After Manchester United’s draw with Middlesbrough yesterday, you just wonder if Arsenal are cursed. Because if we won against Liverpool on Saturday (which was possible with Hleb’s sitter at the end) we would only be 4 points behind the leaders instead of 6.
We just get the wrong results at the wrong times.
The problem is Arsene is playing a balancing game with his thin squad, but at the moment is getting it wrong.
Having to prioritise things because of squad limitations is tough and just look how the season has panned out.
Portsmouth, Cardiff, Barnsley and West Brom were the semi-finalists in this years FA Cup. If we concentrated on that and progressed that would have been one of the best opportunities of winning that competition in years.
United dropped vital points at the weekend, and we only drew against Liverpool because our focus was on the Champions League fixture. And only a couple of weeks before that we lost a precious lead at Stamford Bridge. If we held on and beat Chelsea, and managed to overcome Liverpool we - despite the shocking form since the Birmingham game - would be amazingly only one point behind Manchester United.
And we still had to visit them at Old Trafford as well.
All we needed was a couple of experienced players to get us through those tough times in the season. We are not a million miles away from being where we should be.
But we’ve been unlucky as well.
Van Persie, Rosicky and Eduardo really could of helped us push on over the last few weeks if they weren’t out injured. Sagna is also missing for a few weeks, and you can’t help think that we could of defended better against Chelsea and twice against Liverpool with his solid influence on the game.
I mean, how would United be without Ronaldo, Rooney and Tevez for big parts of the season? And Chelsea without Drogba, Cole and Terry?
So will Arsene buy in the summer?
I don’t think so, unless he gets rid of some players first. His arguement will be that with a fully-fit squad he has enough talent at his disposal. I would tend to agree with that if Rosicky and Van Persie were fit but the fact is Eduardo is out for much longer.
I woudn’t be surprised if Eboue was off-loaded this summer, but in all honesty who would buy him? The only place I could see him moving too would be Pompy with their influx of ex-Arsenal players and a strong African contingent.
The two areas in particular we are weak though is in the full-back positions. If Clichy or Sagna are out for any length of time we will struggle big time. Traore and Hoyte are too inexperienced, although I suppose they need games to get that.