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Committed To The Cause

As I sat watching Super Bowl XLVII (or 47 for most of us) I realised just what it meant to be playing in a major final in front of millions worldwide. I`m not an American Football fan in the slightest as I can`t really fathom the whole bravado that comes with the event.
The eccentric celebrations at catching the football all seem a bit over the top but hey it is what it is and despite all that, the Super Bowl is a hell of an event.

I couldn`t picture Jack Wilshere doing a chicken dance after a crunching tackle in the middle of the park. But the intensity and commitment to winning the Super Bowl is something special and something I think that Arsenal have been missing in the past few months.

Too many players have been shirking away from the challenge and were hiding behind others instead of standing up and being counted when it mattered most. This is what I think irks football fans (English ones) the most, the lack of commitment and desire to put everything into winning a match.

The games against Man City, Chelsea and to a certain extent Liverpool were bitterly disappointing and the only player to really show any balls was Wilshere.

Thomas Vermaelen is the club captain at present but we all know that Wilshere is the captain on the field along with Mikel Arteta. I was surprised that the Spaniard was overlooked for the job in favour of the Belgian although I never expected the armband to have such a detrimental effect of his performances this season.

The lack of fight from the team is something that we need to develop as we enter the business end of the season. Wilshere was first and only player to back-up Arteta following Michael Owen`s petulant attempt at a punch on the Spaniard on Saturday. He`s been at the club since he was a kid and the more players we can bring though the system will only be a good thing because they will have that fire and burning desire to do well for Arsenal.

The win against Stoke and the comeback draw against Liverpool showed encouraging signs ahead of fixtures against Sunderland and Blackburn in the FA Cup. Keeping a fully fit and fresh squad is imperative if we are to maintain a cup run with a push for the Champions League places.

Being able to rest Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski was a luxury against Stoke, even if they had to play the last 20 minutes to get us the result. The addition of Nacho Monreal looks like a good one and is something that should hopefully shore up the leaky defence in the run-in to the season which is vital.

January was a tough month with eight games in quick succession but we are only four points off Spurs and still have to go to their place.
You would like to think we can beat Blackburn at home in the cup and then who knows after that, if the draw is favourable, we could be looking at the semi-finals.
There is still so much up for grabs this season and I think success can be salvaged.

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

The Journalist

Writer: Gary Taylor Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday February 4 2013

Time: 4:05PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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I enjoyed reading that, Gary. There are times you feel this team can win against any of the teams currently above us, watching them tear at sides, when they have their backs against the wall. There is no explanation for the inability to keep the intensity up from the start of every game, the way the successful sides of 2000 to 2006 (yes; that run to the CL finals too) used to play. I don't recall too many games where Arsenal started on the back foot in those times, except for the FA cup final vs United. The senior players (do we have any, save Theo? okay, let's use age and experience then) have it all to do, seeing as Spurs is extending St. Totteringham's day for as long as they can (we all know it will come to pass), Everton is still holding on and Liverpool appear to be stepping things up.
Report Abuse
04/02/2013 16:31:00

*2005 FA cup final vs United*
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04/02/2013 16:34:00

Adding a left back cannot shore up a defence. There are bigger problems with the defence, a combination of psychological issues and a lack of support from the mid field, esp the wide players.
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04/02/2013 20:11:00

It would be nice to think there is something to be left for us this season but although we should get past Blackburn, I think we'll again flounder against the first city/utd/chavs we face and I can't really see any way past Bayern given the way both teams have fared this season. It's not really down to a lack of fight either, it's a deep rooted insecure lack of self belief that we can compete with teams at the highest level. It's not a case of dooming or slagging wenger or being down on Arsenal or being negative. I'm just being brutally honest, objective and realistic in that I just cannot see us having the mentality to win a competition at present.
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04/02/2013 20:40:00

I mean I'm more than happy to accept us winning something is a possibility, football, funny old game, a lot can change in the space of a season etc etc. It's just given what i've witnessed from Arsenal this season and our unfortunate inclination to keep cashing in on talismans on an annual basis it's highly, highly, highly unlikely that success is going to be the outcome.
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04/02/2013 20:48:00

It's always possible to win a cup. It isn't totally form reliant and depends on the draw and what happens on the day. Play a 'big' team at the right time with one or two critical injuries or catch them between a couple of key games and you never know what happens. Have a great 20 minutes in a game when things go your way and domestic cups at least can be won. But the reality is that the team isn't in great shape this season and though it's showing some signs of getting there we're probably a couple more seasons away from being truly competitive. But the club is in great shape so enjoy the ride for this and the next couple of seasons, get what we can out of it, and maybe then the game will start to go our way a little more.
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04/02/2013 22:25:00

I agree with niko - the expectation from this season will be a 4th place finish. A cup win will be a bonus, but it looks very unlikely. The solution is not in the transfer market, although that will partially help. This team does not believe that they can win a few games, let alone a trophy of any sort.
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05/02/2013 09:05:00

I have been more upbeat since Stoke (our best 90 minute performance for a long while) and I am confident we can get fourth (maybe third if Chelsea fall apart) plus the FA Cup. Winning CL would require something miraculous. I see a lot of positives in the midfield where we are at almost full strength. Jack's recent performances have been strong and show why Cesc anointed him as his successor. Jack's form has freed Cazorla from being the brains and the drive, a role he was struggling with on the back of many miles run. With Arteta, Diaby, Rambo and Coq we have real options at CM/DM to change our style and TR7 can add some spark in many roles. Our erratic form in games through Jan has been frustrating but our best (WH, Chelsea) was certainly better than anything we produced up to Christmas.
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06/02/2013 04:28:00

Never mind the CL needing something miraculous, the FA Cup would need something equally as such. Based on our appalling performances against the teams above us recently.
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06/02/2013 14:03:00

I feel more confident about a cup win than the 4th place these days; unless we can overhaul the 2 teams above us by mid March. Then it could be a "double" of cup and 3rd/4th place!
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06/02/2013 14:38:00


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