I am not knocking the way we fought back from 2-0 down against Liverpool, neither am I complaining about a 1-0 victory over Stoke City at the weekend. That game in particular was tough in the physical sense and I thought we’d showed a lot character against a side which had one intention, that of course being to kick us off the park.
Those performances, together with the 5-1 victory against West Ham has convinced Arsene Wenger that things are on the up:
What is more important is the quality of our performances is there, the spirit is there and the target to be in the top four is very important now because we have strengthened our belief and confidence.
This for me is where it all goes wrong.
Conceding two goals against a very average Liverpool side in the fashion we did was awful. Yes the fight back came but that was a game we should have won in front of the home fans. Stoke City, well i’m not sure Pullis had any intention of attacking our goal. They were so defensive they barely crossed the half way line, let alone test our keeper so had we conceded against them, it would have been a disaster.
I’m sure there isn’t an Arsenal fan anywhere who truly wants us to finish outside the top four. We all want to see us playing in the Champions League next season and of course, that would pretty much mean we have finished above the neighbours again, something which is a bit more important in my eyes. However, until we can beat sides who sit around us, or until we are on a really good run of results, maybe it’s best that the manager and his players keep quiet and let their football do the talking.
Mikel Arteta has been talking about Sunday’s game too, praising the depth of our squad:
You have to do that [rotate], I think Santi’s played a lot of games, as I did before I got injured. The last thing you want is him injured for a few weeks, [especially] now important games are coming up.
He [Wenger] decided to leave him on the bench. He came on to help us win the game and that shows that the players can be changed, that we can rotate the team, and that we have a powerful squad.
Having Arteta and Diaby back has made a difference, signing Monreal has also made a difference as we now have a proper left back playing his proper position and that’s rare under Wenger and of course, rotation is key, especially as we enter another very busy time with the Champions League later this month.
I don’t agree with Arteta though, I don’t believe our squad is powerful enough, it still lacks 2/3 quality players.
Big test ahead for Arsene Wenger though, knowing who to rest and when to rest them will play a huge part in how we finish this season.
That’s about it for today, have a good one….