Friday, 23 September 2011

PHW: "No Director of Football" -Wenger reveals training secret -Bergkamp to return?

Morning Gooners.

The start of the season hasn't been a happy one for us, let's be honest. We've done well in the Champions League, we're through to the last 16 of the Carling Cup but our league form has been woeful.

Played five, won one, draw one and lost three the league table reads. Whilst we've conceded 14 goals.

In a season when our defence has never more been scrutinized, Arsene Wenger has revealed what every one wanted to know. That we do actually do defensive work in training.

The manager said:

"We work on it every day and practice. I believe that we have been solid quite recently - in Dortmund but not at Blackburn. There is a lot to improve in our defensive consistencies. 
"The modern game is a team sport more than ever because everybody has to defend completely. All the big teams do it. You do not get away with just seven or eight and the rest watching.  
"If you don't do it as a team it doesn't work."

Quite what that work is in training is another matter. I don't think it's the kind of work which George Graham did with his defenders. I don't think Arsene is a man who will drill his players in routines until they've got it completely right. I think he likes to add variety to his sessions.

However one area I agree with him is that we've not defended as a team against Manchester United and Blackburn. Everything about winning the ball back has to start with our forwards. At the moment if Theo Walcott or Gervinho don't work with Robin van Persie to hunt the ball back, we have three players out of the game already.

And I think the manager needs to instill that ethic in his players. Barcelona press the ball and win it back as early as possible and we did it well on occasions last season but we don't do it consistently. If we did  we'd be a much more defensively solid team.

Hopefully we're see the results of five days hard work on the training pitches when we play Bolton tomorrow. And I think if we bring back consistency to our games we'd be a lot better off, something which captain Robin van Persie is keen to see from our performances.

Owen Coyle held his pre-match press conference yesterday and was asked if he thought Arsene Wenger would return with another bid for Gary Cahill. He said he did and that we wouldn't be the only ones chasing his signature.

Interesting story in the Daily Star. They say Arsene Wenger is looking at bringing back Dennis Bergkamp to the club. They say the club are looking to find a role for the Dutchman similar to the one Patrick Vieira has at Manchester City. Seems a little far fetched to me considering we weren't able to find a role for Vieira, how are we going to accommodate Bergkamp?

Meanwhile, chairman Peter Hill Wood has ruled out appointing a Director of Football at the club.

The chairman said:

"Arsene has got a very good relationship with (chief executive) Ivan Gazidis and they get on very well and talk a great deal. 
"There is absolutely no chance of bringing in a director of football. That is a lot of nonsense."
Interesting piece in the Daily Mail about our current situation, highlighting the problems with our defence.


The Sun say we're scouting Bastia's attacking midfielder Sadio Diallo.  The 20-year-old who would cost £2m, has scored 10 goals in 35 games, and is under contract until 2014.

A classy move from the club yesterday following all the talk in the media about the attendance on Tuesday night was to release a statement thanking fans for their continued support. As someone has already pointed out, percentage wise our grown was one of the most attended during the Carling Cup third round given the fact we're got three home inside eight days, the current economic situation, the football we're currently playing and the way we've started the season, I think getting 44,000+ for a league cup game is rather good.

The manager will face the media at lunchtime, so I'm sure we'll get the latest on Yossi Benayoun's injury. Hopefully it's not too bad and he'll be back this side of the international break.



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