It feels like an age since Arsenal last played, even though it was only a week ago. I’m pretty sure that Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal players would have liked to play at the weekend to put the North London derby behind them, but the Everton game was postponed due to the FA cup. In the end, it turned out to be quite a successful weekend for Arsenal without them having to do anything, and might have just have given a little boost to team spirit ahead of the difficult second leg against Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
Archive for the ‘FA cup news’
It seems as if Arsenal fans will have to wait even longer to see the talents of Ryo Miyaichi on display at the Emirates Stadium. If the player dubbed the Japanese Messi does not start having better luck, he may never make it as a Gunner, because he suffered another blow today on his return from injury.
The 20-year old winger/striker has just come back from a lengthy lay off due to another ankle injury. He played in the under 21s for Wigan earlier this week, and was brought on at the end of the first half of the FA cup tie at Everton. Wigan were already 3-0 up, so it was a great opportunity for Miyaichi to get some badly needed time on the pitch, and the youngster would have been happy with his contribution.
Not only do Arsenal need to get over the recent disappointments and produce a rousing end to the Premier League season, we need either Tottenham or Chelsea to drop points. Obviously it would be better if it was the Spuds, and their fixture list and lack of real depth in their squad suggests that they will not be able to continue the recent run of results.
After the terrible disappointment in the North London derby yesterday, Arsenal are in firth place in the Premier League. Chelsea are fourth, five points ahead and Tottenham are third, seven points ahead. With 10 league games left to play, there are plenty of points available to catch both clubs, but which is more likely?
Both Chelsea and Spurs still have the distraction of the Europa League games against Steaua Bucharest and Inter Milan this week and next week. After that, if they progress, there are another five European ties including the final on May 15th. These games could have a negative effect on the league games, as the fixture pile up drains the players of sharpness and possibly leads to more injuries.
You can say what you like about Arsene Wenger, and he has certainly come under a lot more criticism this season than ever before, but there is no doubt that he inspires the respect, admiration and gratitude of his Arsenal players. Just last week we saw Jack Wilshere give an emotional post match interview in which you could tell that he was hurt by how much the pressure that Wenger was under and insisted that it was the players that should bear the responsibility for the bad performances and results.
Barring a minor miracle in Munich in a couple of weeks, Arsenal have only got the Premier League to worry about. It’s hard to find any positives in going another season without a trophy, but if it helps us to overtake Chelsea in the race for a top four finish, then the season will not have been a disaster after all.
Chelsea have got real problems at the minute, highlighted in the papers today with widespread reports of a training ground bust up between players and manager. Benitez has tried and seemingly failed to get everyone pulling in the right direction, and the cracks are starting to show. The last two performances have shown a lack of togetherness and urgency, and this is great news for Arsenal as they are now the team we need to overtake to be in fourth place.
The month of March is a crucial one for Arsenal and the chance for them to qualify for the Champions League for the 16th season in a row. In the middle of the month is the return leg against Bayern Munich in Germany. Nobody really expects to overturn the 3-1 home defeat, but it is still a game that Arsenal must take seriously, because a mauling could have an extremely negative effect on the player’s morale.
The Gunners have four Premier league games in March, starting with the trip to White Hart Lane to face Tottenham on Sunday. Their last gasp victory over West Ham moved them four points ahead of us into third place, meaning we must not lose at the weekend and could really use a win to get to within a point.
Mikel Arteta was sitting next to his boss when Arsene Wenger reacted angrily to questions from reporters in the press conference before Arsenal took on Bayern Munich last week. It is safe to say that the media have milked that outburst for all it is worth, and their main line of questioning to Wenger or any of the Arsenal players now seems to be, whose fault is the current situation.
Arteta is the vice-captain and is vastly experienced, but he has stated that neither he nor anyone else at the club is in the habit of pointing the finger at people, whether the manager or any of his players. That is not the way it is done at the club, and that is not going to change. As long as everyone is trying to do well, they will not be castigated for individual errors.
It sounds crazy at first, but is Arsene Wenger’s statement that Arsenal can finish second in the Premier league really that off the wall? The fact is that all of the teams fighting for a Champions league spot have had their problems this season. Only Manchester United have really been consistent, and even they had some huge slices of luck earlier in the season when their defence was leaking goals.
It may not have been the most convincing Arsenal victory ever, and there were a number of things that could be improved on, but after a terrible week that saw an exit from the FA cup to lower league Blackburn, followed by a pasting from Bayern Munich, it was hugely important for the Gunners to beat Aston Villa on Saturday.
That made it three wins in a row for Arsenal in the league, and stopped the rot of two home defeats. It also gave the media, who can be like a dog with a bone, something else to talk about. The players and coaching staff can just get their heads down now and focus on the job at hand, which is making sure we finish in the top four.
Today id a difficult day in a disappointing week for everybody concerned with Arsenal Football Club. It has been hard work, but I have put together a few reasons for Gooners to be cheerful before we all succumb to despair.
Firstly, let’s remember that Bayern Munich were just behind Barcelona with the bookies as favourites to lift th Champions league trophy this season. The runaway leaders of the German Bundesliga have been in scintillating form and they showed just why last night. Having said that, Arsenal did show a lot of heart and a fair amount of quality to come back at them in the second half.
How to improve the Arsenal – without spending money. by PH
Another season limps to a disappointing close. Maybe we can dig in and snatch 4th position – if not, I suggest we put a bunch of youth team players in to the first round of the Europa League or whatever the tin pot thing is called, get knocked out early, and concentrate on the Premiership and the FA Cup next year. Or maybe, AW and the board are looking up, smelling the roses, and getting ready to buy the top of the range players we need to back up Jack Wilshere.