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Already Better Than Last Season

Already Better Than Last Season

Throughout last season and indeed, this season, we have seen that Arsenal are one of the best passing sides in Europe.

Last season we would spend 60 minutes passing the ball around our opponents 18 yard box, concede and spend the rest of the game banging balls up the park in the hope that Henry would suddenly learn how to head the ball. That was the story of the majority of games last season. It damaged our confidence and obviously, our points tally come May.

This season, however, we are passing the ball around like it`s our right to keep it but we have something that Vieira took with him when he left- penetration. I had a little to say about this last night but I'm going to say more today.

We all saw last season that Fabregas has great movement and great passing. Well this season he has applied that same class to his game but taken it further up the field. Every man and his dog knows that he has an eye for a pass. It`s usually his 60 yard, cross field passes that see praise heaped on the little star but in my opinion, it`s not those passes that are going to be vital to us this season. Its the little flicks, through balls and delicate chips on the edge of the area that put players like Henry, Hleb and Ljungberg through on goal that are going to be so vital this season.

Cesc's other great asset is his ability to make room for himself. Its something that goes largely unnoticed by the majority of people but I think that its what separates Cesc's from players like Carrick and Xavi, well that and bags of class. He doesn`t just move into space, it`s much more than that. He can send players in the wrong direction without using the skill players like Henry, Rooney or Ronaldinho would use. I dare say he resembles the legendary Bergkamp in that way.

The other player offering superb penetration at the moment is Eboue. With 3 assists in 3 games, he is playing the best football of his short career.
He is showing an ever increasing level of intelligence in his game. Last season he would bomb forward when ever the team was attacking. This season he knows that the time to go forward is when the ball is moving up the right, offering support to Hleb. I would go as far as to say that Eboue is one of the major reasons for Hleb looking so good this season.

That, combined with other players returning to fitness and form means that I have gone from the eternal pessimist to an optimist.

A month ago I thought that we were going to have most of the problems we had last season which led me to believe that we would be aiming for second spot at best, but now I'm sure that we can not only compete for the top spot in the Premiership, but also realistically compete for the Champions League and FA Cup.

To summarise, the future's bright, the guessed red and white.

Article submitted by simmy8_2000

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Sunday October 1 2006
Time: 2:39PM


fair reflection of what we all feel, the team is gelling well now and i just hope we can have a run of ten wins in a row or something like that, just want us to go top of the league, cuz i think once we're there, there's no way the players are going to let the chance slip away then..
01/10/2006 14:56:00
On the way back from every miserable away defeat last season, I always affirmed that it was a necessary learning curb and that we would reap the benefits.
Little Dutch
01/10/2006 15:02:00
what a cool picture that is!
The Fear
01/10/2006 15:07:00
Nice input into the article there JF!! Lol, however, you're's ace init!!!
01/10/2006 15:12:00
And it would see we have. The players have experienced great victories and suffered disasterous defeats and they have basicly decided that they are going to be winners.
01/10/2006 17:02:00
good reflection on our season so far. . .i dont agree bout hleb looking good because of eboue. . .i think that together they are making eachother look good afterall for both the last eboue crosses hleb passed or played him through and eboue showed his class. what a combination.
01/10/2006 20:15:00
I wasnt saying that Eboue is the only reason that Hleb looks good. I meant that Hleb has more freedom knowing that he has such a quality defender behind him. The fact that Eboue plays as a right winger as much as a right full back means that Hleb is able to go inside more.
01/10/2006 21:34:00
ofcourse we will imrpove from last year, 11 games lost ain't impossible, but also that the kids are 1 year older adn wiser ... i feel good tings
01/10/2006 21:50:00
We all knew that we would improve but I dont think many people knew that we would improve this much this early in the season.
01/10/2006 21:58:00
the 3 main summer signings were all top quality, though we dont see much of the beast...yet. perhaps AW has no place for him if cesc and gilberto are playing. I agree with the article that once we go top of the league (I hope we will!) we will be more comfortable. somehow most other teams get nervous leading but I think we are more comfortable sitting top of the pile.
01/10/2006 22:12:00
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