Title gone/ Urge to reshape and reschedule expectations this season

Today is 14th December 2017 – a little less than 2 months ago, I had written a post “Cruel Expectations” citing the realistic goals for Arsenal this season.

The old me would say :

Win the premier league | Win the Europa League | Win the FA Cup.

But now, it’s slightly different. For starters, I am not drunk. Hence, my revised expectations are:

Top 4 finish | Europa League – semi-final | Win the FA Cup

Don’t you like December. A fresh smell of something similar which we feel in March seems to have come early this year.

As we stand today, this is the league table :

Table Dec 17.png

As I write this post, Arsenal has thrown away 2 games,  both of which they should have won. The first game was vs Southampton, a game in which Olivier Giroud saved the team from losing 3 points. Southampton is 11th on the table as it stands above, just to give you an idea of how poor we have been. The second game was vs West Ham. They are in the relegation zone.

Very funny thing vs West Ham – we actually started with 4 at the back. Wenger opts to change the formation from the usual 3-5-2 and to start Giroud. Iwobi also started and Lacazette was rested. Let us be objective here and assume that there was a good enough reason for this – Christmas period, squad rotation, penguins laughing whatever be the reason, let us give Wenger the benefit of the doubt.

Yet, when you know that you need to win this game. Your opponents are playing a 9-0-1 formation, clearly with little or no intent to score apart from a lucky break (if they get one) why wait until the 82nd minute to bring on Lacazette?

I guess it must be superstition.

A game of possession and sad at being clinical is the ideal way I can describe this match. In fact, Hernandez should have scored in the 90th min to seal it for the hammers after a whammy by Koscielny – who does not seem to have got his head straight since United.

But it was usual Arsenal, no plan A, no plan B, no plan C – only “let’s keep possession and play pass-pass to each other” – uninspiring and dull.

True qualities of a title-winning side, don’t you think?

Can you blame West Ham fans for shouting “Boring, Boring Arsenal ??”

The inability to actually break down teams and not figuring out what to do if you hit a brick wall is a clear sign that there something innately wrong with the tactics – and while I completely agree that you can choose to play and approach a game in a certain way but if you see things that are not going the way you want, one has to adapt and do things that are necessary. The initiative counts more than the result.

No matter what, whenever we are up against a team who defend properly and put every man behind the ball, its like we become clueless and rather just prefer to pass side-ways than to take an initiative to actually try and score.

The league is realistically gone. It is not in sight and if anyone thinks differently then they are kidding themselves or they have a delusional sense of humour. This is not FIFA and Manchester City look better and better with each game.

2 games thrown away. If we had won these 2 games we would be 4th with a thread of a chance to actually challenge for the title.

I hope Saturday is different.