Freddie Ljungberg’s selection process for his first game in charge certainly raised some eyebrows.
It meant that players previously consigned to lesser roles or even in the shadows, were now seriously up for opportunity.
Shkodran Mustafi, the German had not started a game in the Premier League, was in from the cold and his rustiness showed in our 2-2 draw, but his inclusion gives hope to every member of the squad that they can forge a run in the side.
Ljungberg is most definitely doing the right thing by giving the boys the belief that they can hold down a spot in the side, but the Swede has three things he must do in order to improve our side:
Sort our defence out
It was our backline, or lack of, that meant Ljungberg missed out on a win in his first game. When Norwich attacked, Luiz, Mustafi and co backed off, backed off and backed off some more, leaving the likes of young Todd Cantwell to pick his spot. No matter how many big saves the impressive Bernd Leno makes, if our defence can’t go to the ball and make it difficult for the opposition, we will concede. We need to push up, constrict the time strikers have on the ball.
Maintain a defensive presence in our midfield
This is pretty simple. No matter if we have two or three in the centre, we need at least one of them to have their mind on defensive matters, instead of roving forward. With Lucas Torreira in our ranks, this could be solved quickly. Our other midfielders are not stupid either, they can do it.
Stick to a Formation – For the majority
Unai Emery was one for switching. From game to game – and sometimes within games themselves, our formation was tinkered with, twisted, tweaked. Wing-backs, four at the back. Three in midfield, two in midfield, pack the midfield. Two strikers, three strikers, widemen. Look at how the boys train, see how best they operate and stick with it. Of course, change it if the opposition demands, but for the most part, go with what is best for our players.
Get the above remedied and we can finally start to recover.