By Walter Broeckx
What is wrong this season so far?
If we look at the number of games we lost we are not doing that bad in fact. With 4 lost games we do better than some other teams who are fighting for the CL places this season. But there are 3 teams who have done better than us: both Manchester clubs and Everton.
We have lost one only game more than Manchester United and that is a rather surprising fact when you look at the league table. WBA who are only one point behind us have lost the double of the games (8) and yet they are very close to us.
Where we go wrong is the number of games we draw and win. We have too many draws compared with the other teams who are close to us. Only Everton has more with 9 draws and we have 7. The rivals down the road do better than this and they have more wins and fewer draws, but also more losses.
So to improve it is vital that we win more games. This is of course easier said than done. I can imagine that the players would love to win more games than they did but for various reasons it didn’t work as good as we all hoped for.
Now the draws we had so far were games that most of the time we should have won or could have won. We started with 2 draws against Sunderland and Stoke and these games should have been won. But at the start of the season we couldn’t score. But looking at the chances for Arsenal compared to the chances for those two teams this is when we lost 4 points.
Our next draw was at Manchester City. And I think this was a game that could have gone either way. We deserved a point at least but we also could have lost that game. And a draw at City is not a bad result so I think we can accept that as a good draw.
The next draw we had was against Fulham. I think we all remember the disappointment when Arteta shot the penalty to close to Schwarzer who could put it in corner. This was a game we should have won at the end. Another draw we should have turned in to a win.
The next draw was at Aston Villa and again I remember us having most of the chances but we couldn’t score on the day. Those two games were again 4 points lost.
After that we went to Everton and we shot ourselves in the foot with a few errors leading to Everton scoring the equaliser. 2 points lost then? Well I do think a point at Everton is a decent result so far this season. So I can be satisfied with a draw there.
And finally our draw with Southampton the other day. I still haven’t been able to see the whole game but apparently we were poor. Wenger even said we can feel lucky to have won a point. So certainly not a desirable result and a not expected one but when you are not entitled to win we cannot but accept the draw.
But from the 7 draws we can say that we really should have won 4 of those games. I know the league table is not built on ifs, but that would have been 8 extra points for Arsenal this season so far. If only we would have been able to convert our chances a bit better.
Overall on average we score 2 goals a game and we let in just over 1 goal. So statistically we should be able to win each game with 2-1. We have had a few high scoring games we won but then we also had 5 games in which we couldn’t score.
Looking at goals scored we are near to the top teams (3rd highest in fact) an in goals conceded we also have only 3 teams who do better than us.
So we are close to the best teams on scoring and stopping the others from scoring but just not there.
So what is missing for the moment? Someone who can rule the field in a physical way a bit more than the players we have. Although we have one but he is turning in to a tragic character in an opera for whom all goes wrong. I am talking about Diaby. I like him and love him as a player and am a great admirer. But I think he is a player that can only play one game a week when fit. I wouldn’t even use him for a midweek game when fit. It will break him.
But I do think a player like him when fit would be the missing link we could do with to turn a draw in to a win. But for the moment I don’t count on him.
So who can we use to replace him? Rosicky is another type of player that could be used to give Cazorla a rest in my opinion. And we do seem to need a type of player that can run a game on his presence and physical force.
When you think of such players most of us will end up with…Fellaini. He is strong as an ox. He is one to take on Shawcross and have a good battle with him. He scores plenty of goals and can be strong in defence when we need some tall guys to defend our penalty area.
I can imagine lots of fans saying: we should buy him. But would he fit in at Arsenal? That would be a major question to ask. And I really have my doubts. Because at Everton he plays more as a target man but this is not the Arsenal way. We don’t play that way. If we bought him we would have to change our system.
Put Fellaini up front and have Walcott lurking on for the loose ball? With his pace he could be lethal to pick up the ball Fellaini heads on and so we could score a few goals. But then where would this leave the rest of our players and our playing system? It is not because a player fits in at a certain club in a certain style that he will fit in at Arsenal in another style.
But of course we could use Fellaini in a midfield role where he can support both attack and midfield. As a box to box player. But he is not a defensive midfielder. Maybe he could play there but I don’t think he is disciplined enough to play that role. That is something we should forget.
Would I take him if I would have something to say in the matter? Well I think I would. But then again I wouldn’t be sure that he would work at Arsenal. But maybe there are other people who can judge this much better than I can. Cut the maybe. There are lots of other people who can judge this much better. But based on his performances so far and looking at what we seem to miss in some games he could be a possible answer. But it would be a big surprise to me if he would come to Arsenal to be honest.
But we must do something about the games we had draws and bring that number down and win those games. That will be vital from now on till the end of the season.
- Match Review: Mike Dean – Manchester United Vs Arsenal (2 – 1) [03/11/2012]
- Demba Ba: do we really want him at Arsenal?
- Ref Review: Michael Oliver – Everton Vs Arsenal (1 – 1) [28/11/2012]
- Arsenal always know how to disappoint, and Sky how to say something odd
- Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football – Arsenal’s early years
- Making the Arsenal – how the modern Arsenal was born in 1910
- The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal FC: crowd behaviour at the early matches
- Referee Decisions – just what are the refs up to this season?
- Parent News – what is going on in schools these days?
- The weight loss programme: The only guaranteed way to stay fit
- The Arsenal History Blog from the AISA Arsenal History Society