Normally, you would safely say that any team which had been beaten 6-0, 5-1 and 6-3, like Arsenal were, in the same season, had a serious problem with their defense. But that is not really the case with the Gunners. If you take way those 17 goals in three games, Arsenal have only conceded 24 in the other 32 Premier League games, so how can we reconcile these two wildly different records?
Just over a week ago, most of us Arsenal fans were seriously worried about losing an FA cup semi-final to Wigan Athletic and slipping out of the top four, behind the in-form Everton of Roberto Martinez. O Ye of little faith, which includes me as well.
Although it is still possible that the Gunners will end up in the Europa League and without a trophy, not many of us think it is going to happen. In fact, we are odds on favourites for the FA cup after demolishing our Wembley opponents Hull City at the weekend, especially as their two best strikers are cup-tied, and we are looking up the league table again.
Is the glass half full? Only matters if you’re thirsty by Zac
Most articles start with a line like, I have been an Arsenal fan since I was knee high to Kylie Minogue or something along those lines. Well I am proud to say my first love is rugby league and my second is Arsenal. Now if anyone watches rugby league you will notice the team ethic of, take a hit for the man next to you, the free flowing rugby which at times seems “off the cuff” but the players at the top will tell you it is all earned on the training pitch. Now this is where my two loves are very similar.
Arsene Wenger may well have been a strong candidate himself, if Arsenal had not let their title challenge slip in 2014, but the Frenchman does not seem too keen on the manager who does lead his team to the Premier League trophy winning it either, and I do not blame him one bit. And this is not because both of them have shown disrespect to Arsenal and our French manager, although that does not help them in my eyes.
Yet again Arsenal have seen their fixtures disrupted with just a few games to go in their fight for a Top Four place in the Premier League. Arsenal have had their game against Hull moved to Sunday, while Chelsea’s game against Sunderland has been moved to Saturday to help our London neighbours to be fresher for their crucial Champions League semi-final against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.
Wenger is seething about the changes and made no bones about accusing the TV companies of favouritism when choosing which games to reschedule. He said: “We never got any help on that front. Never,”
Owen on Arsenal by Ash
Michael Owen is known to be quite a controversial figure amongst the Arsenal fans, whether it be on the pitch or more recently off it with his media outbursts and regular columns. However this time I think he has said something very worthy that the Gunners should take note of.
In a Daily Star report he is recorded stating, “If Arsenal win the FA Cup and get fourth in the league, from my point of view it would be a good season. I said at the start of season they’re a step away from the title. I don’t think their players are of the level of City, Chelsea and Liverpool’s.
Arsenal cannot give up on Lukaku bid now? by Ash
The massive transfer rumour of the last few days is that Arsenal’s greatest rivals, Tottenham Hotspur, have supposedly been in contact with both Chelsea and Romelu Lukaku’s representatives over a possible transfer in the summer.
The news which has been reported in several national newspapers since the quotes broke, supposedly from Lukaku’s agent himself, includes reports within the Guardian and Daily Telegraph. Although the report may not have any substance behind it, it seems like a perfectly viable option considering Chelsea supposedly want to sell their young Belgian. That may surprise many but Chelsea are well known for buying players young, loaning them and then selling them on for a massive profit. Although this case may be different considering the quality of Lukaku, if true, Arsenal surely cannot pass up the opportunity.
As if the January transfer window was not frustrating enough for Arsenal fans, we then had to read in the papers that the Gunners had failed in attempts to bring in a number of players. The biggest of these was Julian Draxler of Schalke, of course, but the one position we really needed to strengthen was striker and so the news that Salomon Kalou had turned down the chance to come was pretty frustrating as well.
How we could still win the league by JMT
Ok, I officially think I might be going crazy but I still believe Arsenal can win the Premier league and here are the reasons why. Currently we are 4th on 64 points with 32 games played, City 3rd with 67 points, Chelsea 2nd with 69 points and 32 games played and Liverpool top with 71 points from 32 games. Out of City’s last 8 fixtures I believe that Southampton at home in a week’s time and Liverpool and Everton away are their key games. City seem to have gotten over the poor away form that followed them at the beginning of the season but these matches still pose a difficulty and any blips might see the race continue to be wide open. Add to this the fact they will also have to go to Palace who under Pulis look very organized I would hardly say they have the easiest fixture list.
They say that luck evens itself out over the course of a season. If that is true, Arsenal are due to win the lottery in the next few weeks, because nothing else has gone the way of the Gunners this year. I know that lots of Gooners will berate me for going on about this subject again, but yet again lady luck was conspicuously absent at the Emirates today.
I don’t know about the rest of you Arsenal fans, but I am not exactly looking forward to the game this weekend. Man City are looking in worryingly good form since they went out of the Champions League to Barcelona a couple of weeks ago, while the opposite could easily be said of the Gunners.
Bad luck and nerves against Swansea have left Arsenal’s title hopes and confidence in the gutter and there is a real danger of us suffering a fourth calamitous drubbing against our main title rivals. There are some reasons for Arsenal to hope, however. The fact that the kick-off time is not the same early one in which the heavy defeats against Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea occurred and the fact this game is at the Emirates while the others were away from home.
Arsenal have been told, in no uncertain terms, that they will have to face yet another of their former players next season, unless they open the wallet, release the moths, and give Bacary Sagna the contract he is after.
Any hope that Arsene Wenger and the fans might have had that our French international defender would go abroad and play for a team like Paris Saint-Germain have been squashed flat by the president of Inter Milan, one of the many clubs interested in signing Sagna. Sky Sports report that Erick Thohir has all but given up signing the Arsenal right back, despite having held talks over his transfer, because Sagna will be staying in England and playing for a Premier League club next season.