SportsNet - February 2013
Arsenal Commentary: Switching To 3-5-2 Is The Dramatic Move Arsene Wenger Needs To Save Arsenal's Season
Arsenal's faltering season demands dramatic action. That action should take the form of a tactical shift, involving switching the formation to a 3-5-2.
It would represent a major change for Arsene Wenger. The Gunners have always operated a four-man defence throughout the Frenchman's lengthy tenure in charge. However, the under-pressure boss needs to make a decisive alteration to reverse the struggles of this season's squad.
Wenger has never been closer to the brink than he is at this moment. Knocked out of both domestic cup competitions by lower-league opponents and four points off the top four. That's the embarrassing reality Wenger must confront.
He has already shown a willingness to respond to the challenges of this season. He has promoted an increased commitment to securing and building a core of home-grown, British talent.
The 2013 NBA All-Star Weekend takes place in Houston Texas, February 15-17, at the Rockets Toyota Center.
NBA All-Star Weekend is nothing more than a three-day weekend of excessive partying, networking; and it provides a great opportunity for Corporations like Nike, Addidas, and Rebok to cash in by “pimping-out” NBA All-Stars. It is also a good time for most players to get some much needed time to relax.
On a more positive side, NBA All-Star Weekend give fans (especially kids) the chance to see their favorite NBA stars up close and personal.
Of all the events taking place during All-Star Weekend, the actual NBA-quality basketball game played on Sunday ranks at the bottom of the scale of importance. Fortunately for the NBA, unlike the NFL or Major League Baseball—fans actually watch most of the weekend-long events.
The NBA All-Star game is nothing more than a glorified exhibition game where NBA stars are given a free-pass to showcase just how egocentric and arrogant they really are. Kobe, LeBron and company know come Sunday “the world is their stage” to show us just how selfish they are.
The only tie of this round to feature two Premier League sides still has an air of mismatch about it. The 4-3 victory for United at the Madejski stadium in December springs to mind with inevitable momentum. But despite that evenings’ defensive perilousness, a lower scoreline is expected at Old Trafford this time around.
It could be forgiven for assuming United have been pitted with Chelsea in the sixth round draw. "Or Middlesbrough; or Reading." They are minor details. No high horses please; we’re all thinking the same thing.
But Reading will hope to escape the drab reality of an arduous and draining relegation battle that they will have to claw out of with every fingernail available if they wish to retain their premier league status. With that in mind, it’s not inconceiveable that Brian McDemott will allow his players to lose some of their inhibitions and play with an element of abandon on Monday evening. A defeat here for his side is expected. But McDermott will look to expose any element of nonchalance from the home side.
A few years back the mere thought of discussing a replacement for Arsene Wenger at Arsenal would have been sacrilegious. Events of the recent past have now altered this reasoning, the tide has now shifted. The managerial position at Arsenal, once synonymous with Wenger is now seemingly up for grabs.
Minutes after Arsenal crashed out of the FA Cup after a humiliating 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Championship side Blackburn, the long knives that had been barely sheathed all season long came out once again. The crescendo of boos at the Gunners home turf at the final whistle were resounding (one would even say deafening) and defined a turning point in the fortunes of a club that was once a European powerhouse.
It was not just the defeat, after all soccer is an adversarial sport with a winner in a cup tie the imminent tale of the joust; it was the manner of the defeat that rankled the Emirate faithful.
In years gone by, the prospect of meeting Chelsea in a cup competition would have earned groans all around the Manchester United fan clubs, however, with the current demise of the Stamford Bridge club, it is almost a relief! Of course, Chelsea have themselves to beat Middlesbrough away at the Riverside Stadium first in their 4th round replay, a feat which is not necessarily the walkover it may once have seemed. Middlesbrough are one of the top teams in the Championship this year and whilst their form away from home has been a little patchy, their home form has been good.
Should Chelsea get past Middlesbrough, they then face an away trip to Manchester United at Old Trafford. Bearing in mind that they are currently 16 points behind and given United`s home form, this is a daunting task. It also will remove one of the remaining obstacles between United and a place in the FA Cup final, something they have not achieved since 2004. They also have the edge when it comes to previous results, having beaten Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in October 2012 by 3-2, when Chelsea were arguably playing their better football.