It was the same old story at Ashburton Grove yesterday, Arsenal showed sparks of their potential against Fulham, but ended with another 0-0 draw and just a point to show. I am seriously worried about qualifying for the Champions League now. With 11 games left we are 5th, Villa are 5 points ahead, with a game in hand tomorrow, that could be an 8 point gap. Not what you want this late in the day.
The team don’t seem to be able to grab the late goals we have depended on to pull us through hard games in the past. In the last few minutes this week against Fulham, and last against Sunderland we just allowed them to play the ball around, when we need to attack.
This is the worst season under Arsene Wenger, and he said on MOTD that he is concerned about Champions League qualification, he should be. We are unlucky that we have a lot of crucial players injured, but our poor form at the back end of 2008 is now catching up with us.
It seems that this team can either create goals but concede too many, or keep a tight defence but score none. The club has been through a very, very turbulent season, a glance at the line-ups this year hints at that, and Wenger is struggling to keep the boat from capsizing. I think he has managed to get us into calmer waters, the defence is not leaking goals, but the attack has dried up.
I’m just hoping we can really start our season now. I know it’s a confidence thing, if we can get some goals, get Arshavin to gel, plus Ade, Fabregas, Eddy, Rosicky and Theo all back, then we can push on and start taking points, but 4th place is still a huge challenge. I don’t want to be unrealistic, so lets just say that it can happen in if the team gels, and we start scoring goals.
I respect Wenger’s policies and I think he is having to rebuild this season after shoddy foundations (i.e. Gallas as captain) were exposed this year. We will improve and get better, but I hope that Wenger has learned serious lessons from what has gone wrong this season.