I’m back but at the wrong time

Just a quick message to say hello to all the WOA readers out there, who have been brilliant in the comments in my absence, and kept me very much in touch with the games and your thoughts…

So, I’m back, I’ve landed and am going to crash out now… no news yet on Diaby’s injury, but the news is that it’s not bad, and he should recovered post International break… which seems to be the case for a lot of players… check out he injury update on the right.

Today saw Chelsea play United and win, taking them 5 points clear of both us and Man United. We do have a game in hand, and we have to play Chelsea soon, so it’s all in our hands… the top three are starting to break away. Liverpool, it looks like, will have some achievement to get fourth.

In other news, Stan Kroenke has upped his stake to 29.9, meaning just 1 share is needed to invoke a takeover, and the funny thing is that it was none other than Peter Hill Wood who sold him the shares. Not sure what is going on, is there something behind the scenes? Who knows? Should we be worried? Maybe… There are runours that Usmanov is planning something in retaliation to this, but only time will tell…

Finally, a note of thought – we’ve scored 36 goals in 11 games. That means we’ve scored an average of 3.3 goals a game. If we continue to do this, we’ll hit well over 100 by the end of the season, and that is not something previously done in the modern day Premiership – the highest being 97 goals from United in 1999/2000. Over Arsene’s reign, how many records have we beaten?

Cesc doesn’t think we will be free flowing all season, but insists we can be strong…

“We are Arsenal, we are a young team and we are trying to do our best,” he said. “There will be a time when we cannot score goals and everyone will say we are crazy. It will not be easy and we will have to be patient. It is in that moment where we have to be strong.”

The interesting thing is that we’ve actually got the best attack in the league in terms of players and strength in depth – Vela, Eduardo, Van Persie, Nasri, Arshavin, Rosicky, not to forget the injured Bendtner and Walcott and throw in Cesc, Ramsey, Wilshere, all players who attack well, we’re very very strong…

Anyway, I’ve got to crash now… over to the comments for your thoughts on Kroenke and our goal scoring run… Speak soon!

  • jeffvip

    i just found out (from dev’s chart) that we have a very interesting stat, top 3 goal scorer is also top 3 assist.

    Cesc 9
    Van Persie 8
    Arshavin 6

    Cesc 10
    Van Persie 7
    Arshavin 6

  • Yemi

    Welcome dev. I think its good news that we are going to have a larger squad after the international break cos we would need some rotation as the days go by

  • NOOB

    With everyone fit, who do you put as your 3 top men, obviously RVP in middle without a doubt lol!
    Trying to settle an argument with my flat mate here ha

  • sam

    Good to have you back Dev, and thanks for keeping us going while you were away!
    We’ve scored 55 goals in 19 games (2.89 per game in all competitions), and I’m impressed that our Captain Fantastic is keeping his team grounded.
    This is shaping out to be a heavenly season.
    What are we to do till the next game? It’s like 300 hours away!

  • Debs

    Hey Fabrez. The Stoke tickets are sold out now- just wondering if you got your ticket beforehand?

  • Berth

    Good stuff Dev.

  • sam

    Does anyone subscribe to the idea that Arsenal win the league every World Cup year?

  • Arsefan101

    Why do we have so many international breaks? ARGH!

  • Fabrez

    @ DEBS – No I didn’t! I tried over n over n over but nada! :( I’m gutted…that’s the only home game I can go to between now and Dec…then I’m on holiday… *sigh* Maybe they’ll b exchange and I can get it that way? Not sure… If not, guess I’ll b going in Jan/Feb nxt year!

    @ JEFFVIP – Shows how strong our attack is huh? Love those stats!

    @ NOOB – Hard 2 say…I’d say RvP thru the centre with Arsh and Rosicky on either side. But I think rotating with Dudu, Nasri, Bendtner, Vela and Theo will be very important for us as Yemi said.

  • ny

    i wud like to see Eboue playing as one of midfield trio.

  • Berth

    Sam are you sure. Just may be but 2006 world cup…

  • sam

    I just read this World Cup idea on a site, so was wondering…

    We have won the league 13 times, 4 of them have been in World Cup years! 2002, 1998, 1938 & 1934.

    We have won the FA Cup 10 times, 3 of them in World Cup years! That’s 2002, 1998 & 1950.

    Finally, in 1994’s World cup year, we won the European Cup Winners Cup.

    So my reasearch is inconclusive, but let’s just say World Cup years are kind to Arsenal, especially in the last 2 decades (except for 2006, of course).

    BTW, apart from spending time on Arsenal, I do have a life!

  • Walter Broeckx

    What is the difference between The Arsenal this season and Arsenal last season?

    For this and last season Arsenal were written off by almost all the pundits and it was sure we were the one who would fall from the top 4. It is not happening. Why not?

    Last year around this time, the championship for us was over. And now we are only 5 points behind first place and played a game less and we have had some tough trips away from home, where other may lose points as well. We always played good football and with some luck we could have won all our games.

    There is not much difference at first sight between the team last year and this year. We sold two players, Adebayor and Toure, and there was only 1 new player brought in Vermaelen.

    One can say that we have just one central defender replaced by another. Toure was a good player but the partnership with Gallas did not work and now it seems to be working with Vermaelen and so the team is certainly stronger in defence.

    Adebayor was sold and was not replaced. On paper because after a few weeks to fully adjust, Van Persie has come good on that new place for him. Assists, goals, … you name it, he delivers the goods.

    So where is the difference? For the real difference we have to go back 1 year earlier. We all know how great we played with a midfield consisting of Flamini, Hleb, Cesc and Rosicky and Adebayor and Van Persie / Eduardo front. A midfield with youth, energy and experience.

    It eventually went wrong by heavy and prolonged injuries. But it was in the summer when disaster struck. Wenger, who knew that he could put up a brilliant midfield, suddenly lost 3 of his four midfielders. Rosicky was hurt much worse than first thought and to make matters worse Hleb and Flamini were off to go and sit on the rather comfortable bench in Milan and Barcelona.

    The result was that Arsenal suddenly had a huge hole in the heart of the team. The core of the team was gone. 75 percent of the midfield had to be replaced. Wenger had to rebuild and fast.

    Denilson was put in the team and some fans and most journalists laughed him away and called him lightweight and not good enough. Song was put in the team and some told he will never be good enough. Diaby came, as he occasionally was fit in the team but fell away again and again by new injuries.

    Otherwise Wenger excelled in putting players outside their normal position and caused some more surprise and displeasure with some fans.

    Up front there was still a player running around, sorry I correct myself and call it walking. After his stunning season before he thought it unnecessary for him to work hard. Just hanging around on the field and wait until the ball fell at his feet was enough for him. Also frequent and gratuitous running offside. Actually one could say that Arsenal last year, almost always played with 10 players on the field instead of 11.

    And yes maybe the moaners had last season are partly right. It was not good enough, especially in the beginning.

    But we had to fit in 3 midfielders, Cesc was the only regular starter of the season before and he was also out for a long spell. And anyone who knows a bit of football knows how difficult that is. Especially when the replacements were still very young players with limited experience. But Wenger stuck to his team and gave the confidence and let the players know he believed in them. And at the end of January, after the arrival of Arshavin, it slowly began to click and there was a, sometimes underestimated, series of 21 matches without defeat. For many, including myself, it was clear: this group had future.

    As said this summer the squad remained almost unchanged and back came Rosicky and Eduardo from career threatening injuries and suddenly it worked.

    Song, last years “zero”, is suddenly one of the best defensive midfielders in the PL, Denilson played great until he went out with his back injury. The entire team fit into each other. Not surprisingly, there were almost no changes and the core of the team was a year older and became more experienced. They had learned a lot from the sometimes painful mistakes they had made.

    The difference is that there actually is no difference to last year but there is enormous difference between the older team in midfield and the young midfield we have now. The normal growing pains that you know will happen if you are turning a young team into an adult squad came along the road.

    Many supporters knew this and could live with a temporary step back to then move forward, certainly seen in the light of the cost that building a new stadium brought to the club.

    This year it really seems we have put a giant step forward. Despite once again the vast amount of injuries it seems that we have players at every position in the team who just come in and are ready for whatever is asked.

    Wenger has a team, a young team, brought together with many players from our own ranks and with a bright future ahead of us. A team of players currently only known by a few but who in some 10 years time will be remembered as a team of stars.

    It up to us support them and to make sure that we succeed together.

    Walter Broeckx

  • jeffvip

    good explaination Walter Broeckx