Arsenal eliminated Sunderland with a 3-1 victory to qualify for the fourth round of FA Cup and will face Burnley on Saturday. Considering their recent drop in form, it is going to be a mammoth task for the Gunners to eliminate Burnley who stand third on the points table in Championship.
The Gunners have won the silverware four times over last two years with Community Shield and FA Cup titles coming their way twice each. The FA Cup holders are a hot favourite for Premiership Trophy this year. Realistically, these are the only two trophies the Gunners can further compete for after bowing out of the League Cup and prospects of winning the Champions League very limited.
Arsenal Manager, Arsene Wenger boasts the reputation of throwing away title chances by not cashing in on their inform players. Faltering again will surely put a serious question mark over veteran Frenchman’s ability to manage an elite English football club.
Wenger will have to scrutinise his squad’s issues sooner than later to lodge a serious claim on FA Cup trophy. Otherwise, he may not be able to defend their lone title this season, let alone winning some more.
Here are four things Arsenal can do to defend their titles:
It has become somewhat of a tradition at big clubs that they provide young players with a chance to prove their worth in domestic cup tournaments. However, Arsenal can’t afford such a luxury as yet another trophy-less campaign will not add any value to the credibility of one of the top ten richest clubs in Europe.
The Gunners need to win titles this season, but FA Cup remains their only realistic chance, considering how Manchester City is progressing in the Premier League this season. Wenger needs to deploy his best XI squad in FA Cup to make sure they have at least one Cup to showcase their might after the season ends.
JUICE UP THE CENTER:
Arsenal is not the worst in midfield area but to be able to compete at the highest level, they need to start thinking about midfield battles. In modern football, most matches are not won on either side of the pitch, but the real deal is the fight for the ball in the middle of a football field. Leicester City has recorded more interceptions and tackles than Arsenal in the midfield. In the absence of star midfielder Cazorla, Flamini will have to raise his game to the next level to make Arsenal a real title contender.
MORE WORK FROM DEFENDERS:
Arsenal usually play a closed loop, passing game, similar to Barcelona’s tiki-taka style. Arsenal has created and scored many team goals that have made headlines and have been watched a million times on the internet. The problem that persists is that Arsenal is unable to score too many goals. One reason is that their defensive pair is not confident on the ball and do not participate or contribute much in shooting on target. Otamendi, Manchester City’s centre-half, has 19 shots on goal as compared to 16 shots shared by the Arsenal defensive duo.