Arsenal are under real pressure today to prove that they really have improved under Unai Emery, and even more importantly put an end to our abysmal away day blues which have seen us lose 8 of our last 9 games on the road.
Aaron Ramsey, whp joined us from Cardiff is under no illusions that we are in for an easy game. “I know how difficult it will be to win there,” he said. “They have a couple of clean sheets already this season. It will be a battle.
“Hopefully we can get our passing game going early to settle us down. It’s a great opportunity to go into the international break with another win under our belts and hopefully then we can build when we come back and really kick on.”
But Ramsey also admitted that the players are still coming to terms with Emery’s tactics and he thinks it will be a gradual process. “We will get better with every game. Any time there is a change it takes a period of time to adapt and we are in that situation. We are all very positive and optimistic and we are all on board with it.
“It’s just a case of us sticking to it, becoming more comfortable, doing the things the manager wants us to do, and I am sure we will get stronger and stronger as the season goes on.”
“He’s a lot more detailed on the opposition and we are playing different styles and trying to press a lot higher up the pitch and trying to hold a higher line to win the ball back in more dangerous areas.
“We have done it well at times but we are very early on in the process. We will get better with every game. Any time there is a change it takes a period of time to adapt and we are in that situation.”
Today’s game will be very different to our previous three and will be a lot more physical. But will Emery still stick to his slow build up from the back tactics? The Spaniard says he is very willing to try different tactics when needed. “I will do what it needs to win matches.” he said. “Others might not like it but we are in the win business.
“I prefer to play the game as it should be played, but you also have to adapt.
“I play to win every match, certainly to improve our away record.
“Now we are going to play against Cardiff away and for that my thoughts are only on how we can win.
“Then it’s not to think about the past.
“I prefer to think and my concentration with the players also is the next match. Focus only to work for the next match and how we can win.
“It’s clear the data behind us but I want to write a new data, a new present, a new future with Arsenal with the players. For that my focus is only how we can win this Sunday.”
“There are a lot of details we need to improve,” he added. “There are situations on the pitch where we need to have more control.
“Every day we are analysing all the situations and the details to work to improve. We want to show on Sunday that we are improving.
“We need more control. More with the ball, more with our positioning, more when we close the ball.
“If we want to do the pressing first it is in this organisation, in this structure, a compact block on the pitch for recovering the ball better. But then it depends on the opposition.
“I have played long ball before, yes, a lot. In Spain the same, in France the same, in Russia the same.
“There are a lot of ways for you to choose to find the win. Sunday is one match we need the adaptation to their idea. But all the respect for me for this idea. Because in Spain I played it often. In moments I play like that because I think it’s the best way for us to win.”
This is the day that he simply must win. Anything less and we will immediately be written off as bottlers that have no chance of making the Top Four. It will be hard enough to reach those dizzy heights anyway, as our legend Ray Parlour said: “I’ll be delighted if they finish fourth.
“If they come fourth it’s been a very, very good season, a successful season.
“That’s how hard the Premier League is now and the competitive nature.
“Top four will be difficult – the bookmakers don’t get it wrong too often and Arsenal are the sixth favourites to get to the top four.
“In that respect it would be a good season. I’m always optimistic they can have a good season.”
Well If we are going to have a good season, then we have to win this battle, and I hope to see a hungry, determined Arsenal side ready to fight for every ball. If we do that today, and win comfortably, then I’ll start to believe we can still make the Top Four….
Onwards and Upwards!!!