By Walter Broeckx
One of the big issues in recent seasons was our form in the top games.
Pundits and a lot of fans blamed Arsenal and Wenger for not winning the top games. And this was in their eyes the reason for Arsenal not winning things.
So after all the top 4 games being played we can have a look at those games and make ourselves a little league table of those games.
But here are the results to start with:
Chelsea – Arsenal 2-0
Chelsea – Man Utd 2-1
Man City – Chelsea 1-0
Man City – Arsenal 0-3
Man Utd – Chelsea 2-1
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Chelsea – Man City 2-0
Man Utd – Arsenal 1-0
Man City – Man Utd 0-0
Man Utd – Man City 2-1
Arsenal – Chelsea 3-1
Arsenal – Man City 0-0
Arsenal – Man Utd 1-0
And now we can start calculating and make our self a little league table and after a little ruffle on the drums we can see the final table…..
So here we have it. Arsenal have won the battle between the top 4 teams this season. Yes it may come as a surprise for the people who are telling us that we have a rubbish team and a rubbish manager. Because not being able to win those games was a big part for being critical about Wenger last seasons and now we won most points compared to the rest in the top 4 … those people still are critical about Wenger and the team. You know the he cant change his tactics and we have no plan b. Well it looked as if we were good enough to don’t need a plan B in the top games.
May I als point at the fact that Arsenal are the only top team that has been capable to win a top match away from home. Our win at City was the only win from any top team away from home in the big games. I would say that is not bad for a team that needs a complete make over according to a loudly part of the fans.
Now some of the critical part of the fanbase last seasons will say: Oh well we can’t defend so we will not win the league. Wenger should have bought more central defenders like Cahill so we would have won the league. This is not me saying this but you know who will say this. But let us take a look at goals against? Oh my God, we have the best defensive record of the 4 teams!
In the top games we have a better defensive record then United. And well we only let in almost half of the goals Chelsea and City let in. And don’t those teams have far better defences than Arsenal? So it looks that against the top attackers our defenders did rather well. It was more against the more basic teams that our defence wasn’t at its best. So we can’t defend is the word now.
Maybe this could lead to some further research. Maybe this is more down to not being as focussed as in the top games? So this is something we should work on for next season. To find out why we let in more goals from the lower placed teams compared to the top teams? We let in 0,66 a goal in each top game and in the other games we let in 1,16 games per game. I think by now Wenger will have seen this difference and we can hope he works on this for next year.
Having Vermaelen back will be helpful I think. And maybe add another defender and I don’t care if it is Bartley from our own youth or Vertonghen from Ajax who has hinted he might leave Ajax for the premier league where he might join a team that plays nice and good football. Both are big and strong so they both could be helpful in some games and they sure could help when players have to play a lot of games.
So yes we might have failed in the smaller games this year. But in the last seasons some said we should do better in the big games and we certainly have improved in those games. We have improved very much in fact. Because last year we could only win one game against the other top 4 teams and we finished at the bottom of this mini table.
So the task for Wenger is rather simple in fact: make sure we don’t lose too many silly points in games against the likes of WBA, Stoke, Newcastle and other teams like Bolton. He has managed to bring us from the bottom to the top in the top 4 games in one season. So we can hope he does the same with the other games next season. And then nothing will be able to stop us from finishing in first place.
So it is more down to making some small adjustments to the squad I think. We are nearly there just find the answer to win a few more games against some more basic skilled teams and we will be back on top in the big league.
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