Arsenal pragmatism is upsetting fans

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Yesterday was a weird one. You can’t quite fathom what really happened. Arsenal fans are suffering something akin to Pavlov’s Dog (ring the bell – salivate regardless of whether food is brought).

We generally know what to expect of Arsenal against big teams. Drab performance, upsetting result. The first half yesterday felt like a drab performance.  It felt like the full force of a typical Arsenal hangover swinging into effect. But did it feel like that because we’re preconditioned to be disappointed?

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United vs Arsenal Preview

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“Sometimes I think: ‘What does he do all day?’

That’s Arsene talking about retirement and referencing Alex Ferguson. I hope that doesn’t mean he’s planning on extending his contract. But, it probably does. I’ll crack into that at another time.

Today, it’s all about the big one. Manchester United away. I think the story is about both teams and how far they have to go to challenge Chelsea next season. Wenger thinks we can challenge next year…

“We have that feeling in the squad,” “But I understand that it is still a question. We are far behind Chelsea. We are in a pack with Man City and Man United, but then you go into the uncertainty, how strong will they be next season? Nobody knows that.”

“But I understand that it is still a question. We are far behind Chelsea. We are in a pack with Man City and Man United, but then you go into the uncertainty, how strong will they be next season? Nobody knows that.”

I think what we know is that United will spend whatever they need to spend to get back to the top. Rumours that they’re going to buy Paul Pogba are strong. That would be a worrying addition.

Arsenal are ahead of United squad wise and I think we’re ahead of them as a team. We need to prove it though. Because next season is going to be far more competitive. I think we missed a good chance this year to catch the pack. What we can’t do is expect others to regress next year.

“Who doesn’t want a good spine? But to know each other, to play together at the back, in the middle, in the heart of the game, is important as well. To add to the extremes, it is sometimes less risky but to add to where the heart of the team is, playing together for a long time is very important.

“We just spoke about Chelsea. They have a stable defence for two or three years now and they conceded less goals than the other teams. You feel the strength of the teams when you play against them. It will be tight next season. Liverpool will respond as well.”

Comments like the above indicate we’re not going to go wild this summer. But with a raft of players heading for the exit door, it’s hard not to see how we can avoid bringing in a few names. I think we have a good base to work from. We can streamline some of the squad deadwood and churn that money back into key positions.

This summer has to be progression. I just hope we’ve learned our lessons of summers past.

The game today is important. 3 points pretty much clears the way for a top 3 finish… and it’ll mean we avoid the indignity of a qualifier.

As I said yesterday, I think this is going to be interesting tactically. We have players out of form and we’re not looking good for pace. I’m looking forward to seeing what the manager has to go with later!

Right, enjoy the game.

See you tomorrow!

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