I'm delighted that Clive has agreed to add his thoughts to this blog, he's well overdue for a wider audience, what follows will I hope be the first of many such pieces.
Wrong I know we should be focussing on this season, on Norwich and WBA but can’t help it. I am trying to wish away this season. I want third badly, so as a club we can start next season like Arsenal should.
We can see the green shoots of a real side. A team that is efficient, mentally tougher, and loyal and more in tune with each other spirit wise than any of the previous versions since 2004.
What can we do in money time? By that I mean April and May. When it gets real, what do we need to step up?
Traumatic time for Arsenal fans this week watching Chelsea, Bayern, and Barcelona and Real bestride the TV and leaving us all mentally exhausted and jealous. What games what professionalism, what personality shown by big players at big moments. That’s the key. When it gets tough its then I look at players, it’s then when stripped bare by nerves does your instinct kick in. The instinct to judge what you see and realise the gaps that are there - for us to succeed we need to mind those gaps.
Bayern Munich – A Brief Comparison
Watching Bayern a team with our Arsenal formation (4-3-3) they have a swagger and belief that they are a real big club. Used to winning, expected to win. They embrace the pressure.
- Ribery, Robben and Gomes.
They bring a huge game presence. They work so hard to get on the ball. They are fed early. Robben lives to shoot, Ribery the same. Sometimes they both stay wide, sometimes they swap sometimes they pair up for one two’s – What they show is game presence.
- RVP, Theo and Gervihno
One of their best performances was v Udinese away. We were so balanced and dangerous but too often we underwhelm - Theo is timid (especially away), yet not too timid to ask for a 100k a week – he sees his main game to assist. If he wants to be a striker he needs to be more assertive and grab those moments. He lacks personality to take charge of a game. Great pace but I look for him to threaten in more ways than just running in behind. What if like Chelsea they defend deep?
Gervihno I like but he is a support player. Flexible all round offensive player but weak mentally. Those who watched the ANC and saw him shy away from a penalty until it was so late that when his moment came he was frozen with fear and missed. I’m not sure he has recovered. Another ANC next year so we need more.
I know there is a cost differential and wages too between Bayern’s front men and ours, but if we want to win we need a front 3 that the world fears. RVP is one Podolski seems like another. We need one more.
Bayern in centre midfield were functional. Gustavo tackled everything that moved but it was Kroos that surprised me. A young punchy ‘just give to me and I will keep it’ type player who again showed the personality under the biggest pressure to impact the game. Similar to Cesc.
This is where Arsenal has real potential – Wilshire, Arteta, Song and the Ox have it to win. I would add one more significant poster signing in M’Villa as he has real presence. He has a long and short pass. He bites in the challenge. He is like a Roy Keane but with more technique. At times he can look a little one paced then he explodes – is he worth £17m – not sure but spinal players don’t come cheap.
Talking of spinal players compare Neur to Schez. We know the big Pole has it. A bit more time becoming a man and just adding a touch more muscle and he will be even better. We will lose Mannone, Fabianski and Almunia so I do expect one serious keeper to arrive. Buckland from Birmingham is perfect. English, 23 and on the way up but used to English grounds and game tempo/physicality.
Defensively we are improving but we need another CB. We need 3 top class CB’s and not be too worried about 1 not playing. Look at CFC. They are glad they have Cahill now. Depth is so key for multiple assaults on trophies. But our top 2 of Koz and TV are as good as any.
This is not meant to be an assault on our players – I love them all but it’s about what we need in money time. Some of this can be developed but some needs to be acquired. A team’s balance is fragile. Losing that balance, being caught light at the wrong moment - It affects the best.
Look at the goals Barcelona conceded v Real and CFC. Almost all in the left back channel. Would those goals been conceded if Abidal was present. Nope I don’t think so. Big player, big personality - big miss.
Arsenal needs this ingredient – Wenger has added some this season in Arteta, Yossi, and the return of TV. Players come and go but that ingredient of personality is a constant that if not there you will miss out.
Clive Palmer: https://twitter.com/#!/clivepafc