This is a guest post by sportswriter Thomas Rooney
As we all know, Arsenal’s form at the Emirates Stadium hasn’t been brilliant of late. Three of the last six Premier League games there have been drawn, with the Gunners only managing to find the net on four occasions along the way.
So, what is this down to? Well, Manuel Almunia has admitted that some of the Arsenal players feel under more pressure playing at home than they do away at the moment.
After last weekend’s draw at home to Sunderland, some sections of the crowd booed, venting their frustration at being unable to break the deadlock.
It is a frustration that comes on the back of Arsene Wenger’s men not being able to manage more than one home goal in a league game since defeating Manchester United 2-1 back in November.
Speaking about the situation, Almunia has said how a number of the players ‘feel under more pressure’ at the moment because the team ‘is not winning’.
The goalkeeper went on to say that because the players know that the ‘fans deserve more than 0-0 scores’; this builds the pressure on the team when they try and break opposing teams down. He says that the attacking players are ‘spending a bit more time’ on getting their shot away.
As for how the team can rectify this, starting against Fulham tomorrow, Almunia believes that they need to find a ‘nice balance’ that results in Arsenal being ‘tight at the back but get the goals.’ That is the idea Manuel, yes!
The next game where Arsenal can search for this balance, as already mentioned, is against Fulham tomorrow. It is a must-win game if the Gunners are going to start closing the gap on Aston Villa in 4th place and another draw simply isn’t good enough.
Roy Hodgson’s side are hard to beat these days though and will fancy their chances of being the latest team to frustrate Arsenal at the Emirates.
Hopefully though, Arsenal will take their chances and cruise to a comfortable win. That would be exactly what the players, coaching staff and fans need right now. How about Andrei Arshavin grabbing his first goal as well? Perfect.
As far as team news is concerned, Abou Diaby will miss the game after injuring his calf against Roma on Tuesday. Elsewhere, there appears to be no fresh concerns for Wenger as his team look to stretch their unbeaten run to 14 games.