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 Why the Gunners are misfiring

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Hungknorton



Posts : 14
Join date : 2010-12-10

PostSubject: Why the Gunners are misfiring   Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:51 pm

Among the "Big Four" clashes, Manchester United versus Arsenal was traditionally the most exciting match and the most enjoyable for neutrals. Sadly, Monday's game demonstrated that this year's Premier League race is one of the poorest for years. The game was scrappy, moments of technical brilliance were few and far between and neither side played anything like its best football. Still, for years United has been able to pick up wins in those kinds of games, and it's something Arsenal still needs to learn.

What's ailing Arsenal? This game highlighted three problem areas:

1. Arsenal is losing the big games. The Gunners have drawn one and lost 10 of their past 11 fixtures against Manchester United and Chelsea. They have also come up short in their last two games against Tottenham. It was only two years ago that their problem was the opposite: They were picking up good results against the title contenders but falling down with away trips to bottom-half sides. Arsenal's current run is difficult to explain, even for its manager Arsene Wenger. "Why do we always seem to lose these big games?" he asked a reporter. "If you are a football specialist, I leave this analysis to you. Why do you ask me?" Wenger is the football specialist, and he clearly doesn't know, but it's certainly costing his side. The matches between title contenders were crucial last season -- Chelsea picked up a full 12 points from its matches against United and Arsenal and finished one point clear of United.

2. Arsenal's passing game is not clicking enough. The Gunners' problem when they didn't get results last season was that they passed and passed but couldn't manage to break the opposition down. On occasion this season, it appears they've taken a step backward -- against West Brom, Newcastle and now Manchester United, their passing ability completely deserted them. Wenger was quick to blame the pitch. "The technical quality of the game was very average on both sides because the pitch was so poor in my opinion," he told the British media. "The game suffered a lot from it. It was bouncy and slippery." There's probably more to this than sour grapes, since United had problems, too, but Arsenal's wayward passing was more obvious and more crucial in unsettling its rhythm.

[+] EnlargeFabregas
Andrew Yates/AFP/Getty ImagesArsenal's big problem of late is it can't beat title contenders Manchester United and Chelsea.

3. Andrei Arshavin is too up and down. His performances are generally described as either excellent or terrible, with nothing in between. The exaggeration demonstrates how fickle football supporters and writers can be, but there's a grain of truth here. Arshavin, even at his best, is not a player who runs a game. He did when playing for Russia, in a Euro 2008 quarterfinal win over Netherlands, but when stationed out on the left in an Arsenal shirt his contribution is merely to provide a couple of moments of magic per match, rather than to be the main man Arsenal looks to for inspiration for 90 minutes. It may sound strange, but even in his incredible performance at Anfield in 2008/2009 when he scored four goals he wasn't particularly noticeable aside from his excellent finishes, as he later admitted himself. Therefore, his contribution is judged solely on his shots and attempts to slide teammates in -- if they come off, he is a hero; if not, he's the villain. In the United game, it was the latter.

United with the momentum

As for United, well, the Red Devils may be the favorites to win the title now -- if Chelsea doesn't get its act together, that is. One thing is certain: Manchester United is a different team when Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic play together. The quality of a side's center-backs is not judged by the individual talent of the two but by the understanding and relationship between the pair, and Ferdinand and Vidic look happiest when fielded alongside each other.

The statistics demonstrate the importance of their partnership. When Ferdinand was injured at the start of the season and Jonny Evans deputized, United was conceding 1.5 goals per game. Now that Ferdinand is back, the figure has dropped to 0.7 goals per game. It was the 81st minute before either of the players lost a challenge they contested, and it's difficult to remember Arsenal creating a chance in which it outwitted Ferdinand or Vidic. Most of the Gunners' attempts came from long range.

But United will be tested again -- and soon -- in its clash with Chelsea on Sunday. A week later, Arsenal and Chelsea square off, as the Premier League title race hits a critical stage.
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lunamoonfang



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PostSubject: Re: Why the Gunners are misfiring   Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:08 am

1. Arsenal is losing the big games. The Gunners have drawn one and lost 10 of their past 11 fixtures against Manchester United and Chelsea. They have also come up short in their last two games against Tottenham. It was only two years ago that their problem was the opposite: They were picking up good results against the title contenders but falling down with away trips to bottom-half sides. Arsenal's current run is difficult to explain, even for its manager Arsene Wenger. "Why do we always seem to lose these big games?" he asked a reporter. "If you are a football specialist, I leave this analysis to you. Why do you ask me?" Wenger is the football specialist, and he clearly doesn't know, but it's certainly costing his side. The matches between title contenders were crucial last season -- Chelsea picked up a full 12 points from its matches against United and Arsenal and finished one point clear of United.


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visionsen



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PostSubject: Gunners Are Back!   Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:13 am

Yes, Gunners are back now and winning. They have just thought two big teams a football lessons. Marseille and Chelsea can't believe how they were beaten in their back yards. Very Happy
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