Arsenal for many seasons have had the same issue – signings (or lack of). Year by year we observe teams worsen or improve. If teams like Chelsea, Manchester United, and Manchester City need a player in a specific position, they go out into the market and buy that player, and have produced dramatic changes to their final position in the Premier League table due to these signings. Arsenal are always finishing fourth, and occasionally third. Why is that? And why are we not experiencing major improvement?
There’s two main reasons;
- Lack of positions
Injuries are constantly occurring, and players have to switch positions to fill in the blanks, for example: Laurent Koscielny injured, so Mathieu Debuchy or Nacho Monreal would have to fill in to play centre-back. Another example is the defensive midfield position, which is the main one Arsenal have struggled with for many years.
Why is the central defensive midfield (CDM) position important? Let’s take a look. Arsene Wenger plays players like Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla who are not particularly natural in the position as CDMs. Their styles are more like attacking midfielders. Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey are often played in the CDM position as well. This has become a huge issue for the team. Losses like the 6-0 to Chelsea and 6-3 to Manchester City happen because of the lack of a defensive midfielder to break up play and retain possession. For many transfer windows, the fans would complain about signing a CDM and we hear the same from reporters. Wenger is too confident on the current squad, but sooner or later he has to realize a CDM is what can push the Gunners towards up the Premier League table.