It’s not all doom and gloom for Arsenal
While I agree with most of us that we are not at our desired position right now, but let me ask you, if at the beginning of the season someone offered us to be just 3 points off the top four in February am sure most of us would have taken it, considering we were entering an unknown territory under a new manager with zero Premier league experience.
Well for now everyone’s favorite top four candidate is Man Utd, a team on form after firing their manager a couple of months ago. I know some of us are asking why are we not like Man Utd? I will be quick to remind you that we also went through that period where we wend 22 matches unbeaten. Plus the Man Utd team has a great potential in all positions, but we will see one thing we have in common with them later in the article.
Now we all know that Arsenal was a team going in the wrong direction with our previous manager, and we can all agree with that. But with a new manager, we had a shouting chance of change, and the team is slowly, but steadily moving in the right direction now. But there are somethings that needs to be looked at right now of we are to make an even better season.
Negative football and poor team selection
Unai has been questioned several times over his team selection in the last few weeks and rightfully so, and he needs to very quickly learn from this otherwise it may get worse than it already is. A look at how Man Utd have improved as a team in the last 6-7 weeks, there are some things we have in common, but they seem to have solved some of their issues, they couldn’t score enough goals and not stop letting in enough on the other end. But ever since they took in Ole, their attack has improved incredibly and their defense too. But what is the secret?
Man Utd didn’t need to dig deep in the transfer window, they just changed the team attitude. Mourinho and Emery had two things in common, defensive philosophy and frustrating the big name players in the process, we all know how that ended. I am not saying Ozil is Pogba, but you can’t play defensive football expecting your attacking players to shine. Put Messi in Atletico and you will not be seeing the same Messi. But a change in philosophy has actually changed man Utd fortunes in both attack and defense.
Yes Man Utd have better players compared to us in both attack and defense, but they were conceding more goals than us when they were playing defensive tactics. Emery can’t put in 5 defenders and sometimes 3 defensive midfielders and expect to trouble a Man City team with only 3 defenders and two defensive midfielders. Even teams with less quality will always feel confident attacking us knowing they have nothing much to worry about from our attacks.
Again, how do you play two of the most lethal strikers in the Premier League and deny them creativity? We need to attack more and we will actually concede less. We didn’t necessarily need to dig in to the January transfer to improve, just sort out our attitude.
We will be facing only Tottenham and Man Utd in our last 14 games, and they actually aren’t that far away, if we sort out our away form, then we have what it takes to win up to 12-13 of our last 14 games. Yes we have tricky fixtures against Wolves, Everton and Leicester City, but with a squad full of confidence we can win these games and others. If we can beat Man Utd at home next month I am sure we will be making top four. Why? Because the rest of our top four rivals face more big teams.
Man Utd still have us, Chelsea, City, and Liverpool to contend with. Chelsea have City, Spurs, Liverpool and Utd to contend with. Are you seeing what am seeing? We only need to try to maintain our point difference between us and them this month, which has traditionally been hard for us. Speaking of traditions, we usually end up having a very strong run in, and a fixture of almost 9 teams not being in the top 6 only adds to it.
I have a strong feeling that we may actually make top four but Emery needs to sort his defensive tactics sooner rather than later.
That’s it for me today,
Muha Ankoanko Al~wattan.