Champions League Round-Up – How Arsenal Compares With Europe’s Elite

I had initially thought I will do this at the end of the group phase. But we have achieved qualification and top spot, so it seems worthwhile to have a look at other groups as well. Here are some highlights from the group tables after 5 games,

• Arsenal on 13 points are joint leaders in points terms with Chelsea and Bordeaux.
• These three teams are also the only unbeaten teams in the tournament. Even Barcelona and United have lost.
• Arsenal with 12 goals are joint leaders in scoring terms. Madrid and Fiorentina are the other teams on 12. United have scored 7, Chelsea 9 and Barcelona 5!
• Arsenal’s 8 is the best goal difference in the tournament so far. Chelsea are next with 7.
• Liverpool have crashed out. Inter, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Milan can still go out.

I know our group was relatively easy. But so was Chelsea’s. If the likes of Olympiacos and Alkmaar are not considered tough opponents, the same can be said for Rubin Kazan, Marseille, Besiktas, and Dynamo Kiev.

United haven’t looked convincing at all, have they? Their second string lost at home to a team like Besiktas who had 1 point in four games. Their first team conceded 3 at home against CSKA. Chelsea have only managed two 1-0 victories away from home.

Madrid have spent hundreds of millions but they haven’t set the football world on fire. Juventus have spent big on the likes of Diego, Melo etc. But they aren’t dominating any competition. Barca have spent enormously on Zlatan but they too have to live with a couple of scoreless draws.

I know we have a habit of conceding sloppy goals. I also realize we have let ourselves down a few times. But the improvement over last season is clear for everyone to see. We can certainly do well to improve our attitude and desire at times. There is room for improvement in maintaining the shape of the team, defensive tactics and developing a killer instinct. But these are all achievable as long as all concerned have genuine belief and will to win.

Some fans still don’t think this squad is good enough. I am more worried if some of the players also think that way. I guess that is an argument that can only be countered by actually winning something.

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11 Responses to Champions League Round-Up – How Arsenal Compares With Europe’s Elite

  1. Vikithegooner says:

    You are always giving a nice post..nice analysis..keep it up..though we dominate in stats..we should be cautious from now on..should concentrate on league also..if we beat Chelsea and barca we will win the cl with ease..madrid and juventus wont stand in our way..go gunners..

  2. Diceman1984 says:

    Rather pleasing post desi…

    People will always think differently, it’s way too premature to say we will or will not win something.

    But it is sad to me that some fans believe we “can’t” win…it’s premature to say we will but I think and believe we can do it.

  3. RedOak says:

    great article on the points and stats desi.

    we can only get better and build on what we have achieved so far and improve from here on. i just hope all this luck on injuries will stop here so that we can play to our full potential with a full squad and show the media and doubters out there that this arsenal team is ready to win some silverwares.

    cheers

  4. anup says:

    just beat chelshit..

  5. Arsenal will be the surprise of UCL this season.

  6. bobbygee says:

    I think Arsenal has a real good shot at winning the whole shooting match. The squad is good but with that said this is the big problem Van Persie is hurt. Four to six weeks can be a killer. I like the composite of the club. Man U is lacking scoring. Chelsea is lazy in its approach to the game. I think Real may have a good shot at winning it too. Still Arsenal looks good at this point. http://bobbygee.wordpress.com/

  7. Vertino says:

    Barcelona could be out of the Champions League as well if they lose by 3 goal margin to Kiev I think and Inter beat Rubin.

    The reason people felt we had an easy group was because we didn’t have to make long distance trips to the other side of Europe (Ukraine, Russia) where the fatigue from the journey + the weather = potential screw up.

    United haven’t lit up any competition this season as consistenly as us. Their best game this season was probably at White Hart Lane. Madrid will struggle because they have too many options and over time you can’t keep all of Raul, Ronaldo, Kaka, Higuain, RVN etc happy. Zlatan as an individual has been an amazing signing for Barcelona but he looks considerably slower than Etoo and they don’t have that same edge. co-incidence they beat Inter without him with comfortable ease?

    As for us, 13 points from 5 CL games, even the great Tony Adams led side probably didn’t achieve this. However the real test starts in the 2nd round onwards. Any mistake and the better class of opposition will make us pay.

  8. mayank says:

    It is wat the players think that matters and at this point in time the belief and desire seems missing. I would love to be proved wrong but the performance against sunderland does prove so. It was the lack of application that led to our loss against both teams from manchester and it was no superior quality of player.

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