It’s a case of too little, too late, once again for Arsenal. by Konstantin Mitov
I am ready for the slating that will come my way for not being to optimistic before we’ve actually done something. A lot of people believe that we will finish 4th if we somehow win our remaining 3 games, but it still lies on the hope that West Ham tripping Liverpool, because otherwise I don’t see City slumping up in 2 games.
So on to yesterdays game, truth to be told Southampton didn’t have much to play for yet in the first half, they were the better team and Cech made a great save, but we survived 0-0 to be honest. In the second half, we took some risks. We started pressing and they made mistakes.
It still took a touch of genius from the big man Alexis to get up front. I want to take a small break here and ask you how many times has Alexis saved Arsene in his time here? And Arsene speaks in interviews that the club comes first. Funny enough, Arsene always comes first, but I’ll get back to him in a moment.
So after our goal, we scored a second through a string of comic defending out of Southampton and some nice play from us, which killed it and saved our hair slim chance of the top 4. The top 4 is massive. If you evaluate the FA cup and the top 4, the latter brings so much more to the table in terms of ability to sign players, money, prestige, playing the best teams in Europe and so on and so on.
But, if we look at it, we signed Xhaka (who was excellent yesterday to be honest), Perez and Mustafi, all players who we could’ve signed without champions league football. If that are the signings we’ll make, you wonder if the top 4 is really that important on that front, because I want to be targeting players like Aubameyang, Reus, Greizmann, not some unknowns.
Another point is that, if we want to keep Alexis, we need to dig in big in our cash reserves. Not only for the fact he is the one player that truly deserves it in our squad, but to add players of the same caliber next to him so we can improve.
Now I want to address the issue as to why did we start pressing yesterday and we didn’t do it against teams like Watford and West Brom and Palace who easily took us apart. Yesterday we took risks and they payed off. Against United, Xhaka tried to shoot, got lucky and scored. Nacho got lucky against Leicester, but you know what, you can blame luck all you want, but if you don’t shoot, you don’t score.
We can play the perfect passes to the penalty area, but if we don’t direct the ball goalwards, we will never score. We are where we are for a reason and that reason is here every season. Remember Lasagna gate? Remember when we were like 7 points behind Villa, but scrapped the top 4 in the end? Remember when Everton had 1 point and a game in hand and we still pipped them with 5 wins on the bounce?
Why do we go into free-fall? Every season? We stop playing at some point and at the end we wake up, just to get 4th? Our point tally will be around 70 points, which is where we usually are. How about making it 85? Those extra 10-12 points that will transform us to contenders.
And lastly back to Arsene and the fact he is everything here. He craves power so much, he laughed off the chance to add somebody to the staff to help him, maybe a director of football. I will finish with this. Arsene is an employee here, nothing more. He is not top of the food chain at Arsenal and if the bosses demand a director of football Arsene has to accept it or leave.
This summer is massive. It will indicate if the board members actually have any power and any desire to adapt change, or Arsene will become the Arsenal universe itself. Hopefully, but unlikely it will be the latter.