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Arsenal Survives For Now

arsenalramseyceleb20100103 350x197 Arsenal Survives For Now

A handful of first team regulars were uncharacteristically slotted into the FA Cup team by Arsene Wenger as Arsenal survived West Ham’s efforts to upset them. The Hammers looked to be in control and ready to apply yet another blow to Arsenal’s season after coming back from two goals down to draw earlier in the season. Diamanti, credit to him, was superb in attack. Behrami was another outstanding performer, constantly chasing down balls and launching tackles that would’ve made Patrick Viera proud. Robert Green was in fine form, at one point of time making an incredible save which prompted the commentators to ponder out loud if Arsene would consider buying him.

The match signalled Wenger’s intent to capture at least one trophy this season. The introduction of Diaby and Nasri was a smart move. Diaby provided the cover for Ramsey to get forward more, and Arsenal’s passing became noticeably slicker with Nasri’s influence. It may just be one of the more important victories for Arsenal this season. Coming from behind to win a game at Upton Park is no mean feat, especially with Gianfranco’s Hammer’s so intent on upsetting any team that approaches.

One big worry is the lack of manpower. Alex Song is already on the way to the African Nations Cup, which means changes have to be made for Wednesday’s trip to Bolton. Diaby would probably have to step into the holding role. Fabregas, Denilson, Eboue and Walcott are all unavailable, which means Arsene could go with Ramsey playing in Cesc’s role and Rosicky to complete the midfield threesome, while sticking with Eduardo, Arshavin and Nasri up front. Alternatively, Arsene could choose to unleash Wilshere, though I’m not sure how he’d fare against a team like Bolton.

Bolton, fresh off their victory against Lincoln City will be looking to frustrate. It is a torrid time for Gooners, one full of anxiety and uncertainty. It’s supposed to be a time where while Chelsea and Manchester United engage each other in a race for the title,  Arsenal quietly go about their business and sneak up behind them. Now, with their top striker out, their holding midfielder away and a handful of regulars injured, it remains to be seen if Arsenal have what it takes to rough this period out.

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18 Responses to Arsenal Survives For Now

  1. FE Gooner says:

    Are you watching the same game as i did? WH controlling the game? First half it was 50-50, Arsenal lacking the forceful penetration and finishing for the half chances. WH played physically and was likely to tire out in the later stages.

  2. Alvin Phoon says:

    Yes I believe i was. Read carefully though, I don’t think i mentioned anything about West Ham controlling the game. When I say “in control”, I was talking about how West Ham were less than 15 minutes away from causing an upset. Thus the “ready to apply….” statement.

  3. robert says:

    …man if ever they needed Song- and any other big body- it’d be against Bolton. Titles and trophies will be tough to manage if they don’t find a Crouch or Hesky-esque striker who’s big, and good in the air and with his back to goal. Somebody’s got to be able to collect it inside the final third in those games when their “beautiful game” isn’t firing on all cylinders, breaking down defenses with passing.

  4. Freddy Koigi says:

    I can see you still haven’t grown tired of underestimating Arsenal. Who do you want them to buy for you to agree that they are a good team?, They have survived the injuries so far haven’t they?. They lack their striker as you say but have score 12-2 in their last four games haven’t they?, It hurts that Arsene Wenger does so well with such a small budget doesn’t it?, You don’t want him to buy to strengthen Arsenal, you want him to buy so that in future you can say- “we always told him so”

    Only one team can win the title and if Arsenal doesn’t win it, it’s not because they are weak or because Wenger didn’t spend, it’s because it one chance for one team in 20. But qualitywise, they already won it long time ago.

    Bolton, Everton and everyone in front of Arsenal have a right to win and they play 11 men against Arsenal’s 11 but if Arsenal loose, you will start to scream “Weakness!!”, you are welcome.

  5. Alvin Phoon says:

    Your anger may be misplaced, Freddy. Every fan wants the best for his team. But you must excuse my skepticism, or at least understand where it’s coming from.

    robert is absolutely right. There has to be a contingency plan. Arsenal’s passing game doesn’t always work, and if it doesn’t, they need a striker that can score the ugly goals. They need a physical presence that would give them an advantage in the event that they do find themselves in a sticky situation. And i’m afraid I don’t see Arsenal doing well against a physical side.

    Yes, Arsene is a genius. I have absolutely no doubt that he is an incredible man and manager. When we announced our profits, i remember mocking one of my mates(liverpool fan). And I am incredibly proud of how much he has accomplished with so little.

    This is the nature of the game, isn’t it? To cry when your team is losing, and celebrate when they’re not. That is not to say that a team is only worth supporting when they’re winning. In fact, by questioning a manager’s decisions, do we not learn more about how he operates, and how he feels when dealing with certain situations? Personally, I enjoy questioning Arsene because I am eager to see how he replies. I get excited when he gets uncharacteristic and makes random decisions(very very rare) because it means he probably had an epiphany and we could be watching something very very special.

    However, blind support isn’t really support, Freddy. Trophies are still how successful teams are being measured, and so far, we don’t seem to be doing too well. Which is exactly why i “scream weakness”. Because it is right there.

  6. Gareth says:

    “This is the nature of the game, isn’t it? To cry when your team is losing, and celebrate when they’re not.”

    So why not just celebrate rather than cry about a new signing. Didn’t we win yesterday?

    Also, Denilson should be back so a midfield 3 of Diaby Denilson and Ramsey should be more than combative enough for a Bolton side.

  7. Brett says:

    Something that bothers me about this is that Arsenal winning against a Premier League team seams to get a much more negative reaction about the state of the team than Manchester United losing to a League 1 side. Sure, Leeds is a big name but it’s still two division down.

    Arsenal won while playing nowhere near their best and with a mostly reserve team. It’s often said that the sign of a champion tean is one that can find a way to win while not playing their best.

  8. Simon Burke says:

    Oh my God, this is a poor article. It flip flops all over the place.
    West Ham in control…. you define control as leading with 15 mins to go??? Hardly – they were on the backfoot from the 50th minute on and Arsenal over the 90 deserved a win.

    I’d pick apart the rest of your stuff but there’s no point. Arsenal have strength in depth – for years we have been accused of not having it but we have had a lot of the fringe players step up in recent weeks. The last 7 games against Premiership opposition have seen us win 6 and draw 1 (this includes games against Liverpool and Villa). Eventually you can speculate that Arsenal will lose eveyr healthy player and then will lose games – yes. You can aim that hypothesis at any team however. Where is the article to say Arsenal have lost VP, intermittently been without Fabregas, lost Bendther, lost Cliche and Gibbs, lost Rosicky for spells and yet still are in the title race, in Europe and in the FA Cup. We have depth.

    You say we are having a torrid time???? Did you not see what happened to United yesterday? Did you see Villa last Tuesday? Have you looked at Liverpool’s league position? If we are suffering and hating life so much, I’d hate to be a supporter of one of those clubs. We are on a fine run. It wont last forever and you’ll get to write an article writing us off the second we lose one game but until then I’d suggest that I’d rather be an Arsenal fan at present than many of the rest.

    And Robert Green – did you not see him basically drop it in his goal a couple of weeks ago – he has had a poor season with a few clangers. If Arsene was to buy I’d hope he’d by an in form keeper – not one who made a half decent save from Diaby and a save from Ramsey at the end to keep the score down.

    Have to agree with Brett above me – i dont really see any articles here slaughtering United for losing yet again 1-0 at home and in this case to a team they hate TWO divisions below. Yet there is an article here belittling Arsenal and claiming we are all suffering. Last year we suffered, this article is a year too late.

  9. iib says:

    This has to be the most thoroughly disconnected from reality article that this blog has ever published. At what point in the game were West Ham “in control”? Is this really “a time of anxiety and uncertainty” for Arsenal? They certainly don’t look like it – if the victory yesterday demonstrated anything, it’s the exact opposite. This is a time when they are showing strength, confidence and conviction in the face of adversity, whether it comes in the form of tough fixtures or (expected and unexpected) missing players. Compared to past campaigns, the way this squad has reacted to everything that this harsh season has thrown their way so far has been nothing short of impressive. Sorry, mate, but I happen to see how things stand quite differently…

  10. Erich says:

    Though I do not agree with the entire article, I do get concerned on occasion about the depth of the squad. In particular, the lack of a big striker upfront with RVP out of action. In watching the fixtures against Chelsea and Burnley, it was apparent how small Arsenal was upfront. I’m concerned that Bolton my expose this aspect as well.

    I also believe that Song’s departure will be a huge loss. From my perspective, he has been an unsong hero this year as he has done an incredible job in the holding midfield position.

    With all that said, at the end of the day I trust Arsene and believe that we will be fine with the best manager in the EPL guiding the team.

  11. jleau says:

    Wow, that’s a real “glass is half” empty take on the game. I see the performance yesterday as possibly a turning point in the Gunners season. Arsenal were losing on the road without their most important playes. Nasri and Diaby came on and totally changed the game.

    These two players (especially Diaby) could not have been expected to have that impact 2 months ago. Once they were on the pitch Ramsey and Song stepped up their game and the 4 kids got it done. Arsenal didn’t need Cesc or Arshavin yesterday, that’s a big change.

    Granted Song will be missed but having Diaby in this kind of form certainly makes his absence easier. Arsenal are small and they look awkward at times but the goals are still coming. Bendtner will be back soon.

    My one fear is lack of cover in central defense. A player that could cover DM and CB would be nice.

  12. RVP Fan says:

    I have been following pretty much every Arsenal game this season and I have to say I fully agree with Erich. The player for Arsenal this season so far has been Alex Song. The guy is a machine, physical, powerful, gritty, tackles beautifully, holds the ball for as long as he wants, is a big presence in the midfield, running around chasing everywhere in the field, and the most improvement he has shown is in his passing ability, specially the long balls, accuracy is phenomenal and in the last few games I have seen this guy go deep and score or make chances for scoring as well. What a phenomenal improvement for someone who was an unknown quantity just last season. Arsenal will miss this guy’s presence.

  13. I don’t get when people claim ‘Arsenal need to sign a top goal scorer’, they’re the leagues current top goal scorers, getting goals from all over the pitch. Yeah its a blow when you lose Van Persie but its also a blow if Man Utd lose Rooney or Chelsea lose Drogba – injuries just happen.

    Wenger all these years has been saying ‘no these kids will come good’ and i believe him, hes a great manager and he knows so much about the game, any arsenal fan that thinks he should put his hands in his pockets should think again – he’s got exactly the right idea and with so many great young players they’re in such a great position for the future.

    Also Rob Green had a pretty bad game against Arsenal, probably should of saved the 2nd goal (even though Upson should never of been beaten in the air) and so many times he looked nervous, I remember Faubert trying to sheppard the ball back at one point and had to boot it out, most keepers would be out for that in a flash.

  14. Alvin Phoon says:

    Actually, that’s the best way to put it jleau. “Glass half empty”. While many of you may not agree with what I see, I believe I have watched Arsenal long enough to detect when something is about to go wrong. And in my head, alarm bells are sounding.

    Believe me, I want just as much as you for them to carry on winning like they did against West Ham. I just don’t think it’s wise to put too much hope into it. Make no mistake though, I genuinely hope i’m proven wrong.

  15. Tyson says:

    It is only the FA Cup Arsenal may be closing in on Manchester United and Chelsea for the Premier League.

    If your on the tail of the Premier Leauge leaders the FA Cup doesn’t hold a lot of significance anymore. I don’t think Arsenal will win the FA Cup because if their Premier League form stays up to the point they feel they can win the Premier League they won’t jeoparise their chances for winning the Premier League.

    The FA Cup is sort of the “We didn’t win anything meaningful so let try and win this” cup. The managers never put the big guns in and they never play very well either.

    I thought given the circumstances Arsenal did excpetionally well.

  16. Achieve says:

    ” One of the more important victories for Arsenal this season ” … One of THE MOST important (Comparative) …..lol

  17. FREDDY KOIGI says:

    Come on Alvin, Nobody is saying that Arsenal is the strongest team in the world, we are just suggesting that we enjoy the good run we are having and support the current team that has brought us this far.

    Clearly

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