What have we here? Five straight wins in a row in the EPL, four consecutive wins coming from behind. They’re calling that a new record.
So what’s happened to make Arsenal get their familiar groove back? Here’s six reasons why I think they’re dancing up a storm:
Robin van Persie– 26 goals scored already in the EPL, some of the most stunning I’ve seen. Need I say more.
Tomas Rosicky – His resurgence of form has changed the dynamics of the midfield which was starting to look rather lacklustre without the two who left and who shall remain nameless. And off course, Alex Song remains a steady force to guide things along; his brilliant passes are beginning to tell.
Theo Walcott – Seems to be maintaining consistency, getting better at making quick decisions, and is starting to pick out killer passes.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – a breath of fresh air. His inclusion in the starting line-up has infused a new energy in the team. What a pleasure to watch a youngster making his mark on the game.
Thomas Vermaelen – his return has bolstered the defence, which was practically non-existent in his absence. I should also give a shout out here to Laurent Koscielny who is improving remarkably, Bacary Sagna whose return gives us that extra dimension on the right wing, and Wojciech Szcezesny whose goalkeeping skills keep on improving.
Arsene Wenger – the manager’s pig-headedness in the face of massive pressure from the fans is a measure of his principles, and perhaps a blessing in disguise.
So what’s going to keep this momentum going? More of the same. The new-found energy and confidence must convert to relentless pressure for the whole 90 minutes. And it wouldn’t hurt to see the backs of Marouane Chamakh, Johan Djourou and Andre Arshavin for good, and a certain German striker joining the ranks instead.
That’s probably what Thierry Henry was shouting after scoring the only goal after coming on as a substitute in the FA Cup match against Leeds United last night. And what a goal it was too – typical Thierry Henry finesse.
Yes, the one and only. Five years after leaving Arsenal for Barcelona and New York Red Bulls, he is back… and boy was he needed. I’m sure a fairly large number of supporters at the stadium, and even those watching on television viewed his comeback and goal-scoring as a kind of fairy tale. It was indeed a magical night; one to remember. Perhaps a twin statue outside the Emirates Stadium is required to commemorate this fantastic event. It certainly does not happen very often.
Hopefully Marouane Chamakh and Andrey Arshavin were attentive and learnt how to find the net from the ageing master. However if they did, it seems certain that they will only get to use the knowledge effectively with new clubs, as they are set to leave Arsenal after yet another dismal performance. Arshavin is a busy player but lacks the concentration and finesse of a goal scorer. Chamakh on the other hand is just too lazy for me.
One can only hope that Henry gets more games and extends his stay into the Champions League spell. More goals from the hero of Highbury, would send the Emirates into spasms of pure ecstasy.
Yeah, I was happy the Gunners won against Olympiacos last night. Why wouldn’t I be?
But that defense troubles me greatly. It is not porous; it is non-existent!
It would seem that Wenger pays no attention to it whatsoever. He persists in concentrating on the forwards and forward play. How else do you explain that the defense are clueless about the critical role they should be playing in the team?
Why hasn’t a specialist defensive coach been brought in yet? Does Arsenal need to develop into more than the laughing-stock of the Premier League at the moment, having leaked more goals than all the teams, except one?
But it does not stop there. It’s fine to leak goals at one end, but you need to make up for it at the other. Football is after all about scoring goals. Perhaps Wenger needs to remind his forwards that they need to PASS the ball into the net too, not just each other. And I do mean, the opposition’s net, not their own.
I cannot understand why he persists in using Arshavin and Chamakh. These guys are just too lazy for me. It’s quite apparent from watching them play, that they’re content to just show up, and give about 80 to 90%. That’s not good enough at this level; we need players who are willing to give more than their all…and then some.
There seems to be some improvement in their recent showing, but dramatic changes are required to turn things around.
How about it Wenger? How about being a Gunner instead of a goat?
I’m hoping to make this my last rant about your team selections. I’ve noticed the dramatic improvement in Bendtner. Seems all he needed was a firm kick up his Danish butt.
I’ve also noticed the remarkable improvement in Arshavin. His radar seems to have come on-line again; but perhaps some fine-tuning won’t hurt. I think you need to have a look at his boots though; maybe it’s affecting his shooting.
But I’m still pulling my hair out over Denilson. The guy is absolute shite. He’s getting worse by the game. His mind is definitely not on what’s happening on the field; and he spends far too much time falling over and sitting on his arse. Maybe he needs some time off at Ipanema Beach [sitting on his arse] to get his head sorted out; or maybe a permanent holiday at some other club.
And while we’re noticing shortcomings, what about Chamakh? I’ve noticed that he craves to be inconspicuous on the field. He rarely gets involved in the action. What’s with that? Seems some of that laziness from Bendtner seems to have rubbed off on him too. Please get him sorted out very quickly; he’s certainly talented, but he still needs to put in the hard graft like everybody else.
It’s becoming all too much to bear. Another dreadful night of football with the Arsenal not being able to get past Wigan; which they should have done quite comfortably.
Wenger has no excuses this time – he can’t blame the pitch, or the two atrocious refereeing decisions. Arsenal should have won despite this. But they didn’t . And perhaps Wenger needs to admit for once that he screwed up.
His starting lineup showed a great deal of arrogance and disrespect for Wigan. He is not going to win games against the so-called minnows if he insists on picking players who would be visibly more comfortable sitting in the stands watching the game. Even though Arshavin and Bendtner both scored, they were mere spectators for large parts of the game.
The Arsenal are in desperate need of players who are prepared to put in some work; not just wait for the ball to roll up to their feet. Bendtner, Arshavin, Denilson and Chamakh to a certain extent are just far too lazy, and don’t make the extra efforts required to get to the ball in cases where the passes are not 100% accurate.
It’s time Wenger looked at offloading these spectators and employing some honest hard-working no-nonsense footballers, even if they’re supposedly not as talented as this lot. And boy does that defense need some attention. Make-shift is hardly the word to describe the disaster-in-waiting that passes for a defense.
If Wenger thinks he’s going to win any trophies this year with these low levels of commitment on regular display, then he must be the most optimistic professor of football, ever.