Arsenal Depot

A depository for musings on Arsenal FC

Archive for the month “October, 2012”

Bouncing Back, Fullback Promise, Ox To The Rescue

The disappointment from Saturday’s defeat lingers and Olympiacos’ visit to the Emirates can’t come soon enough. After a poor performance, it’s always good for the players to take the field as soon as possible and put things right. It’s Arsenal’s first setback of the season so it’ll be interesting to see how this team responds in midweek.

Arsene Wenger feels they will bounce back strongly.

I think we will recover from it. It can happen in the season, but they are disappointed because they lost a game they should not have lost.

Last season, Arsenal’s resilience in the face of adverse results was heartening to see. While there are obvious areas where the team can improve (read defending set-pieces), it will take dollops of determination and team-spirit to leave Saturday’s disappointment behind and focus on the games ahead. Wednesday will provide a glimpse of how this team can cope with reversals.

Speaking of everyone’s favorite topic at the moment, Arsenal’s set-piece defending, it’s a surprising frailty that has re-emerged this season. Last season, most of our defensive vulnerability was linked to a lack of shape when we lost the ball. That seems to have been put right as Arsenal’s back four have held a deeper line and the midfield has worked hard to afford them protection. However, set-piece defending seems to have regressed to the 2010-11 season, when we were prone to conceding soft goals from free-kicks and corners.

One reason for this could be the reorganisation undertaken by Steve Bould. And I don’t say it as a criticism of the former Arsenal defender. The new assistant manager has only had eight competitive games so far this season and whatever drills are being formulated on the training ground may take time to be implemented effectively in matches.

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