Lessons for Arsenal in fantastic Chelsea win

I think the consensus of opinion is that 10-man Chelsea played perhaps the best game of the year against Barcelona last night, in the Champions League semi-final. And the win by Chelsea against great odds was definitely well deserved.

Would an Arsenal team forced to play Barcelona under the same circumstances as Chelsea have done as well? I think the consensus of opinion would be that they would have capitulated quite easily. But perhaps the same opinionated people would have to concede that Arsenal is a superior team to Chelsea in several areas.

But not in the one that mattered the most last night.

Chelsea could teach Arsenal a thing or three about defending resolutely. And about hanging on, no matter what. Arsenal have the class of Barcelona, but without the tenacity and sheer will to win against great odds, the physical and mental toughness, they are not going to become giant killers like Chelsea or consistent winners like Barcelona.

Arsenal have however got probably the best manager in the business in Wenger, and a crop of promising players that have the potential. But will that potential mature in time for next season?

Let’s wait and see…

Gunners love scoring goals…

The Clock End of the Arsenal Stadium, Highbury...

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Even if it’s for the other team…

I mean WTF is going on! I tried to be critically nasty towards Arsenal and when that seemed to be, well…too nasty, I tried to be accommodating. That seemed to do the trick as Wenger actually bought some new players – players who could potentially arrest Arsenal’s decline over the last few seasons.

I tried to be positive when they leaked 8 goals against United. I sucked up the derisory taunts from the ManUre faithful after that debacle. And then I was overjoyed when Arsenal got their first win in the Premiership and drew in the Champions League.

I really thought they were going to score some good goals against Blackburn yesterday – give them hell-for, show the world what the Gunners are really capable off….I really wasn’t expecting us to score for the opposition, almost as many goals as we scored for ourselves.

Wenger’s synopsis that the team are “just not defensively solid enough,” is an incredible understatement. The reality is that Arsenal are defensively clueless. That’s harsh, I know; but it’s unfortunately the truth.

The other harsh reality is that Arsenal are lazy in the in-goal area, on both sides of the field. The players are just too lazy to give that extra 10% to reach for a pass in order to score; the players have become inured to receiving the ball at their feet. It’s perhaps the one drawback of that precise passing game that is so pleasing to the eye.

As much as I hate to say it, perhaps we need a new coach who is more attuned to the demands of the modern game. Wenger has without doubt been an excellent manager/coach, but maybe it’s time to admit that his talents may be better served in the area of the club’s finances or in the boardroom.

Unless he makes a radical change to his approach off course…

Gunning for Glory

The Gunners have been to “Hull” and back, and after last night’s Champions League performance against FC Porto (Arsenal 4 – 0), it seems they are ready to face all their demons, and not just the Red Devils. There is serious talent in this squad, and I can’t wait for them to “Leave-a-pool” of tears in their wake from Chelsea, United, Barcelona, Real Madrid and the rest…