Three things Arsenal and Arsene Wenger need to do after opening day defeat to West Ham

A quick look at what the club need to do after the opening day

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Drop Petr Cech (not really)

Petr Cech's opening day meltdown was the source of much confusion among Arsenal fans and much delight among fans of every other club in the country. All of the pre-season hope and expectation - Cech would gain the club at least 10 points and so on - seemed to vanish after Cech was to blame for both of the goals Arsenal conceded.

But what Arsenal musn't do is lose faith in the big goalkeeper. He is not considered one of the best in the world for no reason, in 10 years at Chelsea he made only a handful of errors.

Cech will have been desperate to impress on his first meaningful outing in red. The first mistake was down to a lack of understanding and communication with a new set of defenders, the second was worse but probably a product of the earlier error playing on his mind. He'll be back to his best sooner rather than later.

Play with more width

This will be remedied as soon as Alexis Sanchez is back to full fitness but Arsenal made it easy for West Ham by failing to exploit the wide areas. The Hammers played a diamond leaving space out wide - but Arsene Wenger played into their hands by picking a team packed with players that like to operate in the middle.

alexis-sanchez.jpg
Arsenal need Alexis Sanchez back to full fitness soon

Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were the four men behind striker Olivier Giroud and they all had their turns operating in wide and central areas. Oxlade-Chamberlain is the most comfortable on the wing, but even he is not an out-and-out wide man like Theo Walcott can be.

Wenger eventually brought Walcott on but by then West Ham were two goals up and happy to sit behind the ball, taking away any space that had been there.

Bring in a striker

The Gunners continue to be linked with a bid for Karim Benzema and it seems like the right move to make with Olivier Giroud showing off both his strengths and weaknesses in the game against West Ham.

Olivier-Giroud.jpg
Olivier Giroud is a very good, but flawed, striker

Giroud is a brilliant target man who makes the players around him better with his unselfish link-up play, but the striker (as has been noted time and again) lacks the speed and movement to scare defenders. Opponents can sit high if they want to pressure the midfield knowing Giroud won't hurt them in a foot race or sit deeper knowing he's an easy target to mark.

Benzema has his own flaws - despite his goal record his finishing is sometimes erratic - but he is lightning fast and has world class movement. It'll take a lot of money but Benzema has the tools to flourish in this Arsenal attack; now is the time for Wenger to be truly bold.

Comments