Not much has happened in the last 24 hours in the world of Arsenal.
It is mainly people licking their wounds and analysing Tuesday’s defeat against Aston Villa.
The best analysis I have heard is over on the Gunners Town podcast.
One thing a lot of people have missed, which the podcast picks up well is just how much football we have played recently.
Aston Villa was our 4th game in 11 days. That is a huge work load.
On top of the work load, 3 of those games were against Tottenham and Liverpool and the league, and Man City in the FA Cup. These were tough, high intensity games where a lot of physical and mental energy was used.
I had a good chat myself with GC yesterday and asked him the following:
We won 2 of the last 4. Against Liverpool and Manchester City. The defeat against Aston Villa was poor and has left us with no chance of finishing top 7 in the league, and guaranteed us to finish below Spurs for the 4th year in a row. Would things be more positive if we had have beaten Spurs and Villa, and lost to Liverpool and Man City?
Had we lost to Liverpool and Man City, they would have been “expected defeats”.
OK, we might have been knocked out of the FA Cup, but it would have been one of the best teams in Europe knocking us out. We could have coped mentally with 2 defeats against the top 2 in England.
Whilst had we beaten Tottenham and Aston Villa, we would be in 7th place on 56 points, 1 point ahead of Spurs, and with it in our own hands to finish above them and secure a place in Europe next season.
Personally, I would have been happy to lose all 3 league games if it guaranteed us getting to the FA Cup final. Winning trophies are much more important than finishing above Tottenham or league position (unless you finish 1st).
Was just a thought really. Who would you rather have beaten?
- We have played more games since football returned than anyone else bar Manchester City. Would we have beaten Aston Villa if we didn’t play at the weekend? Most likely
- Arteta took over a team low on confidence, low on fitness. This led to just 1 win in his first 7 games, with 5 draws and a defeat.
I do not think we should underestimate how poor a physical and mental state Arsenal were in prior to Mikel Arteta taking over. He had to rebuild fitness, rebuild confidence. It took weeks. It is an ongoing process.
Taking the state of the squad and extra games into account, it is incredible that under Arteta, we would be just 3 points off of 4 place.
Would we have finished top 6 under Mikel Arteta had he been manager for the entire season? Well 60 points would have us in 6th place with a game to go, and we would actually have a chance to jump ahead Leicester on the last day of the season and finish in the Champions League.
This is a top 6 squad that was managed poorly in the 1st half of the season. That is on Emery. So please, lets not slag off Arteta for our final league position whilst praising Emery for managing in Europe next season. Emery is why we are not top 6 this season.
Without any investment next season, we will finish top 6 under Arteta. With investment we can be top 4.