Monday, March 2, 2009

Nil-Nil Has Become The Norm, And That Needs to Change

What's up all? I'm now 22 years old, having had my birthday last Friday and contributing to my absence from writing for almost a week. I had a great time, got to hang out with my best friends in Orlando and it was pretty much awesome/crazy/hilarious, so what more can you ask for?

But while I had a good weekend, Arsenal yet again did not. We played Fulham at home and you'd normally expect a win there, but as I was turning the match on I just had a feeling with this team that it wasn't going to be good. After three straight nil-nil draws in the league and four draws in a row overall, I'll admit that I wasn't too confident even against a weak team at home. Fulham actually played decently, their passing was pretty good but we really still could have won. RvP had a couple of chances, Bendtner had a chance, Arshy had a chance, but the theme of this season seems to be a lack of goals and we were fruitless in our efforts yet again. While our defense looked fairly solid again, we just don't look at all confident going forward.

The problem with the current team, as has been said by many, is that they play down to the level of our competition. We get up for Chelsea, Roma, Man United, etc; but then we lose to teams like Fulham and Hull City. Take a look here below. I've gone over the points that what we would consider "weaker" clubs have taken from Arsenal this season. It's quite stunning really.

Fulham - 4 points - Lost away, Draw at home
Hull - 3 points - Lost at home, won away
Sunderland - 2 points - Drew home and away
Sp*rs - 2 points - Drew home and away
Stoke - 3 points - Lost away
Boro - 1 point - Drew away

Not to mention the loss at home to Villa, the five straight league draws in a row, and more. All those teams I listed above are in the bottom half of the table and are teams we should be taking maximum points off of, especially at home, yet we have taken less points or the same amount of points from all six of those teams.

The most frustrating part of the whole season is that this team doesn't really have an identity. Half of the time we can't defend a lead against anybody (the 4-4 against Sp*rs comes painfully to mind) and now this second half of the season we can't score against some of the worst teams in the league. So is this Arsenal team one that can only do one thing at a time, whether it be attack or defend? Wenger buys Arshavin to help us score more goals yet we can't win any matches once he's in the team. I'm not blaming Arshy by any means, because he's been decent for us, but the fact is that buying Arshavin hasn't helped us to win matches at all.

The good news in all of this of course is that our injured players will all be returning in the somewhat near future. Walcott, Theo, Eduardo, Rosicky (hopefully) and Cesc are all big players from us that should be back in the coming month or so. When they all return that will take Bendtner, Eboue, and Song all out of the team which can't possibly be a bad thing.

We play West Brom tomorrow, another weak team that we need to beat. We actually beat them 1-0 the first match of the season, and I'd take another 1-0 win for us in a heartbeat. We've said lots of matches are must win matches lately, but I'd say this is the final must win. If we blow this one and lose or draw, we can go ahead and make plans for the UEFA Cup next season, although we really need to watch out for Everton who are sneaking up on us for 5th place.

Even Arsene Wenger seems at a loss lately, which is something I've never seen before from him. If you listen to his press conferences he really seems bewildered, and if he is bewildered then everyone is. It is his job to right the ship here though, so we have to hope he can do it quickly. Come on you Gunners.

Cheers all. Oh yeah and Justin I added your link. I've been meaning to do it before now but there you go. Oh and by the way wasn't it great watching Sp*rs miss out on the Carling Cup, even if it had to be to United? Love it. Peace.

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