Lee Dixon thinks the current situation at Arsenal under Arsène Wenger is beyond repair, after another loss at the weekend.
Despite being unlucky with a couple of decisions, the Gunners never really threatened to beat Manchester City, even if those calls had gone their way – a contentious penalty given and offside goal that wasn’t ruled.
The team were just too fragile at the back, and former Arsenal defender Lee Dixon thinks this is where the unsolvable problem lies. “I honestly think they’re unfixable by Arsène. What he’s got there, he’s created an environment that doesn’t really know what they’re doing without the ball,” he said, reports the Daily Star.
“It’s quite simple. For me it’s simple when I watch them I think they can beat anybody on their day going forward. They can lose to anybody on their day defensively. That summed it up at the weekend against Man City.
“They are not a pressing side. They do it now and again, they did it against Chelsea. And then they go and perform like they did against Watford and then you see them try and press Man City, one of the best passing sides in the league.
“If you’re not a pressing side you have to press for months and years at a time in order to get it right. It’s really difficult, it’s not just a case of going and all rush to the ball.”
Pressing a team like Manchester City, if you get it wrong, just opens up space behind you for them to run or pass into. With players like David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne in midfield, and pacey players like Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sané and Sergio Agüero ahead of them, they’ll take advantage of that space. It happened on multiple occasions.
Of course, once you go behind, as Arsenal did so early on, you don’t have much choice but to go at the opposition. It’s either push up and press City or just let them pass around you for 90 minutes due to the lack of pressure on the ball.So the problem is largely that the Gunners keep going behind so often recently.
They turned things round against Swansea, Norwich and Everton, but Manchester City are a different prospect. Unless Wenger finds a way for his team to play against the likes of Manchester City as well as against the other clubs, the same thing will continue to happen in the big games.