Arsenal need to be in a position to take advantage of any Man City slip up

Morning all.

After a tough April, Arsenal have returned to form in May with a bang. Not that we played poorly in April, we just did not pick up the wins.

It was an odd month.

We deserved the victory against Liverpool, only to concede a 87th minute equaliser.

Against West Ham, we looked comfortable. Too comfortable. Took the foot off their throat and a silly mistake by Thomas Partey saw them get back into the game. Bukayo Saka then had a sliding doors moment when he spurned the opportunity to make it 3-1.

As for Southampton, we just got hit cold, again, and did well to battle back to win.

In all of these games, we were good enough to win. But individual errors at the back gifted opponents goals. Frustrating.

The victory against Chelsea was not just about the 3 points, but also the manner in how we won them.

For the first time ever, I sat upper teir at the Emirates and it was incredible to watch our passing shape. It was sharp, with purpose and confidence.

That victory against Chelsea showed that we were not simply on a good run, we are a really good team. And even if we finish 2nd, we can be proud of the steps we have taken forward.

Finishing 2nd to a Manchester City side who have spent so much building their squad over the last decade, so much on salaries, and have the Premier League’s single season record goal scorer is an achievement. Even if it does not come with a trophy.

We saw Mikel Arteta ring in a couple of changes on Tuesday. The first was Jorginho for Thomas Partey.

We spoke last week about whether Arsenal had a Partey problem. He did not look as fit and sharp as he did earlier in the season; and that was leading to mistakes.

Jorginho came in for him and played exceptional. It will be interesting to see how the Brazilian-Italian fits into Arteta’s plans next season if we sign Declan Rice (other top defensive midfielders are available).

My gut is that we will not go for a 2nd central midfielder in the summer. That will leave us with Partey, Granit Xhaka, Rice and Jorginho for those two midfield positions.

Saying that, speculation came out last week that we might be looking to cash in on Xhaka. That would surprise me.

Jakub Kiwor came in for Rob Holding at the back and looked composed and solid.

People seemed to write Kiwor off after 10 minutes of football aganst Liverpool and an uncomfortable game against Sporting in the Europa League. These days, fans seem to expect players to hit the ground running straight away.

Kiwor is a young man, playing in a new country in a new league. He is clearly talented, but was bought for next season.

The 6 months he has spent in England prior to next season will benefit him greatly. He looks to have already bulked up and is quick, commanding and good on the ball. He will be a great option for when we rest Gabriel.

He will probably start again Sunday with William Saliba out and Gabriel doubtful. Newcastle will certainly be a bigger challenge than Chelsea.

So we keep moving. City won last night which took them back to the top of the table. We have 4 games to go, they have 5.

I would be surprised if we win the title, I have maintained that position throughout. But we need to ensure we are there to take advantage if City do drop points.

After this weekeend, City have some tricky fixtures, with 3 of their last 4 away. They play twice a week and have games interwined with those big Champions League games.

They certainly have the squad to deal with this level of games (football is easy when you have four £50m CBs!), but it is not over yet.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.