Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Bayern showed how Arsenal should have been

By Rohit Arora.

Last night, we played against a team which has conceded only 7 goals in 22 games and is leading the table by a margin of 15 points in a league that can come as close to the English league in terms of competitiveness as any league can. And they showed precisely why. It was a good match to watch as a neutral and to be fair, the score line didn’t really paint a correct picture of how the teams flared. We were good and didn’t really deserve to be down by 2 after just 22 minutes, but then, it was Bayern we were playing against. Our movement was good; we controlled the midfield, but only the midfield, and if there was one thing that we sorely missed, it was the final third – but was it really? No, it was not, because here enters the reason we were, possibly, rightly chasing Bayern even after showing some nice touches. Bayern had something that has been missing in Arsenal for years now, something that can really make us as good as them – discipline. Their game was orchestrated perfectly. Their defence defended when required; they made some beautiful interceptions, and dealt with our crosses and attempted through balls so well that at times I felt that they had a few extra men in their team. Their attack, at the other end, was even more flamboyant; they didn’t create too many chances but they took whatever they did with great efficacy.

Today morning, as we all wake up and jump to our keyboards, mouse or touch-screens to go to sites to read various experts blasting The Arsenal trying to find the man to blame, who, according to me, is none other than the manager for his sheer arrogance of doing things (or not doing) in the last, last to last and last to that (and so on...) transfer window that we did not like. However, I feel that he is not the only one to blame, not for this match and at least not for the reason cited above. I feel that recently it has become a habit of the fans and the pundits alike, to start blaming Wenger as soon as we lose and start praising him again as and when we start firing back, which, in my opinion, is not helping our needs. In my opinion, Bayern out-Arsenaled us in the true sense, if I may call it so. Wait, was it the first thing that came to your mind that Bayern had most of the possession in the game? I bet it was. Because that’s what the Arsenal style has become synonymous to. Our movement, though sleek, has become slower than how it was in the past. We had possession even yesterday, what we didn’t have was quick movement; Bayern had that; what we didn’t have was a killer instinct and they had it.

The team has shown it time and again that they have quality. Cazorla, Wilshere, Arteta, Walcott, Giroud, Rosicky all were good yesterday. And it’s not like we were out-possessed; we were outplayed. We played the ball around and controlled it but that’s the most we could do. At the back, once again, a few concentration lapses (which have become a trademark for us now) cost us the game and that is actually where our problems lie. The team is good and though one or two more players may make an impact but it will not suddenly take us to the top of our game. What we need is discipline, drive and maybe a better strategy. People will point out that Szczesny wasn’t good enough or that we needed another defender but he is the same keeper who lifted the team last season, and Varmaelen and Koscielny are the same players we were so looking forward to till a year ago; Mertesacker is the same player many of the fans so vehemently demanded on various forums. We have a good team (that can be bettered with additions) but what we don’t have is the right drive and the discipline which makes the problems even more difficult to solve. Maybe the team can learn something from Bayern now that the match is over but then; they actually don’t need to go that far because there is one player who shows what Arsenal is all about game after game; the team can learn something from Jack who, in my opinion, was once again the best man Arsenal played with. He outperformed the rest of his team-mates exactly the way Bayern outperformed Arsenal.

1 comment:

  1. Bayern were the favourites to win the tournament. But at home, we should have done better. We left ourselves no chance for the 2nd leg. Our defence is so bad, it's funny.