There are two corners Arsenal need to turn: the much needed short-term one, and the more strategic long-term one. This post is not about the latter, but only about whether Arsenal can get back to winning ways imminently.
In many ways, the start of the season has been bizarre:
- How is it possible that we conceded 16 goals in the PL and MU 21, and yet they are 15 points better off than us?
- How is it possible that we conceded only six goals in eight away games, yet only won two games, whilst MU conceded twelve but won six games on their journeys?
- How is it possible that our four top-scorers in all competitions have scored only one less than MU’s four top-scorers, five more than Chelsea and four more than MC, and we are still trailing all three in the league?
- Arsenal have scored 45 goals in all competitions; MU 50; Chelsea 55, and MC 40, and yet we are well behind all of them in the league.
Initially, I thought it was to do with our goal-scoring record in the Premier League this season. It has not been great, especially in away games, but we scored one goal less than Chelsea and are yet five points behind them; and four goals less than MC and we are an eye-watering twelve points behind them.
It is hard to come to any definite conclusion based on the above mentioned facts, but what they do tell me is that we are a team that needs to find a better balance between scoring goals and keeping a tight defence; that our team has not settled down yet and is still looking for its shape and rhythm.
Is it too easy to say; it is the price Arsenal have to pay for letting once again two (possible three) star players go and having to incorporate three attack-minded players into our team? Maybe it is, but we are where we are, and I am at this moment in time, much more interested in what can be done to properly kick-start the season, so Arsenal can get the balance right and start winning games again.
Five reasons why an Arsenal rebirth might be just around the corner:
- The core team is almost injury-free and I am sure it will not take long before they will start to gel better and find their rhythm: Szczesny, Sagna, Mert, Koz, TV, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Cazorla, Giroud, Rosicky, Theo and Podolski, can together turn the season round for us. Most of these players had a well-needed rest during the week and hopefully they used the time to talk to each other about how they can improve as a team. There are some very smart people in our core team and I am sure once they can click together, we will see a significant improvement in our entire team.
- Arsene has tried different formations and players in certain positions to see what works best during the last few weeks. Games came thick and fast and a combination of international breaks and fatigue of some of our core players, has not helped Arsene in finding the right balance. But he is a very experienced manager and has always been able to find a winning formational formula, and a way of getting the best out of the squad. I am confident we will see a far better purpose and shape to our football in the next few weeks.
- We need to win a couple of games and then be a bit lucky with keeping our very best players fit. Success in football is a lot to do with psychology, and a couple of wins would undoubtedly do wonders for our team. As Arsenal are still going through a transition, we appear to be extra vulnerable to injuries of key players and suffer disproportionately from squad rotations. This should improve during the season, but if we can win a few games, and the two above mentioned reasons hold up as well, Arsenal can go on a much needed winning run. It would do wonders to this season’s team; no doubt about that.
- Wilshere and Rosicky are the young and more mature club players who, with their skills as well as their hearts and leadership skills, are fully able to give our team its much needed identity and drive. Fingers crossed our little Mozart will last most if not all of the remaining season. Wilshere and Rosicky are very likely to become to on-field leaders we have been missing so much recently.
- The January transfer window. The Theo situation will surely be sorted one way or another in January and hopefully Arsenal will be sensible enough to add a couple of quality players. We could do with an experienced goalkeeper and LB, but even more importantly we need to add a beast of a DM and a quality and dedicated right winger.
For me, the above is not wishful thinking and there is every reason to believe the season will still come good. But then I am a glass-half-full sort of person.
However, I am less confident than I have been in previous seasons that Arsenal can turn the season round again. It is now time for Arsene and the boys to show us what they are capable off and lead us back to winning ways.
Come On You Rip Roaring Gunners!!!