By Bilal Zaidi
This is part two of yesterdays article ““10 Things That Have Transformed Arsenal From Frustrating To Fantastically Efficient”
This was written yesterday before the Newcastle match so I may have jinxed the 1-1 draw…you can read my match review later today and tonight watch the live streams of football from this site.
– Fabregas Adding Constant Scoring To His Already Consistent Form
Fabregas for a good number of seasons now has been a consistent performer and has shown his great ability in his general team play. EVEN WITHOUT GOAL SCORING FABREGAS WOULD GET INTO MOST TEAMS in my opinion…but the fact he has now added his goal threat to his attacking play makes him one of a kind. There isn’t really a player around you can compare him to…I hope he can sustain his goal scoring form throughout the season. His goal threat has taken him up a level to the world class level. Even though his overall play in the last two seasons alone would have put him up there in my opinion anyway, but now there is no exception. When talking of the best players in the world, Kaka, Ronaldo, Messi, Gerrard…if Fabregas can sustain this through the season he will definitely be in that league of players…this may be debatable amongst non-Arsenal supporters…yours views are always appreciated.
– Hleb having a more free role
In recent games and in the beginning of the season Hleb has played as second striker or in the “hole“ or just in front of the other midfielders…behind the striker. He isn’t stuck on the right flank and now he roams more freely. Even when he has played on the right he has looked a lot more free to loiter and make things happen which he has shown he can do, none more so than against Villa on the weekend. He missed him last night badly. Hleb has received praise from me since he has been at the club but this season he has again taken it up a notch like the rest of the team. He has become a crucial component in our creative play and has a huge role in the side now more so than ever before.
– Nobody expecting Arsenal to be where they are now
People were talking about Arsenal not making it into the top four of the league this year. The expectation was low because every season we have lost big player after player…Vieira left, Pires left, Bergkamp retired, Campbell left, (C)Ashley Cole left, Lauren left….These were all HUGE players for Arsenal and to replace even one of them is difficult enough but every season another was allowed to leave. Then the final “nail in the coffin” was when Henry…Mr. Arsenal…was allowed to leave to go to Barcelona this summer. How would we cope? I heard people talking about us becoming another Leeds United….now I will admit that I never took it that far myself…I predicted with my friends before pre-season that we would comfortably finish in the top 4 and that I had an “optimistic feeling“ about the season…but with Chelsea, United and Liverpool spending large sums of money in superstar players in recent seasons and us losing our “star” players…the natural progression is thinking of the worst. With expectations so low, it has helped us to use this as a push off point to stun everyone. Yes we haven’t won anything yet but even up until this point it has been a proud moment to see our team do so well after two seasons of frustration.
– Eboue’s penetrative play further up the pitch with less defensive exposure
Eboue is a bit of a random player. He clearly has something to add to a team…his drive and penetrative play on the right flank is something we don’t really have much of in our play. Nobody else really offers what he does, perhaps Walcott but right now he is a lightweight when playing on the wing. However, Eboue lets himself down with his random falling over and play acting…I have always been a fan of Eboue even when others have said otherwise…but I will be the first to admit his tendency to make something out of nothing makes the team look stupid and it angers me to see him keep doing it.
However, his pace and direct dribbling style has added something to the team when he plays higher up the pitch. This point ties in with the previous point on Sagna at right back, by Eboue NOT BEING at right full back…it is a huge advantage to the team.
– Ability to come from a goal behind and WIN rather than DRAW. Also an element of luck.
We have gone down several times this season and this tended to happen a lot last year also. Or we would go 1-0 up and then concede and not kill off the game. However, as far as I can remember it was more the case of coming from a goal behind. Last season we simply didn’t win enough games…too many draws and losses…this season when going a goal behind we have come back strongly and our scoring record in the last 15 minutes of games is incredible.
It is said that for a championship winning side to be successful they need to have a bit of luck too. Obviously this is just one small attribute of a complex mix of factors that make a team successful but it is true to say that without some sort of luck a teams chances are much slimmer than if they had the luck. For instance, against Aston Villa we could have easily drawn that game if Carew’s header hadn’t banged against the cross bar and instead went in. This is the luck we sometimes deserved last year and didn’t get…my philosophy is that these sorts of things even themselves out over the course of seasons and years…Unless you are Spurs of course who never seem to get enough “luck” to ever break into the top four…
On that note I shall go and eat my lunch and wish you all a great day doing what ever you do…with interest rates being lowered by 0.25% today in the UK lets hope it brings positive outcomes in an otherwise drying up situation…and just as the UK economy has been performing…Arsenal were performing likewise last night against a resilient Newcastle team that earned a 1-1 draw at home…A match report will be up later.
Also there is football streams tonight from the site…check the link. Good day everyone.