Midfield Control Key to Moving Forward Part II – Swansea Follow-up

Posted: January 12, 2013 in Arsenal FC
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

First published on arsenalvision.co.uk

Don’t tell me AFC don’t need a DM/anchor man, just don’t.

Please look at the two goals today and how Arteta was just watching both occur without much input. The CB’s were left exposed (and bottled it) on the first and due to zonal marking and pure ball watching, Graham put it top of the net for the second. Neither directly his fault of course, our defending was in shambles, but he’s certainly part of the problem and in no way part of the solution.

I love Arteta as a passer and as a creator. As a defender he has many tackles, out of NEED, not out of physical play. He is often out-paced, out-muscled and don’t even get me started on his aerial deficiencies. He is a CM, a pivot player if you like; being played at a position that he is not physically gifted to play. His wonderful passing and creativity are being sacrificed to fill a void that was left by players of yesteryear…Vieira, Gilberto, Flamini… No not Song, he was never the answer at that position either.

Let’s see what buying 1 player, a DM or anchor/deep-lying, call it what you will, I call it MF steel. How this one position can change the dynamic of the team, the depth chart and cover in many positions and allows for more help to the often isolated CB’s:

DM/anchor: X player, Diaby, Coquelin

CM/pivot: Arteta, Jack, TR7, Diaby

AM: Jack, Santi, Ox, TR7

LW: Santi, Poldi, Gerv

RW: Theo, Ox, Santi

ST: Giroud, Theo, Poldi

This would be pretty close to the depth chart I would look for. The rotation at each position would be possible and allow for fresh legs and proper cover. Most of all Arsenal would have an efficient player, pace, stature, attitude and strength in midfield that AFC desperately lack when Diaby is not fit, so basically always.  I didn’t put Rambo in any of the positions as we no longer know where he fits do we? He’s a lost player that had such promise, now in many minds an after-thought.

The thing is the Gunners have many midfielders that can be played at a variety of positions, but a DM, anchor, etc. AFC don’t have a one that can truly embrace and excel in that role bar Diaby and his fitness is lacking in any case. Coquelin is a good little player but even he doesn’t have the physicality needed to excel in the way Arsenal need.

One position, one signing can change the direction of the team. It would speed up play, allows the MF to be connected to the FWD’s in a more meaningful way, and allow for the FB’s to join the attack knowing that the CB’s have adequate cover. So many things can change from 1 signing.

This is my contention; it has been for quite some time. Arsenal is much too slow in that key position. The Gunners need a player with power, pace and sense of position, then we can see what the good collection of attackers can do. They have scored more goals already this year than last, so scoring should not be a problem going forward, allowing the creators the club does have to create would certainly increase that output further, but having that true steel in the middle would help shore up a porous defense. It’s a win/win.

Look at the soft goals created through the middle of our defense with relative ease and then try to tell me we don’t need someone in that position…you honestly can’t.

Up the Gunners!


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