Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher believes Arsenal’s style of play is predictable and has questioned Arsene Wenger’s ability to help the Gunners win against the top teams.
The north London club settled for a 2-2 draw against Manchester City at the Emirates. This was followed by a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday.
“With Arsenal, though, it seems there is one way only and you can’t help but wonder where it is all heading,” Carragher told the Daily Mail.
“Wenger is a legendary figure in our game; his achievements will stand the test of time but you sometimes question whether there is a negative to him being so secure in his job.”
“It is still early in the season but already serious questions are being asked of Arsenal. The biggest one, I feel, is this: what is changing?”
“Watching them crumble against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday night, it was impossible to escape the conclusion that they aren’t learning.”
“For a decade now, Arsenal have been unable to contain opponents who go with a fast, physical gameplan. Everyone knows how to play against them,” he added.
The former Liverpool defender has criticised the Emirates club for not learning from their mistakes.
“When I watch Arsenal now, I get frustrated. They play the same way wherever they go — with their full-backs pushed up high and wide — and get caught on the counter-attack,” Carragher said.
“They are the away team! They should be doing that to the home team when they go travelling. Why don’t they learn? It is unforgivable that this keeps happening. The penny needs to drop.”
“When I played in Europe with Liverpool, the first objective was always to get a clean sheet: make yourself difficult to break down then, if a chance arose, pounce and pick up whatever you could. If the home fans didn’t like it, so what?”
“Yet Arsenal feel they can beat anyone. Anywhere. Playing their own game. It’s naive.”
“The only team able to get away with such a philosophy in recent years was Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona — one of the greatest sides of all time — but even he wasn’t afraid to concoct different tactical plans,” Liverpool legend concluded.
What Carragher said in his above comments is spot on. Arsene Wenger and Arsenal need to come up with a different approach for each game.
Wenger’s side have been caught up by the opponent’s counter-attack on numerous occasions and poor defending from the set pieces have seen them concede goals in the last few seasons.
One can argue that Wenger changed his formation against City. Despite changing the formation, the approach still remained same as they were caught in the counter attack when they allowed Sergio Aguero to score.
Also, the second goal which they conceded came from a corner where Martín Demichelis was left unmarked, resulting in a free header. It is not something which has happened in the past few months.
The Gunners struggled against big teams and a similar approach could only give their opponents an advantage over them. Wenger could try different formation, but if the approach is not changed, things could only get worse for Arsenal this season.