By Bulldog Drummond.
According to the Independent website, “One of the problems with Arsenal for the past few years has been a stagnant flatness.” Ah well. I guess that maybe they were not at the Cup Finals.
And while there is a lot of coverage of Mr Wenger, and of violence once again surrounding a match that Liverpool is involved in (Uefa were said to be “deeply shocked” although of course that is not to say that anyone supporting Liverpool was to blame) there is not too much coverage of tonight’s game in the media as yet. Perhaps it will come later.
So let’s have a look at where we are on the playing front… Here are the last 10
|04 Mar 2018||Brighton and Hove Albion v Arsenal||L||2-1||Premier League|
|08 Mar 2018||AC Milan v Arsenal||W||0-2||Europa League|
|11 Mar 2018||Arsenal v Watford||W||3-0||Premier League|
|15 Mar 2018||Arsenal v AC Milan||W||3-1||Europa League|
|01 Apr 2018||Arsenal v Stoke City||W||3-0||Premier League|
|05 Apr 2018||Arsenal v CSKA Moscow||W||4-1||Europa League|
|08 Apr 2018||Arsenal v Southampton||W||3-2||Premier League|
|12 Apr 2018||CSKA Moscow v Arsenal||D||2-2||Europa League|
|15 Apr 2018||Newcastle United v Arsenal||L||2-1||Premier League|
|22 Apr 2018||Arsenal v West Ham United||W||4-1||Premier League|
Two defeats and a draw – all in away games. Which might be rather worrying for next week but is rather reassuring for tonight.
Our record through the season in the Europa League is
|14 Sep 2017||Arsenal v 1.FC Köln||W||3-1|
|28 Sep 2017||FC BATE Borisov v Arsenal||W||2-4|
|19 Oct 2017||Crvena Zvezda v Arsenal||W||0-1|
|02 Nov 2017||Arsenal v Crvena Zvezda||D||0-0|
|23 Nov 2017||1.FC Köln v Arsenal||L||1-0|
|07 Dec 2017||Arsenal v FC BATE Borisov||W||6-0|
|15 Feb 2018||Östersunds FK v Arsenal||W||0-3|
|22 Feb 2018||Arsenal v Östersunds FK||L||1-2|
|08 Mar 2018||AC Milan v Arsenal||W||0-2|
|15 Mar 2018||Arsenal v AC Milan||W||3-1|
|05 Apr 2018||Arsenal v CSKA Moscow||W||4-1|
|12 Apr 2018||CSKA Moscow v Arsenal||D||2-2|
We have scored three or more five times in the competition which is quite encouraging especially as we saw in the last piece there has been a bit of a hiccup in the performances of Atlético Madrid of late. (Incidentally I have only just discovered that Atlético Madrid were known as Atlético Aviación from 1939 until 1947. If you didn’t know that, now you do).
The slight decline in their recent results might be down to the fact that this seems like the end of an era for Atlético as there is talk of Fernando Torres, Antoine Griezmann and Jan Oblak, all leaving – and this is something of an ageing side.
Gabi is 34, Juanfran and Diego Godin are both 33, and Filipe Luis 32, although he is injured. So although it looks like Atletico will be runners up this year this can’t be seen as the start of an even more intense challenge to the traditional top two, but more then end of an era.
In the last five years they have won the league once (in 2014) and come third four times. But they will have to build a new squad either this summer or soon after.
There is always a lot of talk about Atletico Madrid’s defence and it is true that this season they have had 11 consecutive clean sheets … at home. But away from home it is a different kettle of whatnot, as they have not had a zero in the goals against column in their last eight away games and as we saw yesterday, have lost three of the last four away.
However scoring against them isn’t that easy as they have the best defensive record in La Liga with just 18 goals conceded in 34 games.
So we need goals tonight, although there is a slight benefit in that their keeper Oblak has said he doesn’t know where he will play next season – the rumour being that PSG are paying 100m euros for him. There has been talk that we could buy him, but that would blow all of this summer’s budget in one player – and leave nothing for next January either.
Oh yes and there is talk of them using a five man defensive back line tonight, just to make the match more exciting.
- Arsenal v Atlético Madrid: how have the teams been doing?
- The recent arrivals under Wenger should not be cast aside by the new manager
- Supposing the truth is that under Arsene Wenger Arsenal has been over-performing