The season isn’t even at a midway point yet and fans are starting to question many issues from player selection, the manager or the promises that Josh Kroenke has spoken about over the summer. With this in mind I think it’s time for something a little light-hearted and more of a what if? Taking away the attention of the manager in or out stances of fans through blogs; podcasts; YouTube videos and social media and looking at something we have known for a while: what has happened to the defence and how can we fix it. My solution (or what if) is to look at previous players at the club and become an analyst for any defensive issues.
There are many questions as to how this would work but the who should has been in our screens tonight; Tony Adams. On tonight’s Sky Sports the now head of Rugby League showed that he has an outstanding amount of knowledge that needs to be passed on and even joked about how he would deal with a player like Jamie Vardy.
But why we need someone from ‘the old Arsenal’ to go over our defensive frailties? Rumours are being spread around the training ground onto social media and beyond that some players are seeking guidance from Freddie Ljungberg as they are unable to understand our current head coach. Imagine if tomorrow at London Colney although it will be a rest day for some players; the coaches will have a meeting to discuss and dissect the performance (they might even be doing this right now). If Mr. Arsenal himself was included in the meeting he will be able to identify key areas of what to work on which he can pass onto the right coaches including Unai himself. It would then be Unai’s choice to decide whether to act on what the club legend has said.
At the moment, we have a long way to go but give a few weeks and we could see a change in goal difference from being consistently giving away goals to cutting them down to fewer mistakes made by players. Eventually this could lead to the popular 1 nil to the Arsenal sang during matches and instead of losing heavily when facing top four rivals we grind out a result. This isn’t all, Adams could be seen as someone who could be able to teach the Unai way to players in one-to-one meetings dissecting and being able to give that clarity to players that may need it. He might even explain that our number eleven is actually a defensive midfielder and not a box-to-box midfielder like one of our previous holder of the number eight shirt was. Additionally, Tony could be seen as a consultant figure someone who can be there to talk about anything with.
However, some may argue that Unai is meant to be the tinkerer and the one outlining what happens throughout the season on the training pitch (as well as on it as well). He may have his own analysts who he trusts. In his recent press conference, he has explained that if results don’t go our way it is his fault. But would you risk your own job for not trying something new?
Other things you could possibly say for being against this idea is that Unai is someone who wouldn’t want anyone to undermine him (as has been suggested by the lack of Mesut Özil’s playing time), he is the one in charge of the team. If you cross him, you are going to be causing more harm then good for the team.
My response: you don’t know until you’ve tried it. Who knows how long Unai’s clock is ticking down but at least give it a chance before you knock it down? At the current moment the squad looks like a break could be the help or hinder of our season. A reminder that this was only a what if? Not this is going to happen. We can’t really predict the whole outcome, but we can only try.