Posts Tagged ‘ Manutd ’

A Few Things I Realized About Arsenal This Week

Looking back at the game against Ipswich and indeed the season so far, I’ve come to realize some changes that are unique to our squad this year- things which were not there or I did not feel were present in the previous seasons. And who better to share those feelings than my fellow Arsenal fans? So here goes:

1) Every player can make an impact at any moment: Time and time again, I have mentioned how full of depth our squad is this season. A simple way of demonstrating this is by randomly dividing our 25 man squad into two halves (well not equal halves of course). Do it a number of times and chances are you won’t be able to tell distinctly which half is better.  Arsene Wenger has always mentioned how he trusts each and every player in his squad and this time, and this time only, he actually means it. The obvious example was Bendtner’s impact last game…it was a match changing goal- possibly the ‘goal’ that will become the key to our first trophy in six years. I have never doubted Bendtner”s finishing ability as some other Arsenal fans did. One thing I did doubt, though, was his technical ability but he surprised me in that aspect this week. The way he handled the high ball from Jack was top draw stuff. ‘Twas smooth as silk to be honest and his finishing was mesmerizing to say the least. This type of performance reminds me that our players are in a constant process of improvement and what they were last season does not necessarily reflect on the current season. But I digress, the players in our team, ranging from from youngsters to more experienced ones, are well capable of surprising us at any moment, making this season more exciting than any in recent years.

2) We actually ‘CRAVE’ to win a trophy this time: I do not know if it is just me but I really feel there’s a different aura to the team this year. I can’t quite describe it myself- just an abstract belief at the back of my head that keeps getting stronger and stronger. Every year when we are on a good run, I find myself wondering when this form will end. I always look backwards. It’s something of an involuntary reflex that is ingrained in my brain, I guess, because we always screw something up and end the season with nothing. But watching the team play this season, I truly believe that we can do it this time around. I truly believe we are all in this together- the manger, the first team, the subs and the fans. I do not look backwards anymore. My eyes lie only forward because we have finally crossed the point of no-return and the only thing that is left is destiny.

3) We have been really lucky with injuries so far (I hope this does not jinx it): We really have. While Chelsea and Manutd have had injuries to the likes of Terry, Essien, Lampard, Rooney, Ferdinand etc, we had a pretty smooth ride down injury lane. We have had only one serious injury which was to Vermaelen, and the rest have been quite ephemeral. To be honest, our only serious concern thus far is to our defense, namely the CB position. Even then, Squillaci is coming back and is apparently ready to be in the squad for the next game. Sagna was taken to the hospital and in any other season, I swear, he would have been out for at least 3 weeks which would later be extended to around 6 weeks. But that is not happening. Sagna is currently  ‘well and in good spirits’ Injury gods such as Rosicky and Van Persie are still fit and running which really surprises me. So yeah, we deservedly have some luck with our injuries this season.

4) Szczesny apparently makes a world of difference: Sure, he hasn’t been world class in any way which is hardly surprising. The lad is only 20. But I think defenders actually trust Wojciech. Indeed, when defenders play in front of a goalkeeper who they really have faith in, there is an extra incentive to defend better. They have the assurance that they are not the last ‘reliable’ line of defense and that load of pressure off their minds really benefits them. Plus, at 6ft 5 inches he is the tallest keeper (and the tallest player) we have. Wojciech has some problems with his distribution but that is not a major concern right now because distributing the ball does not directly influence our defense and I believe his performances, although he has had very little to do recently, played a big part in achieving our current defensive record. I just want to make it clear, that by supporting Wojciech, I am in no way discrediting our other keeper Lukasz Fabianski who had been playing great until he got injured (?). All I am saying is that our defenders have been playing extraordinarily while Wojciech was between the sticks. That’s all.

5) I don’t give a sh*t what Manutd do anymore: I watched the Ipswich game on television and while watching it, I inevitably switched regularly between channels taking quick glances at the Manutd vs Blackpool game that was happening at the same time. It was a bonus to watch our title rivals concede two goals and quite obviously I enjoyed it. But, as they slowly came back to game and eventually went 2-3 ahead, I found myself to be less frustrated than I thought I would be. I realized that this season I genuinely believe we are better than them. This feeling has never occured to me before. I realized that this year, I finally trust our team enough to not care about what happens with the likes of Chelsea and Manutd. This year, we are the real deal and if we keep playing our cards right, we will win trophies no matter what.

But those were my feelings from this week. Next week, we have a very important game against Huddersfield and there’s no reason to underestimate them. After all, they are a club that at a certain time in history won the Championship for 3 consecutive seasons. Yes, I am serious…

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Reasons to still be optimistic

So yeah, we lost yesterday. I knew right after the defeat to spurs that we would lose yesterday and that it might be one of ‘those’ weeks. And it was. Sometimes after losses like this, we are more devastated about the loss than the consequences of it. So what actually did we lose this week?

1) 3 points lost in the title race

2) lost our dignity at the hands of  sp*rs

3) 3 points lost in the C. league

4) Loss of Cesc Fabregas

Reasons to still be optimistic:

Losing 3 points in the Premier League title is always a bad thing especially if you are challenging for the title. But have a look at the table right now. We are 2 points behind the leaders the same as before, the only difference being that there are two leaders now instead of one. So even though we lost, I’m glad we lost on the same week when Chelsea dropped points. The difference in points in the table is a good enough reason to still be optimistic as mathematically we are well within reach of the title. Chelsea have bad fixtures coming ahead and with their weakened defence there is still much to hope for. Arsenal have a much better squad than Manutd this season and all of us know it, just wait till Ferdinand gets injured…

Maybe the humiliation by spurs has little or no bright side to it but hey, let them make a DVD or whatever, Arsenal FC has much pressing matters at hand than to soak it’s shirt with tears. Move on. Next up- the loss to Braga. Arsenal were playing away at a stadium they have never played  before. Plus a number of players were rested/benched. I am not  much surprised by the result and as Wenger stated, Carlos Vela should have had a penalty  and  it was the turning point of the game. And, anyways this was no by no means a must win game. A win against Partizan should be enough for Arsenal to get through to the next round. We may even top the group if  Braga do us a favour and lose. And anyone who is familiar with the Champion’s League knows that finishing top in a group is not always a good thing and it does not necessarily give you the upper hand. In fact, I would prefer Arsenal to draw a top team in the next round like Milan or Bayern(not Barca though, at least not now!) than a weaker team which this team might underestimate.

The loss of Cesc Fabregas is a massive blow for Arsenal, or is it? The skipper had been rather ordinary in the last few games and he never really seemed to have recovered, physically or mentally, from his previous injury. Yes, Wenger made some wrong calls for the Braga game and this was definately one of them. Cesc’s injury might be a blessing in disguise. The lad needs some rest to clear his head and come back strongly. In the mean time I expect Nasri take over together with young Wilshire and do the business.

Other good news thats come our way is that Ramsey had played in a reserve game yesterday and he seemed pretty excited about his return. So are we. You can watch his interview at the club’s official site. Denilson has apologized for the club’s recent losses and is determined to set things right. Well this might not be ‘good news’ but at least one of the players have stepped up and have the decency to apologize. It would have been better if it was the captain himself who apologized but this will have to do for now.

So you see, things aren’t all bad. Living in depression is never a good thing. After the tears have dried out, it’ s time to look forward. Put this week behind you and put on your seat belt ’cause it’s gonna be a long ride. Aston Villa, here we come!