If Everton slip up later today, we secure 4th spot. If they win against City, the pressure is back on us to beat West Brom tomorrow lunchtime. We certainly don’t want or need this to go to the final game of the season because Norwich, a side who are in desperate need of three points to retain the Premier League status so best something goes our way in the next two days.
I’d like to think we are better than West Brom, I’d like to believe we are ready to blow a side who are sat 15th in the top league away with ease but the reality is, it’s so close at the bottom of the table, a loss for them could see them drop back into a relegation battle.
They’ll be up and fighting and ready to take three points off of us.
And we’ve slipped up a few times at the Emirates haven’t we?
The opening day of the season was the worst possible start to this campaign that we could have wished for. Ok, we haven’t lost another fixture at home since that day but we’ve suffered far too many draws.
Everton, Chelsea, Manchester United, Swansea and Manchester City.
It could be argued that the draws against City and Chelsea weren’t so bad but I’d disagree, both were there for the taking on the night but we just simply didn’t have enough to get all the points. The other results were simply woeful!
Those extra 13 points which we dropped would have seen us crowned Premier League Champions. In fact if we accept the two draws against City and Chelsea, we’d still be top of the league this weekend and looking favourites to become league winners.
Arsene Wenger agrees:
We started in the worse possible way, after that we had a good strong home record.
The restriction we had was in the big games, when we only made draws and not wins in some of them.
That’s where the missing points are at the moment because we are very close to the top. Maybe one or two wins at home would have made that difference.
Not only that, we have dropped silly points away from home and I don’t mean the ones at City, Chelsea, Liverpool or Everton. Forget those results, not the performances because they need to be learned from.
But, we lost away to Stoke City, we lost to the worst Man Utd side in years and we drew at both West Brom and Southampton! I get the Southampton result as they are becoming a very good side but the others? Simply not good enough…
That’s another 8 points dropped. (not including the draw at St Marys)
The regret we have of the season is that we have been remarkably consistent, [but] it is against the teams who did not fight for the Premier League title.
But especially away from home in some of the big games, we could not claim the points.
Reality is though, had we won all of our fixtures against the sides below us both home and away, the losses to the sides who currently sit above us wouldn’t have mattered, as we’d still have been crowned Champions.
Arsene Wenger suggests that injuries to key players such as Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil and Jack Wilshere hit his side hard.
When we came out of Christmas, we were in a strong position and what you want then is to have your strong players available in March and April.
We had too many injuries. It is very, very difficult – you can have one or two but after that when you have too many injuries you always have to play the same players and that is detrimental to the efficiency of the group.
The regret we have is that too many players were out at the same time between Christmas and April.
And here is where I disagree.
Yes we have suffered injuries but the manager has admitted to overplaying one or two, certainly our man who makes us tick, Aaron Ramsey and that all comes down to lack of depth, strength and/or the lack of faith Arsene Wenger has in the players within the squad because if he truly believed in every player who is listed on the official website as being part of our 25 man squad, then why hasn’t he used them when certain players have needed a day off to rest…
And if he doesn’t believe in them, why the hell are they there in the first place?
Players are more than capable of playing every week but what can’t be expected is to be playing every 3/4 days which has been asked of them when the CL starts together with the domestic cups.
Sort those issues out this summer and maybe, just maybe the injuries will lessen, our players will stay fitter and in good form for longer periods of time and our results will only benefit.
As will our seasons ahead!!
However, Arsene Wenger has said that he won’t be signing big in numbers:
It will be busy, but the main thing for us will be to keep the stability because we feel we are close. We want to add something that makes us even stronger, but, number wise, it will not be massive.
Oh and he’s also said that we’ll have to wait until after the World Cup as players aren’t available until then…!!
One player who could return is Carlos Vela and despite being happy in Spain he said:
Arsenal can come back for me at €4 million (£3.3m) at any time, which is €1 million more than Real Sociedad paid. I look at things differently these days and I won’t close the door on Arsenal, or any team in England. I think I’m better prepared to play in another country now.
Interesting one that one, he’s playing really well this season for Real Sociedad….
But it’s his team-mate Antoine Griezmann we want isn’t it?
As for any departures:
We have only two players who are out of contract – Fabianski and Sagna. All the rest need our agreement and they haven’t got it yet.
Cripes, have all the rest asked to leave……?
Just kidding of course, he was referring to Podolski and Vermaelen…
That’s it for another day……..