Thursday, 13 January 2011

Arsenal struggle again

For the 2nd time in 5 days Arsene Wenger’s side struggled to break down a Championship side. The victory over Chelsea after Christmas was supposed to usher in a new dawn for Arsenal, a more confident, determined side; although they have only been cup games it is difficult to believe this on recent form. Despite fielding a stronger line-up than that against Leeds they had the same problems; laboured build up play, no cutting edge up front and in some cases a poor attitude (namely Eboue).

Having said that I still expect Arsenal to win convincingly at home, these performances can occur after a busy Christmas schedule as Wenger intimated after the game. Even the best sides struggle to maintain the intensity all of the time and they will find their form again. They do however have a couple of issues that need to be addressed quickly; Arshavin and Fabregas.

Arshavin arrived in January 2009 and looked fantastic; the highlight surely being his 4 goals at Anfield. This season he has looked like a man bereft of confidence and last night he kept looking around and hoping the ground would open up and swallow him whole. He has great feet but is far too predictable at the moment; playing on the left every defender should know he will cut inside onto his right around the box. He is not a one trick pony but his lack of confidence is affecting every aspect of his game.

Fabregas looked a frustrated figure. Wenger gave him the afternoon off on Saturday but he had to come on and salvage a draw against Leeds and last night he just didn’t look fully fit. This writer believes that he has been rushed back too frequently over the last couple of years and desperately needs to get 100% fit in order to get back to the form he is capable of. An 80% fit Cesc is still better than most about but he needs some recuperation time after the busy schedule he has had over the last few years.

The real positive last night for me was seeing Conner Wickham. He looks a real talent and it is surely only a matter of time before one the big clubs come in for him.

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