Date:Monday March 19 2007
The frustration of Arsenal fans is evident from all corners of the world, the exit from 3 cup competitions in 10 days too much to bear for some Gooners and the latest defeat at Goodison park with seconds left was the final straw.
The goal shy Gunners capitulating in their first season at Ashburton Grove, just what the Spuddies wanted.
Time to get worried?
Not just yet.
The current form of the Arsenal is extremely frustrating, indeed I'm not sure my vocal chords will hold out for much longer, but many a Gooner, now desperate for a run of consecutive victories, have now heard the criticism of the Spurs fans so often that they are starting to believe it.
I offer you 'injuries'.
A lame excuse some may say..........nah ah, FACT.
Stability is an important factor in football, the need to feel a bond on the pitch is just as great as technical ability. It's vital, at the highest level in football that each player knows what his brother is going to do without asking, or indeed looking. The double winners of 2002 and the invincibles of 2004 had, for most of the time, a constant starting line up, with only a few injuries.
We seem to be leaking goals for fun from set pieces of late, and Mr Stillman provided the statistic that if you have more than four set pieces around the Arsenal goal, history predicts you are likely to score.
Hardly surprising when your two best central defenders (Toure & Gallas) have played less than 10 times together in the centre of defence. Is it surprising when your right back has only started 14 Premiership games and your first choice left back 17?
Since the turn of the year the mighty Gunners have increasingly found it difficult finding the back of the net. Coincidence that our two top goal scorers Theirry Henry have been injured for almost the entire time? Perhaps. But when you consider that out of 29 league games we have played this season Henry has started 16 (and he has been injured for the majority of those) whilst the deadly Robin van Persie has only started 17 then it might be easy to see why we lack in goals.
The young players we have are undoubtedly going to go on and do great things, but the lack of Premiership experience & stability have cost us dear this season.
While it would be blinkered of me to suggest that once these players return that we will, without a doubt, go on to win the league with a full squad of fit players, the same could also be said about people who are genuinely worried about whether or not we can compete at the highest level when the best players (and lets face it, that's not opinion, that's fact) have spent the majority of the season on the sidelines.
Date:Monday March 19 2007
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