Arsenal on the up or just floundering?
by Tony Attwood
As we all know, there are two types of Arsenal supporters. Those who think that everything that Arsène Wenger does is a disaster, and those who feel that he is very much on the right track.
Which camp you are in depends to some degree on emotions. But spare a thought for the online betting community who have to try and set their emotions aside and instead come up with a logical approach which gives them a clue as to where to put the bets. Are Arsenal on the up, as Robin van Persie recently announced (no cups to worry about) or in a desperate state (having run out of goal keepers, been knocked out of all three cups, and with the central defense missing.)
From Birmingham to Old Trafford via Barcelona, does that mean “ok guys let’s go and prove we can do it” or does it mean, “OK we lost it, let’s think about next season.”
Injury crises have of course been part and parcel of Arsenal’s seasons for the past few years. And it is not just the number of injuries – it is the way they all get focused on certain positions. A few seasons back we had the “Year of the Seven Left Backs” where everyone from junior players, who have long since left the club and are now finding it hard to make a living in football (like Gilbert) to midfielders (such as Flamini), were pulled into the team to play totally out of position. We’ve had the entire back four and keeper out, we’ve been so hit in the forward line we had Arshavin playing in the classic number 9 role.
Now we have Wojciech Szczesny and Vito Mannone both out for six weeks and Lukasz Fabianski out for the season. Which leaves Almunia and our old pal Jens. Will Jens turn out to be a sensation all over again, or is that it for Arsenal? If it is money you are putting on the issue, then you really ought to know. Leaving your heart to one side (as it were), how does that affect the way you bet on or against Arsenal?
And all this rumination comes before we start thinking about Theo Walcott, Cesc Fabregas and anyone else who has picked up an injury while I wasn’t looking. Or on the other hand Aaron Ramsey. Could he come back and rescue us?
The latest injury chart on Untold shows us as being at the very top of the chart for injuries on the clubs we track each week, with the likes of Chelsea and Man C having only two injuries each, and only Man U at eight injuries coming close to our nine. (The full list being Fabianski (8 weeks out), Szczesny (1), Vermaelen (26), Djourou (2), Frimpong (28), Fabregas (8), Song (3), Diaby (15), Walcott (6).
Thus it’s a mental game. Do the last few standing stand up and throw everything at whichever evil bunch of hopeless no-gooders who we come up against, or do they throw in the towel and get walked over?
As a season ticket holder I know that the solid Arsenal support give their lungs, hearts and souls to whatever players we have left to put out on the field. The “Wenger out” lobby say the whole thing is a clear sign that Wenger can’t plan the proverbial in a brewery. Which takes us back to the start: only the on line gamblers set all that aside and try to make sense of it all.
- Last season the table after 3 games was headline news. But probably not this season
- 117 players tipped as coming to Arsenal before the window closes
- Why Arsenal recruited a new defence first, then a new attack
- After two games we can start to make one or two judgements
- Winning the opening two league games is not that common for Arsenal