Lessons must be learnt

Thursday 17th January 2013 21:07

Wenger: not alot to smile about recently

Wenger: not alot to smile about recently

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Arsenal FanZoner JC London says Arsene Wenger cannot keep making the same mistakes.

Repeated tactical errors keep costing Arsenal

Truth be told, the game against Manchester City was over the minute Laurent Koscielny decided that he was tired of football and fancied himself a rugby player. Whatever your views on Mike Dean, once he had seen the incident, he had no choice but to give the Frenchman his marching orders.

There is definitely a debate to be had as to whether a red card and a penalty is too harsh a punishment, but I really can't be bothered with it at this stage. The rules are the rules, but feel free to write a disgruntled letter to the FA if you still feel deeply wronged in some profound manner.

Despite the fact that it's hard to analyse a team's faults when they had to play over 80 minutes against the defending champions with ten men, there are a few obvious lessons that must be learnt from in order to avoid similar problems in the future. Firstly, our Big Friendly German should really be starting games like this. He may have put in a performance reminiscent of Pascal Cygan when facing the Welsh Barcelona in the first leg of the FA Cup, but has undoubtedly been our most consistent defender this season.

I found the decision particularly strange as this was the second time Arsene has opted for the more mobile and nippy pairing of Koscielny and the Verminator, as he did against Chelsea earlier in the season, much to the same disastrous effect. The saying goes 'fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me'. Wenger could be forgiven for his tinkering the first time round, but not this time.


Secondly, we are in dire need of some quality cover for Mikel Arteta. I'm a huge fan of the Spaniard, especially the way he makes his hair look like it's been sculpted by Donatello, but it has been clear this season that he is getting on a bit as his performance levels often drop when having to play every three days.

Not to mention the fact that he will, as he has now, get injured from time to time. I view Abou Diaby like I do the last piece of cheesecake - it's great when it's there, if it hasn't been ruined from being left out of the fridge too long, but you should never expect it to be. Francis Coquelin? No thanks. Even le professeur's faith in his ability is obviously dwindling, as can be seen by his decision to start an unfit Diaby ahead of him. So who then? Yann M'Villa is the obvious choice, but I'm sure Arsene will find some cheap young thing that nobody has ever heard of.

Finally, Theo Walcott being used upfront. It's fine against the Readings and Newcastles of the world. But Vancent Company and Kompany (see what I did there?)? No. Just no. I've had enough of watching poorly timed runs, to try and get in behind, for one lifetime thank you very much. In fact, he was so isolated than Giroud managed to amass more touches in 32 minutes than Walcott did in the whole game. Let's please stop with the ego stroking and get back to putting out our best 11.

The FA Cup replay with Swansea will probably be over before this goes up, so a quick word on that. I hope we win, obviously, but I won't join the inevitable chorus that will scream the sky is falling down should we lose. I'd honestly much rather we finish fourth than any sort of cup run. The Chelsea game must be a priority.

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