Arsenal Depot

A depository for musings on Arsenal FC

Enjoying Arsenal’s Good Run And Seeking Common Sense

After an important  result at Goodison Park on Wednesday, it’s time to look forward to Aston Villa tomorrow.

Although if you read some Arsenal fan blogs, you might be forgiven for questioning if we’d beaten Everton at all. While a few are rightly urging caution in assuming third place is ours to keep, there are others that actually seem a little distraught that we are now on this wonderful run.

Maybe it’s do with the fact that earlier in the season, these ‘fans’ had so convinced themselves that they knew more about how to run Arsenal Football Club than the professionals who actually do, that they now feel the need to dampen the joy of our current form in order to justify their previous vitriol.

Of course, every supporter wants their club to do well and everyone is entitled to have an opinion. Sure, it’s a lot of fun to play Football Manager before games. The pride when the manager puts out the same team that you’ve got down, is one of life’s little joys.

However, it’s also not the end of the world if your tactics and the gaffer’s don’t match up. While you may want to make a point of it in case of an adverse result, it’s ridiculous to suggest this one piece of prediction makes you somehow fully competent to manage the football club.

An example of this is the team that played against Everton on Wednesday. It was exactly the same team that Arsene Wenger put out against AC Milan at the San Siro in the first leg. Playing away from home, it’s easy to see now what the manager wanted to do. He wanted to add solidity to the midfield while keeping the formation fluid.

It did not come off against Milan.

But the result had a lot to do with the players’ performance on the night, Milan’s clinical finishing and the state of the pitch. And very little to do with tactics.

At Everton, it worked perfectly. Ramsey was running into good areas in and around the box in the first 30 minutes and creating space for Gibbs on the left wing. In the second half, when Everton were pushing for an equaliser, the extra man in midfield helped us defend more solidly.

I am not suggesting one shouldn’t have a different point of view, or not be upset when we lose. But the delivery and forcefulness of your argument needs to be tempered with some common sense. Let’s support the team regardless and remain positive in adversity, instead of obsessing over what could and should happen.

The manager’s also been talking about not obsessing. He wants the team to focus on their own performance, and not results elsewhere.

What I want us to continue is our run and not be in a position where you have to look at the other results. That is why I believe that the main focus is on us, not to be obsessed by other results and to just keep going.

Arsene also feels we have gained a lot of brownie points recently, and the team should continue to build on this and maintain momentum.

Elsewhere, reports that Reserves’ players Chuks Aneke and Benik Afobe have sealed loan deals until the end of the season. Midfielder Aneke moves to 13th placed League One side Preston North End, while Afobe will be heading to Championship contenders Reading.

Afobe is returning from a long injury lay off, but the manager has suggested he is likely to challenge for a first team spot in the future and the loan spell will help him develop. Robin van Persie, no less, has high regard for the forward’s ability. Let’s hope the youngster gets his opportunities at Reading, although you feel another loan spell next year will be necessary before he can crash through that first team door.

Aston Villa preview will be up tomorrow. Until then, lighten up.


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