Two Factors That Will Decide Arsenal’s Premier League Title Hopes

Now that Arsenal’s title aspirations are singularly focussed, it will be interesting to see how the League unfolds.

Arguments can be made both ways. Some people have already given up on the squad and the manager. They don’t expect anything but will probably continue to whine after every game.  Others might feel that playing one game a week offers a good chance for putting up a sustained assault towards the summit. I’m in this group and believe that the Premier League title is winnable.

Contrary to popular opinion, I don’t think Arsenal have the easier run-in. Away trips to Bolton, Stoke, and Fulham along with home games against United and Liverpool will not be easy. There is no way Arsenal are going to win 10 out of 10. I’d love to see that happen but football just doesn’t work that way. All factors would have to go your way for something like that to materialize and we’ve seen enough going against Arsenal to know that will not happen. United have relatively easier fixtures but also have the challenge of playing in other competitions. I hope they get to the finals of both Cups while losing some players to injuries.

Anyway, I should probably not worry about what United will do or what will happen to them.

Thinking about it from Arsenal’s point of view there are, in my opinion, two factors that will decide the title challenge.

The first is the fitness of key players. Unless Cesc, Song, and Walcott come back immediately or soon after the international break, and the likes of Nasri, Wilshere, Koscielny, Clichy, Sagna, and RvP stay fit for the rest of the season, Arsenal will not win the title.

Any team that wins major titles needs its best players to perform in a large percentage of games. Squad players can fill in at one or two positions and make a contribution but they cannot win the titles. As long as eight or nine first choice players are available for each game Arsenal will have a chance.

The second factor, and one that will probably be even more important that fitness, is tactics. And to be frank this is where I’m a bit concerned. Arsenal will have to adapt to the requirements of each game. Over the course of the next ten games, the Gunners will have to overcome some parked buses, physical assaults, aerial attacks, counter-attacks (especially against United and Liverpool), and unrelenting man-marking.

Wenger will have to adapt his tactics to suit the situations within games. Again there can be arguments both ways. The easier one is to ask, he hasn’t done it too well for a while now so why believe he can do it now? The tougher one is to believe that there have been subtle improvements to the team shape and the style/balance of play over last season.

After 28 games last year, Arsenal actually had one point more than this season, i.e. 58 points. But the Gunners had also conceded 31 goals in this period. Interestingly, the goals conceded last year were more evenly spread out but this season 10 of these goals have come in three freak games. Again one can argue that the freakishness will be repeated at least a couple of times before the end of the season or one can believe that the team will perform consistently.

The Squillaci-Koscielny partnership does ring some alarm bells in this regard, as it would if any team had to play the fourth choice centre back for long periods. This again emphasizes the need for the rest of the first team squad to be fit and the importance of tactics to make the defence stronger.

I just looked at Manchester United’s form post February for the last four years. They average close to 2.3 points per game. At that rate they will end up with 81 points. In order to better that Arsenal will need 25 points from the next 10 games i.e. 8 wins, 1 draw, 1 loss. I expect Arsenal to get 21-22 in this period but the Gunners can get 25 if the two factors mentioned above work out.

It is difficult to quantify but I feel the supporters can also make an impact. Positive support could add those extra 3-4 points that Arsenal need. Constant moans and groans could take those points away.

The referees will also be a factor no doubt. But I didn’t want to include them in this analysis as what they do is out of our hands. Arsenal will have to win despite the refs. There is no other way.

As I’ve said in some of my recent posts, there is still a lot to play for.

65 Responses to Two Factors That Will Decide Arsenal’s Premier League Title Hopes

  1. Eyasu says:

    Fabergas and Song hopefully come back after the international break, and hence we start to make a decent run. I think this is the season for us in regards to EPL. Come on Gunners

  2. Marcus says:

    Its more than a 2 horse race though Desi. Chelsea are not out of it yet.

    Also Chelsea have a way easier run in then us or Man U….

    bottom line is we need to perform as of now!

    our last 5 games are tough and we haven’t got time to feel sorry for ourselves

    • desigunner says:

      Chelsea will have to win all their games to get to 81 points. It will be tough. They might sneak up to 2nd if either Arsenal or United flop badly.

  3. T2T says:

    The positive is that Arsenal decides themselves whether to win the league or not. Win the rest of the games and we’re champions. Lose 10 points and we’ll be 3 or 4…

  4. Gunner90 says:

    I personally feel that Manchester United will win the league unfortunately. The only hope for Arsenal is that Manchester Utd will lose more players to long term injuries and suffer from fatigue being involved in the FA and CL cup competitions. I have checked their PL remaining games and also Arsenal’s and do not see that their games are any more difficult than those of Arsenal. The centre back partnership of Sqillaci and Koscielny does not seem to work and Almunia in goal is a real weakness – how many clean sheets will they keep in those remaining games. Walcott,Fabregas and Song will probably be missing against WBA – will they be available for the other games? The other factor is the “Lucky Manager” tag and Wenger has not had this token for some seasons!

  5. Kushagra India says:

    We are playing spuds as well what you have to say about the leadership in the team Lehmann will certainly play a big part in this regard

    • desigunner says:

      Yeah Spuds too. Somehow I always forget the Tiny Totts.

      Is it certain that Lehmann is joining?

      • Kushagra India says:

        yep…he played in the reserves last nite…

      • colney says:

        This reply is to the poster below me. Lehman didn’t play in the reserves last night, James Shea played in the reserves last night. It would help to do a little research.

      • Kushagra India says:

        I read it in another blog who were watchin the match that lehmann looked okay….

    • desigunner says:

      I’ve said this before – someone has to explain what a captain does on a football pitch. There was not a single mention of this in the article. When teams win it is easy to find qualities in the captain and similarly it’s easy to blame the guy when the team doesn’t do well. But what exactly does a captain do? Does he shout at other players? stares at them? waves his arms around? what ?

      • Kushagra India says:

        I think Wilshere embodies what a captain should do ……that’s why I think they are reverting to Terry in the english national squad surely its not a guarantee of success but yeah in my opinion it has subtle positive influences especially in the English game

        I qualify my point with these two articles…

      • Kushagra India says:

        and secondly Martin Keown Tony Adams Dixo who have played the game and are Arsenal through and through all agree the value of captaincy and leadership on the field one who takes the game by the scruff of the neck flies some tackles in just to ignite teammates its very subtle but really helps when the team is facing a crisis situation like in the newcastle game who can calm down proceedings knows how to handle the ref
        etc etc but most of the players agree on that
        Zoff Maldini Moore all are good examples although not necessary but it seem to me Arsenal need them..

      • Kushagra India says:

        Steve Macmaho a liverpool legend said that lack of leadership will cost Arsenal trophies in future 2-3 years ago I guess…..they all have played the game at the highest level and our frequent harakiris like the Pakistan Cricket team points to that fact….

      • Kushagra India says:
        MArtin kewon emphasizing the need especially when u have players like diaby and bendy who are languid at times..

      • reality check says:

        Desi you are repeating what you once said in your article about leadership. i do agree with your point of collective destruction. its true a captain can’t pick the whole team when when nothing is going their way, like in manu games or west brom home. we could’nt do much about those games because the oppsition were better beit more clinical. But in the games like spuds at home and new castle away a leader does matters. fab is an inspirational leader who leads by example of his own performance even some times when he plays bad team wins it for him due to collective brilliance. but when we start to destruct collectivly thats where fab goes missing like in the above mentioned games.from a strong winnig position to end up losing is what avoids a leading figure which we miss alot in our team. i am against the idea of a new captain because captaincy has got nothing to do with leadership. champions dont rely just on their captain to be their leader they step up themselves when it matters. this is where wenger’s idea of shared leadership comes in. we can do with some strong leading figuers in the team.

      • desigunner says:

        I agree that Bendtner needs to improve his work-rate, I’ve said it quite often on this blog. Along with his first touch it is his other big weakness but off late when I’ve seen him track all the way back to Arsenal’s penalty box it seems he has been working on it. These are the little details that I feel people miss out on.

        Wilshere can be a great player and a leader but that doesn’t tell us what a leader should do on the pitch and I don’t see that in any of the articles or your reply.

        The only ‘action based’ point that you mentioned was ‘should make tackles’ but from what I recall Arsenal made plenty of tackles against Newcastle and ended up getting punished for fair ones as well. Again little details.

        I’m not against having leaders or big players, I’d love it, but it’s not as simple as signing a superstar.

      • desigunner says:

        And based on Keown’s words it seems he is saying the same thing that Wenger does about shared leadership. He is talking about everyone standing up and being counted as a leader.

  6. shane says:

    im not being pessimestic but we CANT win because the league is FIXED.
    Match fixing a lot worse than what happend in italy as reffress are also guilty.

    • Phil23 says:

      Nice to see some people are finally just accepting this as fact. Which it is. Maybe next year we will be so much better than the opposition that even the refs can’t steal it off us. I still have hope for this season but for me it is just another stolen season. We should be 8 points clear by now.

  7. Kushagra India says:

    Chelsea going in will be because of us or Manure nosediving…can happen though

  8. Gunners for Life says:

    Djourou fit – Have Hope.
    Djourou unfit – No Hope

  9. Jekyll says:

    AKBs, you are holding the club back. Your notion that it is fans holding the club back is insulting and laughable. Can you not see the endless, repetitive mistakes. Wenger can do no wrong in your eyes. The sooner you jog on, the sooner AFC can move on to a new era.

    • pires is king says:

      You have to admit your argument is at least as simplistic as you frame the AKB’s to be. For one, I have yet to hear any AKB say that Wenger ‘does no wrong’. In any case, I agree that a new era will certainly follow Wenger’s leave. What is less clear is whether his predecessor will be more successful. Certainly the repetitive mistakes (which I agree are agonizingly clear at times) may be a result of Arsene’s limits, but so too then by the same token you have to admit Arsenal’s comparatively favored position in every competition they enter is also Arsene’s success. Most people who I’ve heard want Arsene out actually want Arsene’s inperfections out, while assuming that everything he’s gotten right will somehow naturally stay behind to build off of. I think the situation is much more difficult than that. I am frustrated, but far from confident that someone can do better right now. Cheers.

      • desigunner says:

        I think you mean ‘his successor’ but an excellent point nonetheless. People have this tendency to believe that everything will remain the same and only the negatives they see will magically improve with new signings or a change of manager but it never works that way.

  10. Boop says:

    Don’t forget the psychology of a title race – can we cope with the strain of being 0-0 with 15 minutes left knowing that dropping two points means we’ll probably be left with nothing this season? Watch this space…

  11. Aussie Jack says:

    The last ten games will mostly come down to injuries.
    Without injuries (apart from the ones already out for the season) we have a fair chance of the title. The focus has been on what Lehmann can do to inspire the team but I ask what Fabregas can do? It`s up to him to light the candle and he owes us that.
    Sentiments aside, if I were a betting man(which I`m not) I`d be looking for a reasonable return on United making the double.

  12. cin says:

    I think, after this all injury news, Arsenal will finish fourth only in the League.
    Better pray fot this……..
    This team deserve that only because of lack of quality.

    • pires is king says:

      This comment is almost not worth responding to but it actually is totally laughable. Lack of quality? Right. Go hug Crouch and Co., my friend.

  13. oz gooner says:

    if if if if if, the most negative word in the English language. Unfortunately Cesc will bring us nothing. You feel that we have moved forward slightly this season but facts do not support you. The Barca result would back that up. AW has become tactically naieve? and even teams like Sunderland can easily out think us.Aw has probably taken us as far as he is able and it has been a fantastic ride, but I fear his stubborn attitude and miserly ways mean we are a team at the cross roads

  14. pires is king says:

    Look folks, I am totally frustrated too, beyond frustrated. But some of these comments just seem totally mindless. ‘Teams like Sunderland can easily out think us’? We are a game in hand from being tied for first in the league, for fuck’s sake. Apparently we aren’t as ‘easily out thought’ as the other 18 teams in the league. I happen to agree with Desi that we have move forward from last season, but I’m totally sympathetic to those who feel it’s more of the same ‘ol same ‘ol. But to call that same ‘ol thing crap or lack of quality is just inane.

  15. mcz says:

    Arsenal’s season ended when they lost to Birmingham…..u can fill ur cups with as much hope as possible but the cup will just break and the hope will flow away. Season in season out arsenal have fallen short and no matter how many seasons come and go, unless the board realizes its time to let the professor go, arsenal will always disappoint. Haven’t you all noticed that when Arsenal really needs to put that little extra effort they never do. Its like they already know they will lose even before the game starts. The display against birmingham was pathetic to say the least….and Wenger’s excuses were so ludicrous it had me laughing all week despite the pain I felt. “It was the excitement of the final, some of the players were experiencing it for the first time” haaaaaa I wonder what Birmingham would say.

    In truth Arsenal have become so predictable that I can safely take out a Mortgage to buy a house and pay when Arsenal finish behind Chelsea and Man utd…yeah exactly! behind Chelsea, u dont believe me? well Chelsea are 6 points behind Arsenal, and Arsenal’s season is on meltdown….all I can say is save your money and stay home for the remainder of the season.

  16. kafuuzi jackson karugaba says:

    Arsen should re-think his tactics.
    There is no hope for trophies this season.
    We may need to consider bringing another manager.

  17. Kushagra India says:

    will see u next week have fun…

  18. Stian says:

    West brom will feck up our tin hopes allready this weekend so that there isn*t even exsitement left..
    Because that what Arsenal do, we always fuck up when it mathers.. The last 3 finals we have been in we have lost and the FA cup 2005 we didnt deserve..
    But we will finish tird i think

  19. Listen Up says:

    To wenger-out-wishers. What is it about a new manager that GUARANTEE’S us success. Say we do sack Wenger and bring in a new coach, have you ever thought of the possibility that the new coach might flop even worse? Even the best of managers go to other clubs and national teams and flop badly (Scolari, Cappello, Hodgeson) Wenger has brought so much to the club ON and OFF the pitch even in recent years and now your ready to let him go because you can’t take the banter from other fans about being trophy-less. Don’t you realise, were mocked more than flops like Liverpool Villa and Leeds because EVERYONE knows the time is coming where Arsenal will be flawless again, if they stopped mocking then that is the time to worry. In conclusion, Wenger didn’t win manager of the decade because he always seems to make his red tie look good with any suit, its because of what he’s done to the team, Relax

    • cbinlondon says:

      Completely agree. Almost every other club in europe would love to have Wenger as manager but so many Arsenal fans don’t realise how well he has done on a limited budget.

      Of course it is frustrating that we aren’t winning trophies (and to see us fading at the same time each season) but considering the money being spent by other clubs, we are doing amazingly well to stay competitive.

      I still believe we can win the league but am not going to put all the blame on wenger if we don’t. To rectify some of our tactical weaknesses, I think we should appoint a tactical advisor/coach to assist wenger.

  20. FoolishgooNer says:

    Wow the doom and gloom squad have voices now. Dissent of Le Proffesor and his tactics are legit. Injuries just keep on coming because we are thing in keys positions. Forget the last two weeks, take emotions pain out of this equation. Ask yourself do we have an advantage over our biggest competition to win face and much needed pride and joy for AFC nation. Honestly and sadly the answer is no! We do not have one single advantage over Man U. They have a better keeper and defense that gives them the edge. Also better tactics for each match and within matches! They have less injury crises and frankly teams do not play them as hard as they do against Arsenal! Because Arsenal and Arsen tactics are well known . Teams know that if they work hard keep it close we will make mistakes and hive them a chance to take points. Even though other teams respect our abilities to pick them apart they are not intimidaited. Wes Brom beat us already this season and they will confident to get a result against us. It is like our players accepted the fact that something bad will happen to them in each given match. I will enjoy the rest of the season no matter the out come but I will certainly enjoy it more if this team and manager proof me wrong and learn how to adobt in situations. Cheers gooners.

  21. RvP10 says:

    We all talk about the team doesnt have strong mentality to win and blah blah blah…..

    well as a fan we dont really have great mantality eithre.. we not doing any favor to the team by being negative.. some are just pathetic…

    I know we will win something and that is EPL.. We will win it this year..

    • mcz says:

      dude seriously…………all the optimism in the world will not suddenly change Arsenal’s fortunes. You should have learned that in the last 5 trophy-less years. Lets see injuries to key personnel at the last hurdle…deterioration of some players e.g. Denilson (calling him crap would be an understatement)Optimism is good but too much of it is bad for your health. Arsenal is a good team granted, but u need a great team to win trophies…..a blunder like the one in the carling cup final is not one u would see exhibited by teams like Manchester united or Chelsea. Its over for Arsenal.

  22. oz gooner says:

    Very Prophetic Pires, but you fail to see the truth, yes we are three points off the top but we have failed on 4 occasions to capitalize when those above us have foundered and should in actual fact be 6 points clear. If you look at the teams we have dropped points to then I stick to my original statement,do you honestly think that we will beat Man U because we will have to to have any chance at the title

    • desigunner says:

      Well that can be argued both ways. Those teams have failed on four occasions to increase their lead when we have floundered. In actual fact they should be miles ahead of us. To me this kind of thinking seems like argument for the sake of argument. Winning, losing, drawing is all part of the game and one has to analyze each one on it’s relevant details rather than forming general opinions.

  23. glenn says:

    Morning you have made some good points as usual but with this squad the words fit players and TACTICS we just do not associate with this team and know that the EGO will never change. I’m not in get the EGO out camp cos sadly there is nobody to take over the running of our great club. Would true gooners really want the only person with a bigger ego than le boss to take control have success and walk away in 3 years and leave us financially up the creak. That’s what he does he needs big money and we don’t do that. So we are stuck it’s now a bit like a loveless marriage and stay together for the sake of the kids or in our case the colney creche. I would love us to pip utd to the title but i just cannot see it and have a picture in my head of the EGO rehearsing his excuses and blaming everthing else apart from himself. I just don’t know what is going to change. In the summer we all have a list of the dead wood that needs to go and proven men and winners to replace them. It’s going to be a couple out and the same in. And the same start to the new season and come november our usual wobble and this added to the usual excuses will be our pre season tour to the far east that the players are tired. Same old same old on a loop.

  24. Noel says:

    Man city has a fair chance to nick the title too

  25. Ngoni Chawota says:

    Good post as usual Desi.

    I would just like to point out that I can’t see Arsenal winning the league. I have found it extremely worrying over the last couple of years that Arsenal players seriously lack the self belief that is required to win trophies. In life in general and in sport in partcular you will get nowhere without self belief.

    Arsenal players take way too long to get over bad results. Wenger always talks about ‘mental strength’ and I find that very telling. Who is he trying to convince? The players? It seems these guys are so mentally fragile that they always need Wenger to talk them up and massge their egos.

    I think there is great talent in this Arsenal side but talent without being mentally right will not yield anything. Manure has a lot of bang average players but you can always bet on them becuase they are mentally very very strong.

    I am sorry but I think we should prepare ourselves for the pain that is surely coming!

  26. Phil23 says:

    Glenn I think your very mistaken. What you fail to note is that the loop is improving each year. Arsene brings in astute signings and I think we will get two or three more next window. The team is also improving rapidly. Nasri has improved hugely, Djourou has grown immensely. I think his year out did a lot for him mentally. He is a true leader imo. Wilshere has obviously been another amazing player to come out of the woodwork. Who would have thought he’d be our best player over two legs against Barcelona? Szczesny has proven to live up to his talent too. Possibly even cementing himself as our longterm number one. Song has added a bit more of a box to box role to his game as the new formation allows him this. He is also emerging as a leader in the team. Theo has improved a lot this year. He has a much better finish and “end product” than last year. People seem to forget he is still 22 and over the next two seasons he will transform as a player. Add to that the two very good buys of Koscielny and Chamakh nobody can deny we have a much better squad. Next year a similar amount of players will improve, a couple of astute buys, maybe a player or two coming in from loan (Bartley Jet and Vela perhaps?), players like Vermaelen and Ramsey have a good chance of coming back mentally stronger just as Djourou did. Hopefully Walcott, Wilshere and Szczesny push on next year too. Anyway my point is that we have improved this year and will improve next year aswell. Our team is fast becoming a world beater, I just find it funny how so many people can’t see it.

  27. damzbaba says:

    I’m going to assume a passive state of mind regarding the Premiership title but encourage those boys till they cross the finish line. Looking at the fixture list,we have some serious match ups in April(I’m assuming we can beat the Baggies,also assuming Vela won’t play). The key Fixtures for me are Blackpool,Spurs and Bolton, all away encounters. It would be real solid if we can win all our matches before the United game, cos we play Stoke immediately after. And those fixtures are also going to be quite difficult. The problem I have with the squad is the defence. At this crucial stage in the season,we are stuck with a faulty centre back pairing and new goalie. I feel this is the area that needs the most attention. We know how Almunia has cost us points in the past and games we’ve lost when both Kozzer and Squillaci have played together. This is not to say they can not come good,I also feel not playing so many matches will give them the required training and practice time together. Their effectiveness will be key from now on, cos teams like Bolton and Stoke are going to bomb us with the aerial balls..and if we play high defence,teams like Spurs,Man Utd and Fulham will hit us hard. As regards the rest of the team, I hope Vermaleen makes it back before May, I also feel Bendtner and Chamakh should be involved more…442 might be the right way to go in some matches. Its a shame Frimpong isn’t back yet as this will have added to our midfield options. I also hope we have won the title before going away to Fulham because I don’t expect any favours there. Regardless, I will still cheer these boys on. I also don’t want Bendtner to leave at the end of the Season…he’s still learning his trade,not every striker will be a hit in their early twenties,some are late bloomers.But I see him,and I know he’s a massive talent and he will come good eventually. He may talk too much,I agree but he deserves a full season leading the line before we can write him off. He was so massive last year and the goal at Stoke will never be forgotten by me. Sometimes you can critisize Wenger for not signing center backs,but truth be told… You can’t sign 4 main starters and no 1 knew TV5 would be out for this long, if he had signed Hangeland or Cahill and TV5 came back, it would affect Kozzer and Djourou’s development and we have seen that they are both quality. The manager’s job is not easy, he can’t get it all right,if you don’t appreciate him, appreciate the difficulty of the job. I still believe Denilson is horrible and very poor, if he plays again this season, we will lose. Victoria Concordia Crescit

  28. mcz says:

    Arsene’s tactics aren’t and will never change, he goes after cut price signings (Sylvester for 750,000 pounds)or free transfer e.g chamakh. Lets face it he will never spend on a player no matter how arsenal could do with him….e.g alonso..(arsenal were offering 12 while liverpool wanted 14, a mere 2 mil) Its sad really, I look at players who have failed to join arsenal coz of a few milli and how dearly it has costed the team. Christiano Ronaldo etc. Another thing, Wenger sold Viera and when asked why, his response was “Viera and fabregas play the same position, if I retain viera, fabregas development wil be hindered” thats what I call bullshit. Look at Manu (Giggs, scholes, Gary Neville) get what am saying? u dont get rid of some players period!!! Wenger is stubborn and no matter what u say or how u support him arsenal will always be a curtain raising team and never the main event

    • Tee Song says:

      Wenger doesn’t change tactics? When he first came to Arsenal, he settled on a 4-4-2 formation with a solid back four with fullbacks who rarely venture forward, fronted by a defensively minded double pivot anchored by Viera, scoring from the wings in players like Pires and Lungberg,, and a creative, in the hole forward in Bergkamp, paired with a finisher in Henry. When Cesc started assuming a more prominent role, he changed the midfield pairing to a creator and ball winner, played more technically minded half-wingers, and pushed the fullbacks forward for width. He briefly changed to a 4-1-4-1 which gave Cesc even greater creative license but which proved incredibly vulnerable to the counter. He’s now settled on a variation of 4-3-3 and tweaking it obtain a balance between attack and defense.

      I’ll be the first to admit that Arsene and his players seem to give the defensive aspect of the game less thought and I would love to see him bring in someone to help us with that aspect of our game. But to say he never changes tactics? Where have you been the past fifteen years?

      • Tee Song says:

        As for signings, I’d rather we develop a core of players who grow together. Seeing that group of players win silverware for each other is much more satisfying than bringing in a bunch of mercenaries who will be just as willing to leave the instant some other teams start waving a checkbook in their faces. I’m sure there are a lot of managers who in hindsight regret not bringing a player like Ronaldo to their team. We never here about the big money flops that we looked at, negotiated and found the asking price too high, and passed on. It frustrates me that we don’t make a few stop gap signings but overall I think building the majority of you squad by buying and developing young talent is the right approach.

      • FoolishGooner says:

        Well said: The Boss changes tactics to accomodate the short comings of certain players while demanding more from others (Defense/Full backs). Therefore leaving the goalkeeper and full backs exposed! He does change tactics but to WHAT AFFECT? HE ALSO DOESN’T MATCH UP WITH OTHER TEAMS! he told the whole world that Barcelona will have the ball 70%+ yet played somewhat stupid defensive line. When you leave gabs (20+ yards between the defense and goolkeeper) and you can not keep the ball whenever you get it back! you asking for trouble. He let Barcelona/Man U even B’ham city play their strengths hince lack of adjustments within games. Messi/Xavi/Adres/Villa/Pedro will saldomly beat you in the air and want the ball in their feet (they expose you or you commit a bad foul). If gonna punt the ball why not play 8 in the box? and forced them to cross the ball. I don’t have much space to show you what happen against B’ham and Man city but our manager is not helping in terms of tactics! Cheers Gooners.

  29. glenn says:

    I’m sorry phil i think you are missing the point we have not improved and in fact we have 1 less point than this time last year had utd and chelski not had poor seasons by their high standards we would be fighting the others for top 4 places. So we are in with a shout cos the others have gone backwards not we have improved. I TOTALLY agree with you about our jack and chezzer ive been waiting for them to get their chance and so chuffed that they grabbed it with both hands this season(no pun intended to chezzer for cup final). As for jd i knew he would make it instead of senderos when they came as a pair. Nasri has had a good season but has not signed his new contract and is waiting for fabby to go home and see what else is on the table so don’t be shocked if he’s not here next season. As for theo when fit has looked good the same as vp when fit which as we know when fit our first 11 is a match for anybody but how many times do we see that. I do like kozzer as well possibly would like to see him in holding midfield postion if tv comes back. The problems are the back ups the usual subjects that should not be at the club but our wise one still persist with them cos he is never wrong and tactics well the only 1 is go and play and pass to a red shirt. He’s had 6 years to build this squad and to say it’s his best is an insult to our last great side i would agree with size of squad but for quality.passion.fight,will to win well sorry is just not there. I would love us to win the title but just can’t see.

    • Phil23 says:

      I agree about our squad players. They don’t seem to have the drive to succeed at Arsenal. Its not like they aren’t talented its more like they accept they are squad players and settle for it. But next year several more of those squad players will be gone and they will be replaced with a mix of astute signings and hungry youth products. The only reason Arsene did’nt boot them is because he knew that for every player who didn’t prove themselves there was a Song or Walcott who just needed time. This year I can see much more deadwood leaving. I will agree to disagree completely on our improvement side of things. Last year we scraped many wins through out the season and imo outperformed the squads capability at the time. This season we were in 4 competitions till the end of February and have improved in many areas. Anyone who says our defense hasn’t improved is having a laugh. Both Fabianski and Szczesny are big improvements on Almunia. Sagna is better than last year. Djourou and Koscielny have imo surpassed Gallas and Vermaelens partnership. This can be shown by our goals against. Also of course we will have Vermaelen next year. Clichy has been more protected by Wilshere this year and has looked a much better player for it. In midfield the only difference is Wilshere so theres obviously improvement there. Up top Nasri has shined, Chamakh has been a great replacement so far in the league. Walcott has improved. So I cant possibly see how we haven’t gone forward. Imo our squad is so strong that if we sell off 4 or 5 players we would only need to bring in 2 or 3 to easily have the best squad in the league. If we manage to win the title this year I have no doubts at all about Cesc staying. Nasri on the other hand will stay no matter what I assure you that. Arsene would never ever let two of his best players go at once. If Nasri went it would mean Cesc would have no choice but to stay. Anyway that doesn’t matter because next year I expect to have them both.

  30. Arsenalii says:

    Something has gotta give!

  31. cesc4 says:

    I seriously believe Wenger needs to go back to 4-4-2 formation. It has been frustrating to see nobody of only one player in the box i.e. Van persie. I think bentener and RvP needs to play together and having 4 in the midfield would give more flexibilty to the back four.

  32. critic says:

    pointless article really. What most arsenal fans fear is that most of our key players will miss the last 10 games. They always do. In absence of 1st teamers arsene is not gonna change his tactics, and assume that part timers will play the same way his 1st 11 does. Not gonna happen.

    you are sitting on the fence passing judgement which are obvious fact. Arsenal players are mentally and physically tired at this point of time. That cud have been seen in FA cup quarters. We don’t have quality finishers beyond RVP and no tactics to bring likes of bendy and chamakh in the game. It will be a miracle if we go on to win the title.

    My bet is on chelsea.

    This sort of article wasn’t expected from u.

  33. IHAVEAGUN says:

    Ferdinand out possibly for the rest of the season & Vidic is not playing against Bolton that’s no easy game for them… IMO if Arsenal don’t win the League the current squad has to be blown up a handful of players have to be sold or let go on a free we all know who they are no need to waste time typing their names out…

  34. The BearMan says:

    Yes I do agree, these important players returning is vital. But I expect the manager to start earning his corn and start looking at the weakness and strength of the opponents and employ his troops to make his assault accordingly. Be a little technical, do not just sit on the bench blank. Become a chess master? Give the troops clear directions and do not allow a player to stay on the pitch if he is continually giving the ball away. Give him one quick warning from the sideline then send him to an early shower.

  35. […] Two Factors That Will Decide Arsenal’s Premier League Title Hopes Now that Arsenal’s title aspirations are singularly focussed, it will be interesting to see how the League […] […]

  36. santori says:

    mental strength and leadership qualities aside, too many important pieces missing at the moment.

    1) Song
    2) Djourou
    3) Cesc
    4)Nasri (One match ban)

    Unless the other players remaining can develop a winning mentality quickly, we are certainly up against the ropes.

    Someone in the team (be it RVP or Jack) will have to come into some inspirational form to lift the team through this period and maybe, we might have a chance of pipping United. Otherwise…

  37. mcz says:

    hahahahaha what did I say what did I say? Manu wins, chelsea wins, Arsenal draws nothing new there…Chelsea are currently just 4 points behind Arsenal…Lets see!! Arsenal still has to play Tottenham away, and Man u home….my theory, Chelsea will overtake Arsenal and at the end of the season arsenal will finish 3rd. Manchester united will reclaim the title. If u still believe arsenal will win the title then i feel sorry for u lot. The birmingham game proved that the team just doesn’t cut it… this space

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