It annoys me when a pundit such as Graham Souness talks about Arsenal. For years he’s been blubbering on about defensive frailties and a lack of leadership at the club. He constantly talks about how Arsenal can never win the league under Mr Wenger.
Over the years I have overlooked his comments as being someone from the ‘Old School’, i.e. someone who was dirty and did not care about the beautiful side of the game. However it is getting harder and harder to ignore such voices.
Everything the Souness spouts on about seems to be right, when the going gets to the toughest Arsenal fold like a pack of cards. Alexis aside there seemed to be no one on that field against Man City who really could, pass, shoot or even run.
The problems stem from Granit Xhaka in midfield, I have never seen such a weak performance, especially from a player who came with a massive reputation. He still has age and time to improve, but he will have to learn very fast.
Behind Xhaka and Coquelen we had our so called captain Koscielny and Gabriel. The later probably could not get into the Sunderland side on current form. Neither player showed any kind of dominance, no leadership and most worrying of all, the ability to string a simple 2 yard pass together.
Koscielny on his day is probably one of the leagues top defenders, but he can also have days where he has an absolute stinker. Yes he does not have Mustafi next to him to help out, but surely for such a good defender he can do better. Is he really the right choice of captain?
It is time Arsenal invested in a leader, he doesn’t have to be better than what we have he just needs to knock a few heads together in times of toughness. Viera, Adams or Keown would have rallied the troops at 1-0 up yesterday, this is something the Koscielny simply can’t do. Even an average player such as James McCarthy would make a difference. He might not be as talented as Coquelen or Xhaka but he surely will bring more in terms of the physical and mental side to the side. Danny Drinkwater is another who comes into this category. Players like these will improve their game, but bring another side to the game.
Ultimately I still truly believe that Arsenal missed a golden opportunity to get Jurgon Klop, this surely will be something we will rue in years to come. Wenger has an important January to come, if he is not wise we will see another battle for fourth.