Sunday, 13 May 2018

Arsenal’s Trip To Huddersfield Previewed

The day has come when Arsene Wenger bids his final farewell and its got more than just a tinge of sadness about it. In almost 22 years at the club he took us to some highs which we never really dreamed of and introduced us to football we could only dream of. Those in charge at the club have decided a new man is required to move us forward and make us truly competitive again. I don’t think Arsene himself is too happy about the decision and I have no doubt he still believes he is the right man for the job.

He’s been given a fantastic send off by our fans and opposing fans alike as they put rivalries aside to pay tribute to a manager who had a huge impact on the Premier League and English football. With nothing on the line for either team today it looks like Huddersfield will give him the send off he deserves after the fantastic send off he got in his final home game against Burnley last week. I just hope the team he selects today can be a part of that send off and somehow or other put an end to a disastrous run of league results away from home.

We have finished the season with only three points less than City at home, but a defeat today and a win for them would see us finish 39 points behind them. I know nobody else has come close to them either, but they could end up with 36 points more than us away from home. There are only three teams in the whole league who have taken less points on the road and it’s that statistic which has got the manager the bullet more than any other one. 

If we had got 10 to 15 more points away from home I don’t think the decision about his departure would have been taken out of his hands. The number of games away from home where we have scored first and lost is amazing and off the top of my head I can remember Watford, Swansea, Newcastle, Brighton and Bournemouth all coming from behind to beat us. We are currently on a run of seven away defeats in a row and that is enough to get any manager the bullet.

The players have one final chance to put an end to that run today and they need to do it for him. Only Burnley have scored less goals at home than Huddersfield and only Swansea have scored less goals overall and surely they are a team we should and can beat. Scoring is as alien to Huddersfield as defending to us though and we have the ability to make any team look good at home to us.

We have lost away from home to two of the relegated teams and if we lose today we will have lost to all three of the promoted teams too. Our only away wins came at Everton, Burnley and Palace and we haven’t taken a single away point in this calendar year. That’s the worst away record in all of the top five leagues in Europe and all four English leagues this year and one which we have to put an end to today for Arsene’s sake if for nobody else’s.

I imagine he will play the strongest team he can as there are no more games to worry about resting players for with the season over today. We should see Hector Bellerin, Nacho Monreal, Shkodran Mustafi, Jack Wilshere and Alexandre Lacazette return to the team which lost at Leicester on Wednesday night. I thought we played very well in that game considering we had to play for 75 minutes with 10 men, but again our inability to defend cost us the game.

We don’t have the ability to control a game away from home and we are far too open and too easy to attack. I can’t see that changing today and the chances are the individual mistakes which have haunted us this season will continue, but we just have to be strong enough in attack to counter our dodgy defence. With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the team we have a player who can and will score bundles of goals for us so we have to make those chances for him and others today.

I have no doubt tears will be shed by many fans today and we’ll never see the likes of Arsene Wenger again at our club. We have to move forward though and it had reached a stage where the belief in him to be the man who could do that had gone for me and many other fans. Let’s just hope he gets the send off he deserves for all he has done for our club both on and off the field today.

That’s it for today.

See you tomorrow.

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