As of late, Arsenal have been struggling to find their form. With only three wins in nine games, it is safe to say the Gunners need something new and rejuvenating in their squad. Alexis Sanchez has single handedly bailed Arsenal out of what may have been a disaster against Sunderland, just a week after Sunderland were beaten 8-0 by Southampton. Although it is clear that defensive reinforcements are a must sign in January, it may be a new coach that Arsenal really need.
Arsene Wenger has come under scrutiny by Arsenal fans after a slow start, but also his inability to change his playing style. He is continuing to play a high possession, tiki-taka style, that has not been able to break down defenses. Against Tottenham on September 27th, Arsenal maintained 69% of the possession, but barely managed to squeak out one goal to make a one all draw. The very next weekend Arsenal played Chelsea, where they were again dominated when they tried to play fluid possession football.
Most recently against Sunderland, Arsenal played a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini sitting in the holding positions. A stagnant Arsenal side struggled to get shots, nevermind shots on target. The players were not ,moving with fluidity, or at all really. Wenger’s stubbornness in trying to force through his tactics and waiting for them to succeed is drawing him under fire, and it may be sooner rather than later that we see a new manager on the Arsenal touchline.
If Arsenal were to sack Wenger, it would undoubtedly come at the end of the season. However, Arsenal would be lining up a replacement in the time being. I believe Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp is the perfect man for the job. He has many similarities to Wenger, he plays attacking style football and puts faith in youngsters. It is his tactics that would make him the big difference at Arsenal. Klopp emphasizes passion, emotion, and attitude, something that is strongly needed in North London right now. When you watch an Arsenal game it looks as if the players do not want to win, they just show up. New signings Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck seem to be the only players willing to give 110% every game, Klopp would change that.
Klopp’s tactics include a high energy press, all 90 minutes, every game. This is hard to do, and it takes the right brand of players to accomplish it, but when done right, the results are favorable. For instance, West Ham played with very high intensity almost the entire 90 minutes against a Manchester City side that could have tromped them. West Ham squeaked out a 2-1 victory because Manchester City were never allowed to catch their rhythm, always being broken up by West Ham players swarming to the ball and breaking up play. Klopp’s counter-attacking style would thrive in the Premier League, and with the pace at his disposal at Arsenal, with the likes of Walcott, Sanchez, Chamberlain, Welbeck, and Campbell, quick counters would be Arsenal’s bread and butter under Klopp.
Arsenal are in need of a drastic change. They are not playing with confidence, and they haven’t been playing with bite for some years now. If the Arsenal board do decide that it is time for them to part ways with Arsene Wenger, they must make sure that Jurgen Klopp can be the replacement.