Thursday, 4 February 2016

Are Arsenal Treating All Opponents Equally

As Arsenal's title challenge continues to falter it's difficult to understand some of their results so far this season. It's been a topsy turvey season so far for almost every team and games are very hard to predict. It seems any team can beat any other team and the most consistent team are Leicester who are on top of the league.

A few weeks ago it looked like Arsenal were the team showing the consistency needed, but no wins in their last four league games and no goals in their last three have put a spanner in the works. All of those games were against teams below them in the league and that form is far from that expected of potential champions. Arsenal struggled against the mid table teams last season and it seems they're doing so again this season.

In four games against the rest of the top five Arsenal have taken 10 points with 11 goals scored and only four conceded. Three of those games may have been at home, but some of their best performances have come against the best teams in the league. Is it possible the team are more prepared for these so called tougher games and their attitude isn't quite right against some of the teams a little further down the table.

In their eight games against the next five teams in the table Arsenal have only taken 10 points with nine goals scored and 10 conceded. They have only taken three points from five games against West Ham, Liverpool and Southampton and they failed to score in four of those five games. When you look back at those games there are an awful lot of similarities in Arsenal's performances and attitude too.

Against Leicester, City and United they started strongly and deserved their victories, but they weren't at their best against Spurs. In those three wins we didn't have to wait until the second half for the team to realise they were in the game and they seemed to go out with the right tactics and attitude. Maybe it's just me but it seems like that just isn't the case far too often against the teams from a tier down in the league.

I don't think it's a conscious decision to put less into those games, but it certainly is happening in my opinion. It happened last season too and it's something which needs to be addressed quickly. It's not enough to go out there and play our game and expect the result to follow. 

There's still 14 league games to go this season and the league is still Arsenal's to be won. If they're going to do it they will have to play with more intensity from the start against every team and not just the top teams. If they're going to win the league they can't throw away any more points and they will have to do it the hard way at this stage.

They face trips to City, Spurs and United and they will probably have to get at least six points from those game. If they're still in it at that stage it could come down to the trip to City in the second last league game. I can't remember Arsenal ever winning the league at City and it would be good to add it to the list of stadiums we have already won it at such as White Hart Lane, Old Trafford and Anfield.

It would be a shame to see this season flitter away with only the FA Cup to play for. It is Arsenal's best chance to win the league since 2004 and they cannot let it slip by without a fight. There's 14 games to go with plenty of football to play and I'm certainly not giving up on them yet.

That's it for today.

See you tomorrow.


  1. There is the problem, right there in the title of this article. The problem is that Arsene Wenger is treating all the teams equally. He plays with the same formation and tactics against every side, making Arsenal predictable and easy to contend with. There is no improvisation or element of surprise. What works against Sunderland and Watford does not necessarily work against Chelsea and Man City. There should be more changes in formation against the side and players should be rotated more to keep other sides guessing, and not become one dimensional.

    1. I can see your point and there's a lot to it, but the players have to take responsibility too and approach each game with the same attitude. Of course the manager needs to impress that on them too and I'm not sure either is happening at the moment.