 And Arsenal could have a midfield of Fabregas-Bielik-Xhaka in 4-3-3 with both Fabregas-Xhaka in a more advanced attacking position and Bielik sweeping the vaccuum between Midfield and Back-4. When both wingbacks like Bellerin and Monreal (or new buy) sweep forward like we playing now, Bielik steps back as a shield in 3-4-3. We either promote Chambers or Bielik in this role or buy a 6’ 4” CB that is quick and will not allow the likes of Dawson (WBA) to run unchallenged into the box to score with headers.

 Walcott-Welbeck-Iwobi are still our best Forward-3.

 Walcott is deadly running between defenders when an accurate long pass is delivered to spaces between defenders. And the last two games shown that Walcott is deadly when given the freedom to cut-back into the centre as an additional attacker and as a predator to snap up the loose balls in the box. Fabregas will bring out the best from Welbeck-Walcott pairing.

 Alex Iwobi is more of a creative playmaker and better than OX in this department. Plus, he can hold the ball, pass accurately and the flair and dribbling skills to beat defenders. An improving Iwobi is the vital link to Welbeck-Walcott pairing to clear openings and gaps in opponent box for attacking players to run into them; with Fabregas anticipating and spotting their runs too.

 The current team can still improve with just a slight tune-up to 4-3-3 or 3-4-3 tactical formation with Fabregas or his equivalent as the catalyst. Of course, this does not prevent Arsene Wenger buying three or four marquee players to strengthen the current squad into a serious 2017/18 title-contender. A team that will not collapse so shamefully for the past two seasons when winning the title is attainable; and an Arsene Wenger had got his tactics right and bought the correct players … like Conte bought Kante and Ponchettino bought Dele Ali.

And the guessing game continues.

 Even if Arsene Wenger stays, who are the new players he will buy?

Who are the players he will ruthlessly discard in his swansong to win the 4th title  and the final attempt to win his Holy Grail, the CL Cup (I have never quite thought as Wenger as ruthless.Editor) ?

Part 1 here


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Wenger (20 years pt 2) Is it back to the future?
Arsenal Times (IP Logged)
30/03/2017 17:51
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017:04:02:20:31:16 by Padre Pio.

Re: Wenger (20 years pt 2) Is it back to the future?
AJ The Gunner (IP Logged)
31/03/2017 22:28
dream on dream away. the football jet left Wenger on the tarmac 12 years ago. he has been trying to perfect a failing system for so long that i doubt he has the tactical acumen to get it right.

no manager will achieve anything while ignoring basic defending, studying the opposition and exploiting their weakness.....

Wenger Is Gone Now So Can We Be Allowed To Breathe Now???

Re: Wenger (20 years pt 2) Is it back to the future?
Padre Pio (IP Logged)
01/04/2017 09:06
Sadly it shows how threadbare the squad will be at beginning of next season.
Walcott is too inconsistent to be a great player, and why doesnt Perez figure more?

- until Wenger moves on, they'll always be the also-rans in the major competitions. A club in elite purgatory. Always good enough to make it to the big race, never fast or smart enough to push over the finish line in first place. That's all about the manager. Until he changes, Arsenal fans will continue to celebrate glorious failure.

Re: Wenger (20 years pt 2) Is it back to the future?
AJ The Gunner (IP Logged)
01/04/2017 13:25
Wengers many flaws is the inability to rotate his team effectively to adapt to changing tactics or different opposition.

Wenger Is Gone Now So Can We Be Allowed To Breathe Now???

Re: Wenger (20 years pt 2) Is it back to the future?
Merlion96 (IP Logged)
06/05/2017 00:06
I think the proof is in the pudding as to whether Wenger can re-tuned his team in 3-4-2-1 to beat a weakened ManU tomorrow.

......................... Cech

...... Gabriel .......Koscielny .....Holding

...Bellerin ......OX..........Xhaka.............Monreal

...............Ozil..................Alexis Iwobi

What we are missing is a Fabregas or a David Silva to replace Ramsey, who is a mediocre player with no spatial awareness to make split-second decision like Fabregas or David Silva.

But Wenger may gamble and move OX into the centre to play the Fabregas role with Bellerin at RB.

The future is for Alex Iwobi to replace Alexis and retain Jack Wilshere to replace Ozil.

Looking at tomorrow team, if Wenger stays, he is in the market for at least:
1 - Unlikely to buy another CB with Chambers and Bielik returning.
2 - Need to buy a DCM;
3 - Need to buy another LB;
4 - Iwobi and Nwakali to replace Alexis;
5 - Buy Fabregas to replace Ozil;
6 - Buy another striker.

But the usual Wenger's mode of operation is to promote his Wenger Wunderkind to replace all those luxury players, poodles and bottlers.

We will never know if Wenger is able to assemble a squad of dedicated, committed and passionate players with grits and fighting spirit who are able to punch above their weight like the 2007/08 squad.

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