Can we scrape into the top 4? It’s going to be hard…

Evening all…

This is probably the worst time to choose to write my first blog on the new look WOA site… but nevertheless, it is time… I’ll start by reflecting on today’s game against Sp*rs… the game was typical of the team at the moment, and three points sum up the game:

  1. Slow start
  2. Conceding silly goals
  3. Second half come back

Typical of a lot of games this season, and we fail to pick up the three points again…

At points in the game, it was very clear that we have a better team, but for the first half, our mental state was not in the correct zone and we really didn’t grab the game by it’s horns. We had a lot of possession, and to be fair the better chances in the first half, but we weren’t quite at the races until the game was out of our sight. Why? Let’s take a look and the key reasons – not just for this game, but I believe the undercurrent to our whole season.

Szcznesy’s Form

The keeper definitely got a great future ahead of him, but he’s a bit erratic and a little too cocky. He is capable of world class saves, and he’s won us quite a few points this season – Sunderland away comes to mind, when we could have easily conceded if it was not for the Polish stopper – but at the same time, he has no real competition and lapses of concentration mean that he undermines himself. His form is a Jekyll and Hyde and you have to think that this happens because he has too much license to roam around and do Cryuff turns. A better discipline from management and a serious threat from anther goalkeeper would be exactly what he needs.

The Central Defenders

We have three very good defenders in Mertersacker, Vermaelen and Koscielny. I say “very good”, but not excellent. Starting with Mertersacker – he is a great reader of the game in a one on one or long ball situation, but he doesn’t quite like the ball with pace and for some reason seems to not quite understand the offside trap. His lack of pace is a thorn in our defence sometimes – but having said that, he’s probably been better than the other two. Koscielny is having second seasons syndrome, he is generally excellent – he is actually one of my favourite players – but at the same time, a little clumsy and he seems to have a mistake in him at all times. And then you have our captain and unfortunately, I think the pressure of being captain is too much for him. He was Mr Reliable, but I don’t think anyone would disagree if I were to say that this is his worst season in an Arsenal shirt. A no nonsense defender with a strong mentality, a defender that no-ones likes to play against is what we need, and then one of the current three to compliment him.

Too much expectation from Jack

Without of a shadow of a doubt, there is way too much expectation on Jack at the moment. You could see against Sp*rs that there was an expectation for him to create something out of nothing and to carry the team and if he can’t then we don’t seem to be able to do anything… we need more personalities in the team.

Giroud

He’s our main striker but unfortunately for me, he just isn’t the number one we need up front. He’s miles behind the likes of Van Persie, Eduardo, Henry and even Ade… I watched the Real Sociedad game and Carlos Vela was so much better than Giroud, it was crazy. He doesn’t seem to ever stamp his authority on a game. Today he had the ball in very good areas and he just seemed to play like it was a training game. There was no fire in his belly, no desire to be the best and win the game for his team.

Tactics

Now this is definitely Arsene’s fault… playing the wrong players against the wrong teams. Today, Podolski, Rosicky and Koscielny should have started ahead of Giroud, Ramsey and Metersacker – yes, easy to say in hindsight, but I think most people agreed that before the game too…! Taking off Jenkinson and moving Ramsey to right back is just bizarre. Not just today, but most games, there is a weird surprise in the team selection. Every year their is a weird selection of personnel, a weird recruitment and selling policy which has resulted in a very unbalanced squad and a really laboring to achieve anything.

Can we scrape into the top 4? It’s going to be hard…

We’re fifth now and 5 points behind 4th. It’s not impossible, but baring in mind the above, it won’t be easy. We do have a series of winnable games, but when you lose to Swansea and Norwich, then you can’t consider any game as winnable unless we actually go out and try and win and bring home the three points.

The remaining league fixtures are:

  • Swansea (a)
  • Reading (h)
  • WBA (a)
  • Norwich (h)
  • Everton (h)
  • Fulham (a)
  • Man United (h)
  • QPR (a)
  • Wigan (h)
  • Newcastle (a)

We have a better squad than every team in the next 10 games except Man United. We can go on a run. Will we? We’ll have to wait and see. We have to wait for 13 days until we take on Swansea. And that game won’t be easy at all…

Welcome back to WOA and from now on, we’ll be blogging once per Sunday and once midweek, around Weds or Thurs… and instead of mini-blogs, we’re turning into more of a digest, a summary and a discussion…

Let’s discuss!

  • WilshereWonderland

    Good to have you back!
    Spot on with the analysis, but the run in looks interesting – if we can win the ones we’re supposed to, then perhaps we still do have a slim chance!

  • ramlie

    i hate ramsey honestly. he must go.

  • arsenal714

    What is worrying with that list is that the likes of swansea,fulham,wba,everton could ask questions we can not answer let alone man u and Newcastle,even last year the only real worry would be man u and maybe Newcastle if we wasn’t at 100 %.I think we will be lucky to get above 24 points for these 10 games let’s hope chelsea and spurs slip up,and spot on blog

  • kiki

    Loving the new site!

    I personally do not think that we will make it in the top 4. It seems as though Chelsea and Spurs will be able to retain their place. It’d be really great if we could get 4th though.

  • worldofarsenal

    It’s not going to be easy, but there is definitely still a slim chance that we could break into it… but we need better team selection and some of our players need to wake up!

  • worldofarsenal

    Indeed, Swansea are a form team at the moment, and they beat us at home not too long ago – we can’t take any of these games for granted, but we do have it in us to win them…

  • worldofarsenal

    Surrounded by a better team, he’d be better – shifted around the team with players around him who are all confused and not sure what is going on makes him look bad… although I think he’s still recovering from his injury mentally… I’d keep him in the squad next season, as I think he will recover soon!

  • worldofarsenal

    Indeed, 5 points is the deficit, let’s look at this game by game…!

  • limet

    With each passing interview, it is becoming more and more apparent that
    Mr Wenger is past his sell by date. Realistically we need at least 4-5
    world class players to even think about competing for the title
    again…..and let’s face it, summer will come and go and I fear it will be
    the same old story with lack of investment once again. First it was the
    comments about ‘not worrying about the opposition’ now this. Tactically
    inept and out of touch with the transfer market.

  • paul

    Can’t say I was surprised. Spuds gifted their 2 goals, game over. Loved
    Wenger’s ‘this team has something special’ monologue. He’s right;
    they’re the worst we’ve seen in many a long year. The defensive shambles
    continues but now we have a willing donkey up front instead of a world
    class striker. I like Giroud’s work ethic but he no more than a
    championship player. Wally’s done zilch since we deemed him worth £100k a
    week. I’ve posted before but we are the new Liverpool in waiting. The
    nightmare scenario is that we will have endure a summer of Jack being
    tempted to pastures new with the offer of trophy success and shedloads
    of dosh. At present the club is going one and that down. Who will be the
    first to jump ship ?

  • worldofarsenal

    Well it looks like Sagna is off this summer for starters, but we have a lot of dead wood still – the likes of Djourou, Denilson, Squillaci, Santos, etc are still on the clubs books and the likes of Gervinho, Giroud and Oxlade are in bad form at the moment. There is every possibility a squad overhaul could sort us out this summer, at the same time, it is very possible that nothing will happen and we’ll be stuck with the same team next season!

  • worldofarsenal

    I firmly believe this summer will be his last chance.

  • dean

    My money is on the nothing will happen with this idiot in charge

  • dean

    Following on from my earlier reply to the WOA comment I see no point wallowing over what happened yesterday, better to move on and see
    if there is hope that some phoenix of hope rise from the flames of
    despair that come from the realisation that they are better than us. In a
    particularly understated way Arsene did ‘know’ yesterday in the summing
    up of his post-mortem:

    “We were not efficient in the zones where it matters: at the front and at the back.”

    What I hope he also knows is that this statement unearths to two
    parallel issues afflicting our team. Efficiency at the front seems to
    represent the standard ‘spend some money’ argument for our woes.
    Efficiency at the front is surely a shorthand for how our most attacking
    players are good but not great and how the simple way out of this would
    be to get an oilwell-sized chequebook out and try to bid for the Cavani
    level of polished talent that it has not been our policy to capture.
    For efficiency at the front a £1.5 billion takeover might help to some
    considerable level.

    Efficiency at the back is an entirely different issue however. A back
    line that cost more than £30m is not bargain basement by any stretch,
    and unlike many of my gooner kin I don’t think the personnel are lost
    causes. Defenders being drilled in one-touch passing routines rather
    than actual 11-a-side defending makes them play like amateurs however.
    Midfielders in front of them showing similar lack of rear guard nouse
    does not help.

    So in conclusion this debacle has so much in common with other failings
    against those who we should compete against. Unless AW can revive his
    talent for sniffing out an affordable world-beater we need to spend.
    Unless he can reform his approach to tactics and training we need to
    change our manager. I’m not confident on any of those things happening
    soon.

  • worldofarsenal

    Based on our knowledge of Wenger – someone who absolutely hates to lose – don’t you think he is hurting the most with this and surely wants to put it right?

  • limet

    No, if that was the case there would have been even slight changes…

  • dean

    With every game, AW gets more and more on my nerves.. I cant
    believe i actually trusted this man. I can’t believe i let this man lie
    to me for 7 years before only at the end of last season/start of this
    one i realised how much him and all his mate’s on the board are
    destroying this club…. I never thought i’d say this, but i really hope
    those Arabic billionaires buy our club… i never wanted our club to be
    run by a sugar daddy but i would much rather see a sugar daddy who has
    PASSION and LOVE’S our club, someone who is not motivated by making
    money because they already have enough of it, running our club over some
    yank that doesnt even have the balls to speak to the media or anyone
    regarding our club…

  • seamus

    Watching Arsenal this season is like dying a slow death. It didn’t take
    long to figure out they weren’t going to be challenging for the
    Premiership. I figured that out when they sold RVP. But I thought they
    were going to progress in both the League cup ( whatever they’re calling
    it these days ), and the FA Cup. This is a horrible season. It’s so up
    and down. What does Steve Bould actually do? I’m wondering if he’s
    actually allowed to have any say in how the defence plays. It sure
    doesn’t look like he’s allowed any input, with how shite the defending
    has been this season. Yesterday’s game. How the heck is a giant chimp
    allowed to run straight through the defense and have a free shot on
    goal? What, they couldn’t see him? Mr Magoo could’ve seen that. I’ve
    gotten to the point where I’ve given up on Wenger. He has purchased too
    many poor players over recent years. I mean Giroud is our main striker,
    for Pete’s sake. He’s like a French Bentdner. Some of the players STILL
    on the Arsenal books include, Bentdner, Park, Chamakh, Djourou, Santos,
    Squillaci, Gervinho and fricking Denilson. Arsenal still pay these guys
    wages! No team will take them, because no team will pay them what
    Arsenal are paying them. Wenger is the guy who has bought these players.
    If the club hadn’t sold Song and RVP, they’d finish top four this
    season. Lose 24 million on RVP, but how much do they lose by missing
    out on the Champions league?

  • worldofarsenal

    I understand what you mean, but he has to care, it’s important for him too – I really think he’s really annoyed and angry. Sagna leaves, we get in a new RB and then we need to keep what we’ve got and get some massive players with big personalities… It’s his last summer in charge (according to his contract) and he will want to go out with a bang…!

  • dean

    Fair point but i personally think he has destroyed the teams confidence, or the fact that no games for arsenal are considered a given win anymore…personally don’t think we’ll make the top 4 or 7 to be honest then how will he attract the big personalities? I hope kronke and the wankers at the board are sitting smug when the season ticket renewals decline..

  • http://Worldcup2011highlights.com/ Rauf Arshad

    I remember how Arsenal survive against the opponents last its
    Tomáš Rosický 2 Goals Brings Arsenal to Top 4 in Premier League
    Well the war for the top 4th place in the league between Arsenal , Tottenham , Everton and Chelsea , so this week its the team of the Arsenal who collect three points from the match and make to the mark and get the top 4th place position in the league its due to the Tomáš Rosický brillent 2 goals

    http://thesportsclash.blogspot.com/2013/04/tomas-rosicky-2-goals-brings-arsenal-to.html