Let's Finish The Season With Style…

If anything is more glaringly obvious, it is that our title challenge is well and truly dead. Our recent form, although we haven't lost recently, has had too many draws and as I touched on yesterday, 3 games ago, I'd say we were in with a shout. Three draws later and it's looking ominous. Ominous for the title, precarious for the top four. We travel to Sunderland this weekend and nothing but a win can do. Anything but a win and we are really staring at 5th and 6th. 

So, the call to the team is not to be upset that we're so far behind... but to start the season from Saturday. We have 13 games until the end of the season. We still have to play Liverpool away, United away and Chelsea at home. At a minimum we have to claw back 6 points on Chelsea and 9 on Villa. Yes, we need other teams to slip up, but we also need to start playing with swagger and style, confidence and ability.

The re-introduction of Eduardo into our team, plus the performances of Vela, coupled with the Arshavin signing and the return from injury of Cesc and Walcott should give us enough impetuous to push on for the last couple of months of the season. Monday's game was like no other game I have seen this season. We were incensed, we were passionate, we wanted it. The same again on Saturday is the order of the day. 

Alan Smith seems to think we can step it up a gear, as he said:

“It certainly isn’t what Arsenal fans were hoping. But that’s what they’ve been left with by a side that, for all their talent, still needs some extra steel to go the full distance. Having said that, it’s a side more than capable of finishing with a sprint. It could be enough to cause some excitement.”

Well, for one, I am excited. Could we win all 13 games…? No, but we can get at least 30 out of the 39 available points. That will see us finish on 74 points – surely that mark is good enough for the Champions League spot?

Adebayor has been in the news, talking about his lack of goals and how the team doesn’t need his goals to win trophies because if he doesn’t score any more and we win a trophy then… Hold on… okay, so he doesn’t want to score any more if we win something… but he says that if doesn’t score we won’t win anything. If we are to win trophies then he needs to score more, but he is injured, but if he doesn’t score any more he will be happy as long as we win something – man, the boy is confused.

I know having scored 30 goals in a season that people will always be waiting for more this season but the most important thing is to keep on going and to progress. I have 12 already but to score another 18 now would not be easy. I am getting assists now too and getting closer to being a complete footballer. I can score with my left, score with my right and score with my head too, which is good for a striker. But I don’t care if I stop on 12 goals if we win something with the club. To win trophies is more important than scoring goals but if we are to win trophies I will need to score some goals. This club needs trophies and that’s what we are fighting for.

Indeed, the club needs a trophy or two or three or more… Putting his goal tally into perspective, the question to why he hasn’t scored so many can lie in the team as a whole. I’d say, last year, we had on average 20 – 25 shots a game. With this 20-25 shots, about 60% fell to Ade. So let’s say Ade had 12 shots a game and missed one in 6, then on a good game, he could easily score at least 1 if not 2 goals. Now, when we are only creating 10 shots a game, and 40% of those shots are falling to Ade, he is still missing his one in six, but this time only has four. So that pretty much explains it. Personally, I think he’s got worse – he thinks he has nothing to prove.

But I am excited by the emergence of Vela and the return of Eduardo. Nikki B has more in his locker and of course Van Persie is playing well.

Let’s Finish The Season With Style…]]>

  • Berth

    Edu temporaly out for 2 weeks. so sad

  • Debs

    I know… But I guess since he was injured on monday, then a week’s gone on sunday, so it’s sort of just one week left. Or did he mean 2 more weeks? Damn! I hope not though…

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[You're right about the team being partially to blame for the lack of goals - certainly (and I said at the time) Adebayor couldn't fail to score 40 with the amount of chances he was given last season. This season the lack of clinical finishing is brought into sharper focus as we are really counting those misses.

    To say he doesn't care about scoring seems the wrong attitude to me. I play football regularly and even as an amateur it means the world to score. I know he means "if we win" but I prefer my forwards to want to score shit loads. You can never score enough as a footballer.]]>

  • zohaib

    What ? What happened to Eduardo now ?

  • Pete

    < ![CDATA[Gutted about Eduardo's hamstring injury, but I reckon he'll be back for the West Brom game and start scoring for us then. He has been out for a long time so it's not surprising that he's had this setback. It's just a shame because he was so impressive on Monday.

    I'm very intrigued about Arshavin's contribution over the next 2-3 games and see what he can do for us. I really hope he has a good debut, that we dominate Saturday's game and win convincingly.

    To be honest, if Ade ends up as our version of Emile Hesky, where he doesn't score much but wins the ball and creates chances for the likes of RVP, Edu, Nasri, Arshavin etc, then I don't mind so much. I remember John Terry last year saying that Ade was one of the most difficult opponents for a defender to face, so its more of a question of team balance and service then what sort of striker he ends up becoming. Afterall, his size and strength is one of his assets, so why not use it? If his attitude isn't right then I'm sure we'll sell him off for more than we bought him for and find a decent replacement, so win-win for Arsenal FC :) Although he has had a few injuries this season, which is a slight concern as it didn't effect him so much in the past. But both him and RVP are well within the 20-goal-region for this season.]]>

  • Debs

    Slight hamstring strain, Zohaib. I think it’s probably similar to what happened to him after he played that game with the reserves earlier on.

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[What I fail to understand is, if Wenger knows (as he does), that Eduardo coming back after 9 months will need a lot of time and will have to be eased back into games, to prevent these slight knocks, then why does he do such a shit job at it.

    We've all been hearing how he'd like to ease him into games so that he doesn't get a recurrence, and that's exactly what has happened. A similar thing has happened to a number of other Arsenal players.

    My question is, is our medical staff so inept, that they've forgotten how to judge the amount of time a player needs to recover properly ? Because it's no coincidence that it's happened so many times to so many players.

    We have to be the most injury-plagued side in the league in it's entire history, even though that's nothing more than a wild guess. Why us ? And why us every single season ?]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[Zohaib he was having such a good game and always looked dangerous. I'd rather Wenger gave him 60 minutes, restored his confidence completely and then gave him a two week rest than gave him 45 minutes, 1 goal and only a partial return to confidence. I'm convinced that Eduardo only lasted as long as he did because we looked so comfortable and it was a real chance to build his confidence.

    It also seems a bit over the top to suggest our medical staff are shit at their jobs, when they've nursed him back from a career threatening injury in under 12 months.

    The thing is other teams have injuries but they have squads to cover them. Torres, Rooney and Ronaldo have all been out for large chunks of time this season yet both Man U and Liverpool are in the top two because their squads can cover the shortages.

    We've just been a bit unlucky is all - give it time.]]>

  • bops

    small correction.. we dont travel to sunderland.. sunderland come to the emirates..

  • ray

    why Johan Djourou and Carlos Vela should start against Sunderland are: Kenwyn Jones will be playing. Emmanuel Eboue is our only other option on the wing. Well, the second is not strictly true, but if the manager¿s pre-match comments are anything to go by then it seems unlikely that Andrey Arshavin will start. That leaves Vela or Eboue and for me it¿s a no-brainer. Do you pick the player who ran Cardiff ragged on the left on Monday or the man who let everyone down against Tottenham and has struggled for form all season? It¿s not a hard choice.The decision to play Djourou should be even more clear-cut for Wenger. The pairing of William Gallas and Kolo Toure is simply too short to deal with the power of Kenwyn Jones needs to be dealt with. In my eyes Djourou is the man for the job. The rest of the team picks itself. Eduardo¿s unfortunate – but minor – injury means that Nicklas Bendtner will partner Robin van Persie up front, although that was likely to be the case regardless of the Crozilian¿s availability. Gael Clichy should return in place of Kieran Gibbs while the midfield is likely to consist of Alex Song, Denilson, Samir Nasri and (hopefully) Vela. Sunderland are in decent form and have some nice attackers in their side, so the result is far from a formality despite our home advantage. The major talking point of the day will undoubtedly be the debut of Arshavin and Wenger has confirmed that he will definitely play a part. To expect him to have a tangible impact in his first game would be a little unfair, but I¿m extremely excited to see what sort of performance he puts in if he gets on the pitch. Like every game coming up in the next two months, Saturday¿s game is must-win. Confidence will be high after the 4-0 drubbing of Cardiff and if the likes of van Persie, Bendtner and Nasri can continue their good form then our boys are likely to come away with a win.

  • Debs

    Theo’s back in two weeks- absolutely brilliant news!