Arsenal have to break own record to win the league

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BACK IN THE GAME.

Well, back in the UK. Amazing how quickly you can feel out of the loop with football. I have so much respect for overseas fans. Timezones are bastards, kick off times are terrible, even trying to get involved in online banter needs scheduling. Big thumbs up to all those that manage it seamlessly!

So, I basically missed the whole weekend, but Arsenal had some good times.

Looked like we trounced West Ham, which is lovely. I said on the day of the post that I always have this view that West Ham cause us issues, when in fact, they don’t, Big Sam bends over to Arsenal like he bent over to United when he was the Bolton manager.

Still love any win over those lot. The match report sounded like it was a bit of an orgy of classic Arsenal football. Giroud’s goal looked spectacular. Some of the intricate passing looked fabulous. It all seems to be clicking at the right time.

At the start of the season, every week, I was bombarded with…

‘DO YOU FEEL STUPID ABOUT CESC AND SAYING HE SHOULDN’T HAVE BEEN PURCHASED’

Well, at the time I didn’t, then I did. But how stupid am I feeling right now? Not that stupid. I have my gripes with Ozil, but I thought he’d silence the Cesc love in if he hit form. Well, no one is asking about Cesc now. He’s having his usual second half of the season dip. Chelsea are starting to stutter. I mean, on the face of it, you’d have to say Santi and Ozil are preferable to Cesc. Quite amazing really.

… what about Chelsea. I mean, they tanked last year against Palace and Villa when it mattered. Could it be happening again?

So much hope floating about. As Alex pointed out yesterday, it’s the hope that kills you. You know you shouldn’t go near it, but it lures you in. Like that crazy girl at work… you know you should leave it… but you can’t… then you get your fingers burned. Then you spend the whole summer, sitting in your room listening to Placebo writing aggressive poetry about the folly of top four mediocrity.

… but, you know, it’s only 7 points?

No, I won’t. But hey, feels like the treble is on, even if only for another day.

But even there, I mean, is it so crazy to imagine we could score three without reply? They really are a turgid team. If we set up with pace and flair at core… well, you never know.

I’m not going to get carried away. As good as it could be, you have to temper it against how bad it could be. Spurs are pretty much out of the running after taking an embarrassing spanking from United last night… but Liverpool could ramp up the pressure further with a win at Swansea (we have the Scousers in 2 games time). All it takes is two slips and we’re right back in the mix.

It’s in our hands though. We have to play United, Liverpool and Chelsea. Win all our games and you never know. Well, you know we’d have broken our own record of 14 successive wins in 2002. So basically, we have to break our own win record to win the league. I mean, we could win it in other ways, but you feel that’s the best hope we’ve got.

The guys over at Sport Witness (brilliant site for cutting through the bullshit) have a story about Dybala (a player I love) and how maybe Arsenal have moved for him. The exciting Argentinian had this to say about us a few months ago.

“Whenever people speak well of me, I’m filled with pride. I will not deny that going to Arsenal and playing in the Premier League would be amazing. However, I am aware that my reality right now is Palermo.”

Now the Italian papers reckon we’ve gone in at ยฃ28m for us.

After some extensive Grimantubing, he can play across the front line, he’s explosive going forward either running onto balls or from a standing start accelerating past players with his power. I think he’s an absolute talent and it’d be interesting if we were moving for him as an upgrade on Theo… who looks like he’s come to the end of the road with Arsenal.

We’re really upgrading all over the place at the moment. Podolski, a very one dimensional player has been shifted on, Theo can barely get a game… you’d have to imagine Flamini will see the exit door this summer.

Smart shake ups. A sign we’re evolving. Could be a much closer affair next year.

Right, that’s all you have from me today! Have a good day.

372 Responses to “Arsenal have to break own record to win the league”

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  1. Arsene's Nurse

    Haha – Martin Keown says Bradford haven’t played well almost as if they had the hand-brake on!

  2. TitsMcGee

    Yeah, add to that City at home, Spurs at home as well among others but certainly United at home. There would have been another 7 points. 7 realistic points as well.”

    Then you realize what the gap is between us and the league leaders.

    Of course it is unrealistic to win every game but if we are saying that year after year after year that we “would have done better IF____________” then we would have won multiple titles. Unfortunately it’s always a case of what if when it comes to Wenger.

    The bar is set too low not to get over it. Too many dross clubs on the schedule to not essentially coast to 4th(almost) every year.

    The short memories of English fans plus the clubs in the prem that we tower over financially and it’s no wonder Wenger keeps his job.

    4th place just by doing the bare minimum; beating the dross on our schedule.

  3. Arsene's Nurse

    Looks like it’s Reading all the way for the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley for us. Reading 2-0 up and Bradford down to 10 men.

  4. london gunner

    I heard only a few track,of Kendrick Lamar they have been good to decent. I have yet to hear any club bangers/party anthems, but I am getting the vibe this is a refined sophisticated experimental project rather than a classic littered with off the hook hip hop bangers.

    So far It’s more of a kind of private listening album to me with nice Jazz themed elements.

    Nice stuff. Though will it be a case of great critical claim and poor commercial success?(relatively poor as it will sell well)

  5. salparadisenyc

    Rodgers able to adjust as game progresses, switched to a diamond type formation with Gerrard at the base since he came on they’ve been battering Swansea, fluke goal but could be worse. Swansea holding on now.

    Fabianski actually keeping them in it, funny game.

  6. Goondawg

    Rather Liverpool than Utd for top 4

    Starting to worry though, all this talk of top two is premature. We still have to play Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool

  7. kwik fit

    Really don’t like it when we are talked up as potential runners up. Top 4 is going to be a real battle. Pool were impressive in the second half.Looks like 3 from four.

  8. salparadisenyc

    Start of season thought it would go
    Chelsea, City, United, Arse.

    I’d put United in the 5th spot now, going to be a battle for 2/3/4 between Liverpool, City and the Arse.

    United have a brutal run in.

  9. Danny

    So only 4 points between 5th and 2nd, sort of makes tomorrow nights game seem even less important than Saturday’s Newcastle match.

  10. Dream10

    sal

    Rodgers in game adjustment gives Liverpool the three points yet again. This is the third season running where his team has improved markedly in the second half of a PL season. Think they have averaged at least 2.4 points per matches in the final 19 matches of the season over that span. Fantastic.

    He also has the guts to leave out either Sturridge or Gerrard depending on the opponent. He’ll play Man Utd on the wknd and I would not be surprised if he plays Sterling at the #9 and leaves Sturridge on the bench.

  11. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    My team for our 4-2 win

    Keeper

    Kos mert monreal

    Bel Gibbs

    Coq Rambo

    Ozil

    Sanchez Walcott

    Then if we get early goal we can keep it tight till half time

    Then press for remaining goals

    Girond still being punished for bad misses but bring him an Danny for last 30

  12. Cesc Appeal

    Ospina
    Bellerin, Mert, Kozz, Monreal
    Coquelin, Ramsey
    Welbeck, Cazorla, Sanchez
    Giroud

    Tomorrow night. Ozil and Walcott to come on depending on how the game is playing out.

    Most important thing for me is a good performance and a win, doubtful we will get through but we must not lose or put in a crap display. Need to keep the momentum going for Newcastle.

  13. tunnygriffboy

    Bollox Bollox Bollox

    Really thought lpool were going to drop points tonight. Big pressure to win in Newcastle now after Monaco game. This CL fight may come down to results between the 4 in contention. The lpool game in a fortnight is huge for us. Win on Saturday and it gives us an advantage over lpool and man u who play each other. If we somehow get a result tomorrow then we’ll have serious fixture congestion.

  14. Cesc Appeal

    RSPCA

    I wouldn’t try anything new tomorrow night, I don’t trust Gibbs either at all.

    Monaco aren’t that good, we were just diabolically bad at the Emirates, just send out our strongest team and see what happens I think.

    Most important thing is getting a good result, giving a good performance…that in no way excuses the shitshow a few weeks ago

  15. Samir

    We need to start the game tomorrow…JUST as we did against Bayern.

    Is the Ox out? We really need him. He destroyed Bayern.

  16. tunnygriffboy

    Cesc

    Yeah momemtum really important now. Have to have 3 points v Newcastle and if we can turn lpool over in the next game we get some breathing space.

    What if we do pull it off tomorrow ๐Ÿ™‚ :). Serious fixture congestion. Lucky Gabriel back. Ox and Debuchy won’t be long and of course Arteta ๐Ÿ™‚ :). Will need serious squad rotation.

  17. tunnygriffboy

    Man have to play lpool away, resurgent Villa at home, City at home and then Chelsea and Everton away in their next 5 games. They also have to play Pulis West Brom and Palace away as well as us in the run in.

    It’s nail biting time.

  18. bennydevito

    Bloody hell the comments earlier were tedious and seriously boring. Bamford, Le Prof, both of you have seriously brought the mood down. I’ve been sat back reading through from start to finish and good grief Penfold that’s 2 hours of my life I’d like to reclaim.

    Bamford, you’ve been going off at everyone, you need to calm it down, Le Prof, sitting back as a neutral I find your tone slightly offensive, it’s definitely coming across as stereotyping and saying that BAmford, as an American, basically doesn’t know what he’s talking about. You’ve even resorted to calling him Bumford instead of BAmford. That’s just getting abusive and disrespectful.

    I’m not wishing to get into an argument with either of you but seriously, enough already.

  19. Gambon

    This LeProf of a character is a cancer to Le Grove. All he does is take a swipe at Americans. Stupid cunt!

  20. tunnygriffboy

    Lpool fans are totally in sufferable. Hate them :mad

    If we beat Newcastle on Saturday and manu and lpool draw we’ll be three ahead of man u and 5 ahead of lpool ( in effect six because or gd is about 12 ahead of them )

  21. Redtruth

    Champions league is all about finances for club and fans alike.

    Fans would take a top 4 finish over a Champions league run if it affected a top 4 finish.

  22. Redtruth

    Bamford is an odious character and to eager to prove he is an Arsenal fan with all his forgettable football patter.

    I bet he does not know the history of the club.

  23. freddylekgunner

    Top four getting more tougher and interesting, even more entertaining than the title race. For some reason am confident we’ll make it again.

  24. Dark Hei

    I have done my Youtubing of the Dybala and friends.

    Honestly Sanchez is still superior to all of them.

    Dybala – So 1-footed he makes Rosicky looks like Carzola’s brother.

    Fekir – Tidy striker. Someone I would recommend if we are still in budget mode.

    Lacazette – Probably the most talented of them all. Predominantly left footed but his right works as well. Also the one who is the best fit for our past and move style.

  25. qna

    “I have done my Youtubing ……”

    Enough said.

    Keep up the fight Bamford… I am with you friend. While I dont agree with everything you say, I do agree with a lot of it and its not disloyalty to demand more from the club.

    Arsenal have been doing fantastic in the last fortnight and I am loving it. But my memory is not so short to think that anything has fundamentally changed. We havent proven ourselves against top opposition yet and so far 1 win in the league against City and 1 win in the FA Cup against United is far from enough to support all this AKB rhetoric. Until we get more of those wins we are still flat track bullies as the table here proves: http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/row-zed/liverpool-only-premier-league-side-5345797

    But things are looking better and silver linings have appeared. Wins against Chelsea, United and Liverpool in the remaining fixtures is a must if we are to clear the slate.

    To all the people talking about best team since December. It makes me cringe that we have such stupid thinking. The league is set up to play all teams home and away. It makes no sense to boast about being champions of any random subset of matches. Its the same story every year. We were top of da league early last season, but we had a back log of fixtures against the top teams which we completely failed with.

    It is valuable to be flat track bullies – and enjoyable as we saw on Saturday. It also gets you top 4 every year apparently. But until we dominate the teams in the top half consistently we wont win the league and we will be out of the UCL at the 1st or 2nd available exit.

  26. Wallace

    qna

    “To all the people talking about best team since December. It makes me cringe that we have such stupid thinking. The league is set up to play all teams home and away.”

    i wasn’t asking for a medal for the team when i highlighted the above. some were suggesting we’re not progressing at all. if we do accumulate most points from Dec to May i’d argue that’s a positive sign.

  27. qna

    Wallace. Its only my opinion. But your thinking and all those who agree with you is what keeps the club stuck in this 4th place limbo. Early last year we were on top of the league, but the tough fixtures were ahead and we lost them – got smashed actually. I have been also saying our FA cup fortunes last season didnt prove we are a big club again because we had a dream run fixtures – no united, city or chelsea – pool and spuds at home. This season if we win it then I feel we are much more deserving to claim the great trophy after beating United away.

    Over reacting to anything good takes the pressure off the club’s board to spend and we need to spend our way to be competitive again. This has been proven in my opinion with Ozil and Sanchez. Quality in, quality out. I agree that some over react to the bad as well.

  28. Wallace

    can’t settle on my team for tonight. i’d like

    Ospina
    Bellerin – Gabriel – Koscielny – Monreal
    Coquelin – Ramsey
    Walcott – Ozil – Sanchez
    Giroud

    but how can you leave out Cazorla? also think Giroud is excellent coming off the bench, so would be tempted to start Welbeck up top….only thing i’m sure about is Walcott has to start.

  29. qna

    Wallace. To add to the last post, I think that we all have a tendency to swing from extremes. Think we need to remember that the truth is usually somewhere in the middle.

    Giroud is shit. Giroud is world class.

    Ramsey is shit. Ramsey is the best CM in the world and every club in the world wants him. Ramsey is shit again.

    Walcott is awful. Walcott is our best forward and assist giver, must re-sign him at all costs. Walcott is shit, sell him.

    Wilshere is the shit. Barcalona will be forcing him out of our hands in a season or two. Wilshere is shit sell him.

    Gervinho is shit.. Gervinho is shitโ€ฆ Hahah that was a trick question.. anyone with a brain was pretty consistent about that one.

    Arsenal is going to win the league. Arsenal is shit. The performance against Dortmund/Monaco was a disgrace, this is the worst team in our history. We could win the league if we win our remaining games. This is our best team since the invincibles.

  30. qna

    Wallace I agree with you on Walcott tonight. We need 3 goals and he is an X-factor. I think Giroud has to start, because he has a huge point to prove. Back in his native France, back in form and with the most motivation out of any of out team tonight I think. Ozil and Sanchez have to play and so does Coq. That leaves Ramsey vs Cazorla. I think Cazorla has to start as I think he has been our player of the season. He has been to Arsenal what perhaps Ramsey was last season. I think now Cazorla is better than Ramsey defensively, creatively and as a goal scorer.

  31. Wallace

    qna

    last year we couldn’t beat the big sides. this season we’ve beaten City and Utd already, and have still to play Liverpool and Chelsea at home. a few Chelsea players look like they’re running on empty while City look like they’re getting old together. we’re the team – along with Liverpool – with the momentum, the fresh players and more options than everyone else…surely that’s progress?

  32. Zacharse

    A bit ironic that our backup GK from last season Viviano is currently the top keeper in Italy. I don’t think Chez would be able to pull that off somehow

  33. qna

    Wallace. I think that beating City and United were huge steps forward and I feared in both of those games. But again, one shouldnt over-react to that. How were those teams performing leading up to and during those games. Did we dominate them. Are we the dominant team now between the three of us. It was huge mentally for us to do it and probably get the job done – even get it done ugly was the order of the day. But keep your hat on. As we agree, both those teams are on the way down from where they were.

    Progress? Yes, I think so. Is it enough? No, I dont believe so. Why? Because IMO we could have won the league this year if we had brought in the right players. We needed another defender and a DM – we didn’t get either until January. I also felt that we needed a top striker and we bought Welbeck. Again this is my opinion, but he is not good enough, but if we went and offered enough money to Dortmund, I believe we could have got Reus or somebody of that quality.

    I am of the few in the wenger out camp that actually think he is a top manager. I just think that he is too stubborn to bring in the quality of players that is needed and if he wont do it, I want to bring in a manager that will.

  34. underrated Coq

    qna

    QUOTE: “your thinking and all those who agree with you is what keeps the club stuck in this 4th place limbo.”

    Yeah sure, its all the fault of some Arsenal fans. And showing outrage (at the way the club’s being handled) in the comments section on an internet blog will change the way the club’s being run.

    QUOTE: ” I have been also saying our FA cup fortunes last season didnt prove we are a big club again because we had a dream run fixtures – no united, city or chelsea – pool and spuds at home. ”

    I just do not understand this negative way of thinking.

    Why exactly are United, City and Chelsea yardsticks to determine whether or not we were deserving winners of the FA cup ? So only if we beat the aforementioned three clubs we can celebrate? otherwise we have to be moan and think the success was down to fortune alone ?

    You can only beat what’s in front of you, that’s what cup competitions are all about. United, City and Chelsea failed to do that and thus failed to progress. How exactly is that deemed as ‘fortunate’ for Arsenal ? And out of all the teams in the competition last year, Arsenal probably had the most testing ties– up until the semi finals atleast– including the likes of Spurs, Liverpool and Everton.

    Your logic could perhaps be applied to the PL where you do need to do well against the likes of Chelsea and City to win the trophy. But in the cup competitions, you can only beat what you are drawn against and if you manage that, you are a deserving winner.

  35. Wallace

    qna

    against the big sides i think winning your home games and losing the away games is acceptable. we’re not Barcelona. a psychological block has hopefully been lifted with the City and Utd victories, let’s hope it continues against Liverpool and Chelsea.

    two years ago there was a lot of daylight from ourselves to Chelsea, City and Utd. now i think only Chelsea are definitely ahead of us.

  36. qna

    Wallace: “against the big sides i think winning your home games and losing the away games is acceptable. ”

    Not sure if you clicked on the link I had posted above (from the mirror). Not saying that it is statistically valid, but it says that including results from the top 10 teams in the league. Arsenal are bottom. Arsenal still have huge improvements to make before its as simple as that.

    Underrated Dick, you want somebody to explain why United, City and Chelsea are yardsticks do you? You moron. Also, I didnt say we werent deserving of the FA cup, every team that wins it deserves it. I am saying that the FA cup didnt prove we are a big club again after nearly 10 years without any trophies. Just like Wigan didnt become a big club after winning it the year before.

  37. underrated Coq

    qna

    QUOTE: “Underrated Dick, you want somebody to explain why United, City and Chelsea are yardsticks do you? You moron.”

    Are you incapable of making your point without resorting to insulting and badmouthing me mister?

    And yes, I do want you to explain why exactly United, City and Chelsea are yardsticks when it comes to a knockout competition.

  38. qna

    “And yes, I do want you to explain why exactly United, City and Chelsea are yardsticks when it comes to a knockout competition.”

    Because we have been getting arse spanked by these teams for the previous 4 or 5 years – especially away. So it stands to reason that if we can’t beat them ourself, then we rely on lesser teams to knock them out for us.

  39. underrated Coq

    qna

    Perhaps you have a point. But then, that’s the equivalent of using ‘Ifs and Buts’.

    ‘ If we had faced Chelsea, United or City away in the FA Cup last season, we may not have won it’.

    Its unfair to use ‘Ifs and Buts’ in football. While you can use it as a negative you can also use it for a positive spin. Works both ways.

    ‘If Lehmann had not been sent-off, we might have won the CL’
    ‘If Eduardo had not suffered that horrific leg-break, we may have gone on to win the PL that season’
    ‘If Ramsey and our other star players had not been injured in the second half of last season, we might have won the League’.

    Silly, is it not ?

  40. Ustynobaba

    I always found it interesting when people complain and moan at everything the club does,i remember Branford,Birmingham and Blackburn all winning us when we were suppose to have won and those were in the cup games and we all were angry and upset during those times and then we eventually won a cup after so many years and then you hear poster say we won because the opponents were weak and so we shouldnt celebrate its pathetic,it just shows one thing here we like moaning no matter the situation,seem moaning is part of our system.

    Not sure any logical fan will beat his chest and say we are ready to take on the bigwigs in Europe but gradually we are creeping up the ladder at home whether Mancity and Manutd are on the down is none of our business,the team looks like they are playing well,whether Wenger will do the needful or not is another thing,but we as fans should atleast celebrate when needs be and stop moaning

  41. Loyika

    Actually Qna, that comment that United, City and Chelsea are a yardstick in a cup (knockout ) competition was quite stupid.

    You can only beat who is in front of you, from what you are asserting, the teams that beat United, Chelsea and City don’t deserve credit!?

  42. Frank Mc

    Those teams are a yardstick in the PL and we’ve not faired that well against them over the past few seasons.