Ex-Arsenal defender Martin Keown claims what we really needed against Bayern Munich was another dedicated defensive midfielder, with Santi Cazorla looking a little out of his depth when asked to do such a difficult job (via the Daily Mail).
Cazorla has been excellent in his new deeper role this season, and has thrived alongside Francis Coquelin. He is not known for his defensive qualities though, and as we were under the cosh for so much of the game against the German giants he was unable to really shine.
We arguably would have been better with another more natural defensive midfielder alongside Coquelin, but due to Wenger’s failings in the transfer market that wasn’t an option.
Keown suggests that could have been a large part of the solution to our problem, as midfield was mainly where the battle was lost in the first half.
“Arsenal could have done with an extra holding midfielder to combat Bayern’s carousel of movement,” he wrote in his column.
“The full-backs, particularly David Alaba, over-lapped and under-lapped, just how Pep likes it. It makes them so hard to track.”
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We aren’t often going to want to play two defensive midfielders together, as having a player like Cazorla who can start attacks and spray the ball around is a massive part of our game. There are times when a game calls for that tactic though, so we really need to have it as an option.
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On top of that, if Coquelin were to suffer a serious injury then our season would more or less go out the window. Wenger must be able to see the weakness we currently have in that area, and needs to remedy the problem as soon as possible.