Considering the players who started the match on Sunday against Southampton didn’t feature midweek against BATE Borisov, you would have thought they’d be well rested and focused. Well, the expectation and the reality of it all was very different. It looked as if they were not only lacking drive, but, their concentration early on hurt them again.
Against United, a dreadful opening 15 or so minutes made things very difficult. With Mustafi still out, suffering from what I’m assuming is a bruised ego because I haven’t heard what injury he sustained, Arsene Wenger inserted Mertesacker into the starting XI. The former German international has had some decent performances over the last 6-12 months, but let’s just say that Sunday could very well have been one of his worst, or close to it.
As we discussed the match on our latest podcast, Fergus and myself were left scratching our head.
Where was the passion we saw against Spu*s, or against United? Players working for each other, and looking ready for battle, regardless of what the opposition threw at them? Well, that’s the typical Arsenal, right? Look capable of beating anyone today, and then turn in a less than average performance tomorrow. Unfortunately, we are all so very used to this.
If they struggled to get motivated for Sunday’s match, they sure as hell better sort it out ahead of tonight’s visit to West Ham. The Hammers are fresh off an important 1-0 victory over Chelsea, boosting their confidence ahead of tonight’s match. Of course Moyes gets a result right before Arsenal pay them a visit.
There have been rumors that Arsene Wenger is debating on moving to a back four from the start seeing as Ramsey is out injured. I guess it could work if the lads are up for it, and he puts in the right personnel, but even a back three would work, they just need to get their heads out of their a** before kickoff. The lack of focus in the opening minutes has cost us two weekends in a row, so how about we not dig ourselves an early hole again?!
Mertesacker should surely make way for either Chambers or Holding, but, if we go to a back four, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Koscielny and Monreal at the heart of the defense. Kolasinac would play on the left, and Bellerin on the right, but… Call me crazy, or delusional, I’d strongly consider Debuchy in Bellerin’s place.
The long haired Spaniard hit the scene like a rock star after Debuchy’s unfortunate injury problems. Over the last 12-18 months, he looks to have hit a comfort zone, which has seen his form drop off.
He was never the greatest defender, with his pace allowing him to recover from individual or even collective errors. Having a human version of an F1 car in your back line is brilliant, but when it starts to become a liability, it’s time to start thinking about rotating the tires.
Knowing that realistically there isn’t anyone that really threatens his starting role has allowed Bellerin to become stagnant. At times it looks as if he feels that he just needs to show up, and go through the motions because his starting role is guaranteed. If Arsene were to send a message by starting Debuchy, who looks fit and certainly motivated, would that light a fire under Bellerin’s a**?! One could only hope.
Apart from his pace, at the moment, what do we lose by giving Debuchy a go?!
The Frenchman will be motivated more then ever considering Bellerin took his starting role. Defensively, he’s better than Bellerin. Sure, he’s like a Go-Kart in comparison to Bellerin’s speed, but he can make up that pace with his other characteristics.
Wenger likely won’t have the courage to make the change, but what does he have to lose?!