Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Top Four battle + Ian Wright's OTT comments

Arsenal sit 15th in the table. We are basically like Liverpool were this time last year. We don't look good at the moment for a top four finish whereas our rivals are in better form and with a significantly higher amount of points than us. But it ain't all over yet...

First of all, there are 31 games left this season. Second of all, Arsenal have key players out injured at the moment that will improve the team when they are back. And thirdly, EVERYONE has at least 1 bad spell a season. And to add to that, I don't think Liverpool or Tottenham have a better team than us. That is why I think Ian Wright's comments are a tad over the top about being 'delighted' if Arsenal finish in the top 6 or 7 this season.

I'd be gutted with that, so it's either a lack of ambition on his part, or just sheer panic about the club that he loves. Probably the latter. And let's bare in mind, he's not exactly the brightest tool in the box is he? First of all, who else apart from Liverpool and Tottenham is going to finish above us? And secondly, Arsenal will improve. We have had hard fixtures so far and I expect us to pick up a lot of points over the next couple of months, what with our fixtures being Sunderland (H) Stoke (H) Chelsea (A) Fulham (H) Norwich (A) West Brom (H) Wigan (A) and Everton (H). Even if we lose at Chelsea (which I have a sneaky feeling we'll win- you heard it hear first) then we're bound to pick up points from those other games, even the away games are quite nice ones compared to most.

If we were to win at least most of those games, it would be a big confidence boost going into the Christmas period. Players would be playing with more happiness, more confidence and hence more quality.

Plus, if you look at Tottenham and Liverpool do you really see a better team? Or a better squad? I don't think so, both are bound to lose a fair amount of games and both have problems as we do. Yes, that's right, other clubs have problems and weaknesses, it's not just the ever- highlighted Arsenal.

Tottenham will have problems up front, Adebayor is so inconsistent and always fades after a short burst of form when joining a new club. They are also unconvincing away and their players have short spells of form and then drift away for a while, e.g. Bale, Defoe and van der Vaart.

Liverpool have defensive issues, with players like Agger, Skrtel and maybe even Coates not being top four material. They are also over- reliant on Suarez and Carragher and if either of them get injured they will be in serious trouble. They also have the problem of being bad travellers.

Don't get me wrong, Arsenal have problems too, but we have a lot of top quality players, probably more so than the other two in Szczesny, Sagna, Wilshere, van Persie, Song, Vermaelen and Walcott. Plus 'good' players like Gibbs, Mertesacker, who has huge potential and will be a great partner for Vermaelen once he's fit, Arteta, Gervinho, Ramsey and more.

I do however think all three clubs are very, very tight and it will be a close battle with Everton maybe threatening too, and it will be extremely interesting from a neutral point of view. But Arsenal need to get firing very soon to make this happen.

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