When it comes to fighting for fourth spot, there are no better warriors than Wenger’s men. They’ve been down this road in each of the last three seasons now and shook off a poor first half performance to suggest they have the know how and spirit to prevail again.
Conceding a sloppy goal on 40 minutes would have been disastrous had Podolski not levelled just before the break. There would have been booing from frustrated home fans and the Arsenal players would have emerged for the second half under tremendous pressure. Instead, they came out relieved not to be behind after a lethargic display which produced only two dangerous goal attempts, and pretty soon they had the lead.
The best finisher at the club by a mile
The much-maligned Giroud showed he does have some genuine quality when he held off Andy Carroll to smash home the decisive goal on 55 minutes. He may not be the world class striker we need, but he has scored some vital goals for us this season and should be retained next year as back up to a quality new purchase that Wenger simply must
make up front. No more Sanogo’s Wenger, do your job properly.
The spirit and desire drained from West Ham after that and the rest of the match was a formality as West Ham offered little going forward while Arsenal grew in confidence, fully deserving their sweetly struck third goal from that man Podolski again.
Everton will be feeling the pressure right now because they know Arsenal have it in them to beat all the sides they have left, even when they’re not at their best like during the first half last night. Just as last season, an ‘easy’ run in should yield pretty much maximum points for Arsenal, meaning Everton probably need 13 points from their remaining five fixtures which is a tough ask.
Let’s see how Martinez’s men respond tonight in a tricky fixture against resilient Crystal Palace. Meanwhile we need to make sure the improvement continues against Hull because they will give us a much sterner test than Allardyce’s blunt Hammers did.
The Premier League gets tougher each season and we keep getting reminded just why this is the most popular football league in the world.
At the time of writing we are sitting top of the league and looking good. Can we win our first title since 2004?
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Arsenal gave themselves an excellent chance of ending their nine year trophy drought with victory over Wigan yesterday, showing good character to come back from a goal down and win the game on penalties.
And that’s the end of the plus points. Granted, winning the game is a major plus point, probably the biggest plus point you can get. But for me, the minus points that this scrappy game threw up far outweigh it.
If you’re only interested in the short term, it’s fantastic news that we’ve reached an FA Cup final and I hope you woke up this morning with a smile on your face and are looking forward to another Wembley date.
But if you also care about the future and whether this club is actually progressing under Wenger, then yesterday’s match would have made for alarming viewing. That Wenger couldn’t even come up with a . . . continue reading this article.
Well, what can I write about this match that I haven’t written a hundred times before. Not a lot really. The same old failings were on show again as Wenger set up his team in exactly the same way he had for other difficult away fixtures. Net result — another humiliating hammering. We lose, regroup, play the same way again; lose, regroup, play the same way again… I’ve given up hoping that he might actually learn something from these defeats.
We had been ripped apart by Liverpool, Chelsea and Man City on the break as we cavalierly threw our full backs up the pitch and were picked off with ease when the move inevitably broke down. Today was the same. Given the importance not to lose today, a more astute manager might have told his full backs “Be a bit more conservative for the first 45 minutes, we . . . continue reading this article.
I haven’t blogged since Chelsea hammered us because I’m now firmly shrouded in apathy about our prospects under Wenger. To see the same old failings and mistakes repeated week after week, season after season and manifest themselves in yet another campaign where we find ourselves fighting for fourth place has drained away much of my enthusiasm.
So I’m allowing a regular reader with a more ‘optimistic’ outlook to make a guest post. Personally, now that the business end of the season has come around I think we’re seeing Groundhog Day and will do every season until Wenger goes as the once-great one has no idea how to take us to the next level. John from London retains some hope however — see what you think…
Things have turned quite sour for Arsenal supporters over the past month or two. First the club began to lose its grip on . . . continue reading this article.
I usually make a few notes as I watch Arsenal games to help me write this blog, but today I stopped after 20 minutes. I couldn’t believe that no lessons had been learned from the humiliation at Anfield and that we could get battered again in exactly the same way. Instead I found myself jotting down my grievances and frustrations, so instead of a match report I’m going to give my view on where Wenger is going wrong. I know we sit comfortably in 4th place and are in the FA Cup semi finals, but that’s not enough anymore — bear with me and I’ll explain why.
Wenger’s reign can be divided into three stages — the Highbury years (1996 – 2005/6), the Emirates era (2006/7 – 2011/12) and the period we are in right now, the supposed Promised Land (2012/13 onwards).
I call it the Promised . . . continue reading this article.
Arsenal produced a solid defensive performance to protect an early lead for virtually the whole match and put significant daylight between themselves and their bitter rivals in the league.
It was a day when two away wins saw those billed as title contenders take advantage of Chelsea’s hilarious slip up yesterday to close the gap and simultaneously strengthen their place in the top four. Our nervy, unconvincing win was in stark contrast to Liverpool’s impressive dismantling of a mediocre Man Utd side as the top four distanced themselves from the chasing pack. Spurs are now nine points behind us and Liverpool having played a game more while Man Utd are totally out of it down in 7th — that’s pretty much the same group of players which were cruising to the title this time last year. It’s incredible how badly Moyes has done and the United board really need . . . continue reading this article.