Well it has been a while since the last post, the Chelsea match to be precise. So has much changed since then? Yes and no. We have secured a top 3 place, which is great in terms of avoiding the Champions League qualifier next August but at the same time that
relief delight has been tempered by the fact that we have not managed to finish in second place for what would have been the first time in a decade. Anyway let's have a look back on the last month.
I'll start with the West Brom game and that truly was a typical end of season match. It was an easy win and we really could have scored more. Particularly in the first half. I was really hoping the team would go on and add another few after break, but it was not to be. At half time it felt like the 7-0 Everton game at the end of the 2004/05 season, by full time it was more like a warm down for the players. That's actually how I felt, although not to the same degree, during the Hull match. It was easy, maybe too easy, we were 0-3 up at half time, then at the start of the second half they scored so we just started to wind the game down. It's good that the team is able to do that but at times I really want them to be ruthless and get as many as they can. Maybe I'm just greedy, who knows?
The United match was one of the strangest games I have seen, not just this season, but ever. They were dominant for pretty much the whole first half, but never really bombarded the goal, they had a couple of half chances, but deservedly went in at half time ahead. In the second half we had a 30 minute domination and created a good few opportunities but couldn't score. Then out of no where got a goal (from an own goal). This was at Old Trafford. This was after De Gea had just come off injured. What did we do to deserve that type of luck up there? Prepare for another decade of hardship to balance it out.
Then we have the two home games where we couldn't muster a single goal, our last home game before that was the 0-0 draw at home to Chelsea, so that meant we went 3 home games without scoring. Yes that's right, I just insulted your intelligence by having to add that up for you and tell you that it was three games. That is 270 minutes of play without factoring in injury time or the time it took in the games before and after those to get a goal. Well, those last couple of sentences are complete and utter nonsense, but I'm going to leave them in anyway. The point I was really trying to make in this paragraph was that it was a long time to go without scoring. I will try to do that in the next paragraph..
I believe that the last time we went three games at home without scoring was the 08/09 season, but that run was even worse due to the fact that there was also a 0-0 draw at Spurs, which made that four league games overall without scoring. Great maths again. You ever hear the line, 'you can't start a fire without a spark' ? Well you can't score a goal without taking a shot either, but what made this recent 3 game run (in case you forgot) worrying was the fact that we were shooting and we couldn't score. In the Swansea loss we had 15 total shots with 9 on target while it was 21 overall shots with 8 on target against Sunderland. That was more than enough to score, it really was troubling the amount of times we shot straight at the keeper. We have a unique ability to make keepers look great. That's Arsenal for you, a great bunch of lads.
That was quite a strange month, when you look back at it, I think most of it has to do with the fact that we were basically guaranteed a top 4 finish this time around, so just took our foot off the gas. Overall, since the Chelsea game we have had one loss, two draws and two wins. We only have one game left now (There I go again with the maths), the Cup final. So lets win that one and hopefully set us up well for next season.
How have you found the last month? Let me know in the comments.
In the words of an Irish legend; Okey-doke, We'll leave it there so.
Subjectively, Cosmic Kid.
I see were Wenger is coming from not wanting to sign any 'star' players and citing cohesion. I can appreciate this and see what he is getting at. Ramsey, Sanchez, Cazorla, Ozil are star midfielders, yet I would say Coquelin is equally important. We dont need any more big names. However, Wenger needs to add more balance to the team. We have options galore in the forward midfield roles, yet only Coquelin in the holding role. So get Schneiderlin to provide another option in the holding role. And if Wenger is citing cohesion, then he really does need to change pecking order in some positions. Starting with Gabriel replacing Mertesacker in the first eleven, and Walcott should be used upfront more often. Giroud needs to be used sparingly rather than regularly, as its obvious this team is more potent and direct with a striker who looks to run in behind defences. Girouds back to goal play should be an option, and not part of the original plan. Sure we need a GK, DM and perhaps another striker. But a revamp is also needed - certain players need to fall back to the bench, and certain players need to be promoted and their positions and roles within the squad tailored. In addition to Gabriel in the first eleven, and Walcott used upfront more often, Gnabry should also be making the bench more often. Dont forget about Gnabry, he could easily become a 'new' player for us like Coquelin and Bellerin have this season. The prospect of going into next season with Giroud holding the ball up at the focal point, isnt very bold and ambitious.ReplyDelete