Hi once again!
Pretty slow day in terms of news today. Benayoun has given another interview, and states about his favourite position and how he would love to stay on at Arsenal beyond his loan tenure. I am not really sure he would stay on at Arsenal beyond this season to be honest. Arsenal’s policy has always been to offer a year-by-year contract to players above the age of 30.
At his age, Benayoun would probably want assurance of a long term contract to earn as much as he can at the twilight of his career, so staying at Arsenal may seem like a bad decision. Just so you know, Arshavin is also 30 years old this year, and nearing the end of his contract at the end of the season.
The back flip of the season so far has to be for Mickey Bendtner, who previously vowed to never to return to Arsenal. The Dane has instead now claim that he could return, but only if he was assured of playing time at Arsenal.
“I do not want to do what I have been doing before. If it’s going to be the same way I would rather not go back.”
Only way that would happen is if he happens to score 20 goals or so this season. Win-win situation for Arsenal if it happens, I suppose. Either Arsenal gets a quality striker on its books next season, or we get to sell Mickey for more money. Bring on the goals Mickey!
News of the day has to be Frimpong confirming his decision to play for Ghana instead of England.
“I don’t think that England are going to miss me anyway. I made a pledge four years ago that if I ever made it into the Arsenal team, I would choose Ghana. I am not someone to back down on his words and did not want to let the people of Ghana down.“
It is a matter of perspective on whether this is bad or good news. Playing for Ghana means that the youngster has a high chance of playing for his national squad, and improving further as a player. However, playing for Ghana also means that we are set to lose another player to the African Cups nation later this season.
With the current squad size, it would be understandable if this news is met with muted response. Every player counts, and especially so in January as that is when all the matches would be piling up. Assuming that we do make it past the group stages of the Champions League, CL matches would also have to be contended alongside the fixtures of the FA cups.
Be that as it may, it sounds ridiculous that we have to blame any negative results on the loss of a youngster. People may be getting ahead of themselves, and forget that the Frimster barely played more than 10 first team games, and is only in his first season of top flight football.
The tenacious midfielder may have shown encouraging performances, but let’s not forget that he is only 19, and prone to careless mistakes which could be costly, as the match against Liverpool showed. It is good to note that Frimpong himself understands that he is a tad too zealous in tackles and challenges, and is willing to learn to change,
“I think I just need to be a little less crazy on the pitch when I’m playing, just to save me from anymore red cards in the future.”
Yes, little less crazy in making stupid challenges is good. No, crazy is fine when it comes to hounding oppositions and making them commit mistakes. Up for debate here whether he should be crazy or not I reckon.
Tomorrow sees Blackburn traveling to the Emirates in the afternoon. Blackburn are a tough preposition, and a fairly physical side too. Based on previous seasons, our weakness is from set pieces, so the Rovers are bound to try hurt us from any corners or freekicks.
The jury is still out on whether set pieces are Arsenal’s Achilles heel this season. Wenger has revealed that the club has changed from a man marking system to a zonal system. In all of the goals conceded so far, no resulting headers from corners or freekicks have managed to find its way into the net. This may show that the zonal system is probably helping in the defending of set pieces.
Yet, note that in the Manchester United game, Rooney managed to score 2 free kicks, as the wall simply stood their ground, and allowed Rooney a clear shot over the wall into goal. Aye, we have a new system to defend against crosses into the box. But, why is it that something so basic as jumping to prevent the kicker from getting a clear shot at goal not drilled into the players?
Arsenal may have solved a weakness in defending crosses from set pieces, but we have neglected an underlying probem. and that is basic defensive knowledge of jumping whenever there is a free kick being taken, so that players will be put off from trying to make a shot at the top right or left hand corners of the goal.
Another point is, with the zonal system, does it mean that much spaces is left for the opposition to run into? I say this because in the match against Dortmund, the goal by Perisic came from a clearance of a free kick. If you watched the replays, you would have noticed that lots of space was afforded to any Dortmund players standing at the edge of the box. I couldn’t possibly tell you whether it was due to the zonal system that this space existed. But, space there was. Perisic’s goal may have been unstoppable, but his shot was preventable if he wasn’t allowed the space to try and make a volley.
There is no one best system in the world. Zonal or man marking both has their respective pros and cons. However, if you know about the zonal system flaws, surely it would be good to work on it and help ensure that the zonal system is 100% foolproof. Until more games have been played, and more or no goals from set pieces have been conceded, it is hard to make a claim on whether the new system is effective. For now, I did say the system still needs a little tweak, as matches so far has exposed the flaws of the zonal system.
So that’s all I got for today folks! I did like to know what you guys think of the new defensive system though. Please leave a comment, and remember to check back tomorrow for any team news, and the preview for Arsenal vs Blackburn. Hopefully I can give a correct scoreline guess again! Cheers!