Overall, Not A Bad Weekend For Arsenal

As we enter Monday, we sit in 3rd position in the Premier League, with Chelsea 1 point behind us and Tottenham 2 points behind, although they both have a game in hand. And they still have to play each other, so Champions League football next season is firmly in our hands.

I think the best way to put Saturday’s performance was that “we battled” for the 3 points, and at this stage of the season that is the most important thing. Although Fulham went down to 10 men early on, we found it difficult to break them down and it took a set-piece for us to open the scoring. Even then, we found it hard to add to that slender lead and Fulhm, to their credit, probably deserved something from the game.

But we left with 3 points, a clean sheet and put pressure on Chelsea and Tottenham going into their Sunday games.

Unfortunately, Manchester City showed why they are well adrift of Manchester United in the race for the title in a 90 minutes that summed up their season. They were good for the majority of the first half, playing some really excellent attacking football (most of it through Carlos Tevez) but in the second half it was clear they weren’t bothered and allowed Tottenham back into the game. The frustrating thing was that if they were more clinical they could have been out of sight in the first half an hour but the comeback probably means Tottenham now have the “mental strength” and “confidence” to kick on for the remainder of the season.

And at Anfield, Luis Suarez gave us a life line. Wanting to live up to his reputation as a biter and hand ball expert, we duly did both, attacking Ivanovic and conceding a needless penalty. However, despite being possibly the most annoying footballer since Ruud van Nistelrooy, he still managed to score a dramatic goal with the last touch of the game. Whatever you say about him, this guy is never boring.

So that leaves us with Champions League qualification in our own hands.

And even though we would have loved for Tottenham to have lost yesterday, the flipside of their win is that Manchester United, barring a miracle from Villa, will win the Premier League title tonight. Going into our game with them on Sunday, that isn’t the worst thing. Of course, they are a professional club but you would think that they won’t be playing with the same intensity as they would be if they needed to win at The Emirates to seal the title.

Hopefully, they’ll still be celebrating and have their eye off the ball, so to speak.

Just a final word on Arsenal – Giroud got sent off for a needless challenge in the final minutes, meaning he will miss some vital games for us going into the run in. For me however, that isn’t a bad thing. With Giroud as the main attacker he has been isolated and found it hard to score goals. Playing a game or two with him out of the side, and trying find other players to fill that void will help us in my opinion. We over-rely on him sometimes and forget to try and find other solutions. If we had Giroud available for United, I feel it would be playing into their hands.

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5 thoughts on “Overall, Not A Bad Weekend For Arsenal

  1. Hi, Spurs fan here.
    The title race, effectively, ended a few months back but this race for 3rd and 4th is the Premiership highlight of the season. You’re absolutely right, of course, a CL place is firmly in Arsenal’s hands. But then that is also the case for Spurs and Chelsea. It’s that Chelsea v Spurs game that is the ace in the hole for Arsenal. I suppose a draw would suit you best but at least one of your two rivals will suffer from this game.
    I’m sure you’ve played the ‘prediction game’ for the remaining matches and, certainly, you have 4 winnable games. ManU may have taken their eye off the ball after clinching the title and you do have home advantage.
    Chelsea, on the other hand, have to face ManU at OT and the reds will not be in a generous mood in front of their own fans. Chelsea also have a fixture pile up with those two pesky games against Basle punctuating the Premiership run in which finishes with a tricky one at home to Everton.
    Our five games are also winnable except for the away trip to the Bridge but then this comes just 3 days after Chelsea take on Basle so injuries and fatigue may play a part.

    All in all it’s going to be a nail biting end which I, personally, hope sees both of us in the CL at the expense of the odious outfit from West London.

  2. Good to have a friendly Spurs fan come in peace!

    It is going to be a nail-biting end to the season, and I don’t think Arsenal are going to find it straight forward as most people think. There will be twists and turns before the season ends and I don’t think we’ll find it easy. I think we’ll just about scrape a Top 4 position.

    Chelsea are a strange team – they have one of the best squads in the league but it’s clear Rafa would prefer a Europa League trophy to add to his CV instead of a Top 4 place as he’s leaving at the end of the season anyway. But saying that, I still think they are capable or racking up a good amount of points before the season’s over.

    Tottenham are the same. They will be buoyed by the win yesterday and if you had to ask me who had the weakest squad out of the 3 teams I would say it is us. We are in a fantastic run of form at the moment but the win over Fulham wasn’t convincing and one bad game can derail our season.

  3. At least we have qualifcation in our own hands now. After the poor display and result against Everton, we are lucky to be where we are now. That game was a massive chance to put pressure on Chelsea and Spurs.

    Hopefully we can see out the remaining 4 games!

  4. Not a bad week? You’re kidding right?

    We were awful against Everton and Fulham, and lucky in both games to get anything. We may have been on a “fantastic” run of points-gathering, but not on form. It saddens me to read articles like this about my team. A few years ago, we would’ve been looking forward to a potential title-decider between us and Manure. Instead, they will already have won the title, and we’re hoping they may forget to turn up meaning we can scrape another 3 points and hang on to a CL place.

    A good week for us would constitute a good performance as well as 3 points.

  5. I agree with Henry. We should be gearing up for title deciders. Dont bet the farm on Man U not playing well against us. Fergie has no worries over the Spuds mounting a title challenge in the near future, but a chance to dent the champions league hopes (and ability to recruit) of one of his oldest rivals wont be passed up. Now the Spuds have nothing to worry about but the league they’re unlikely to drop points due to fatigue from Thursdsy games so Man U is a MUST WIN and it wont be easy. Rafa has other priorities other than 4th and by the time the Chavski/Spuds game rolls around they won’t be any where near 100%. And that’s assuming they don’t pick up the dreaded Europa injuries.
    A good weekend would have been City winning and a good performance from us. City arent as easy to beat as this article suggests. The Spuds have beaten both manc teams this season so don’t assume they won’t beat Chelsea.


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