It takes a special something to lose three out of your last four games and Arsenal are currently full of all the wrong kinds of special somethings. A second consecutive League defeat away from home happened at the hands of West Bromwich Albion and here are the main talking points from the game:
This side is defensively inept
That is as blunt as I can put it. Before this weekend the whole impetus of the Arsenal defence was on Laurent Koscielny and his presence on the pitch. It was supposed to be the last straw holding together this bunch of boys at the back, making sure it looked more than a pretend act. However, as Craig Dawson flew into the box unchecked-twice-it was clear that even the Frenchman’s presence couldn’t stop the Arsenal defence from embarrassing themselves.
Yes, I say defence and not the midfield because if you’re the centre back and goalkeeper of a team known to defend zones, it becomes your responsibility to make sure your teammates are doing so and not counting sheep. Moreover, it wasn’t just the corner routine which invited the Baggies forward, but the complete lack of a defensive nous from the supposed “solution” to the Gunners backline-Shkodran Mustafi.
He was too easily shrugged aside by both Rondon and Robson-Kanu on multiple occasions, including the first header for West Brom’s second goal. Makes you think whether Steve Bould has any influence over these troops or not, because this kind of shambolic defensive performances were unheard of during his time.
There is no creativity left in Aaron Ramsey-or positioning sense
In the first half much was made of the Welshman’s positioning and complete absent-mindedness to allow Dawson a free header towards goal. Ramsey, to his credit, kept at it in what was looking like a rotating midfield trio of Xhaka, Chamberlain and himself.
At first it looked like Arsène Wenger had finally found an answer to having three hard working and creative midfielders on the pitch at the same time. This was, until the home side started pressuring Arsenal’s midfield and Hal Robson Kanu began his personal show. Aaron Ramsey had a grand total of 0 tackles completed and 0 interceptions made in this game. Clearly, his defensive job wasn’t his priority.
As for his creation, his 88% passing accuracy led to one key pass and two failed crosses. Nothing else to report further, since that was all he really attempted in 90 minutes. So, if he was not the defensive midfielder next to Xhaka and instead operating behind Sanchez, would that make him the attacking midfielder-who took 4 shots out of only 1 was on target? It is becoming abundantly clear the man has no idea what his best position is or for that matter-what to do when he is in any position.
Messenger planes show nothing but the desperation of Arsenal fans
Let’s cut to the chase here, what exactly does the entire concept of planes carrying messages achieve in football? Absolutely nothing except give media houses an additional piece to publish. But therein lies the problem. Because it has seemingly no effect on the owners or management at any club, all it shows is how desperate the Arsenal fans have become for some proper change.
Stan Kroenke will be the last person in the world to respond to such an act, and the same is true for the Arsenal board. The fact remains that even though the fan base is divided about whether Arsène Wenger is the real problem or not, the notion for a complete overhaul of how the club is run is a united front amongst the fans.
And going forward, as long as no concrete communication is made from the club, these silly acts of desperation are likely to continue.