All the signs were there from the beginning of the season, Arsenal FC, coached by Mikel Arteta, was falling from one defeat to another. Every team was just having their Father-Christmas against the Arsenal team until their game against their arch-rival, Chelsea, everybody was just busying themselves with the number of goals Chelsea would score against Arsenal and suddenly Arsenal came to the party and sparkled, winning against Chelsea by 3 goals to 1.
Arsenal won against Chelsea simply because the coach was losing faith in his senior players and decided to give some younger players the opportunity to represent Arsenal. The young Gunners really came to the party and Arsenal won against all earlier predictions and analysis.
The hope was that the team would build on that great performance against the Blues, and for some weeks, they were doing great until indiscipline set in. Arsenal players started giving away games they should have won. For 3 or 4 weeks running, Arsenal players were collecting red cards as though there was an award for getting them. This really affected their position on the league table.
Their biggest problem has been their home form. They have been very poor at home. They have performed better at away games, their home form is a thing of great concern. Even against weak and small oppositions, Arsenal has performed so poorly that they have lost the fear factor. Weaker teams go against them these days at full blast without fear.
Mistakes by the number one keeper and some outfield players haven’t also helped Arsenal cause in any way. This has cost Arsenal some games and points. Injuries to first-team players have also been quite common this year and have also contributed to Gunners inconsistency.
Though their destiny is still very much in their hands, that is if they win their remaining four matches. If you consider the quality of teams they will still play against in the league, winning the four games may be better imagined than real. Of the remaining games, Arsenal will go against Chelsea football club at Stanford Bridge, and considering that Chelsea themselves are fighting for a top 4 finish, that will really be a game. But never say never.
Another path to get into the European competition next season is by actually winning the Europa Cup. Considering that to achieve this, Arsenal needs to win two games, I don’t think that is beyond them. I just think the players have to keep the belief and continue to work hard. After watching the performance of Arsenal against Newcastle United this afternoon, it dawned on me that if they keep their belief, they can achieve anything they desire.
If all permutations fail and Arsenal doesn’t end up in any European competition, it will be time to rethink and re-strategize. Maybe, it is time to redesign their playing pattern. They may also have to give great thoughts to coaching and who should carry the team forward henceforth.
A good look at Arsenal’s playing pattern and you won’t be accused if you said it’s still Ernest Wenger’s Arsenal team. The club has to retain the good aspect of their passing game and make some modifications. Tactics and style shouldn’t be static, they must keep on evolving.
I think Arsenal’s passing game stifles individual brilliance, the highlight of their game is the collective passing of the ball, always great to watch, but it has its drawbacks. That may be why some stars who join Arsenal find it somehow difficult to fully blossom in North London, from Andre Arshavin to quite a few others.
I’m looking up to a great game of football on Thursday and being a Gunner, I want Arsenal to win and qualify for the final.
Whatever happens, I will enjoy the game and be happy.
Thanks a lot for your time.