Saturday, 27 December 2008

Forget the title Arsene, capitalise on Aston Villa's burn out

Arsene Wenger needs to forget about the title. Our chances of winning the league ended a long time ago.

Wenger needs to be realistic now. A top four finish has to be the priority for Arsenal and we are in for a long hard battle to achieve it.

I hate to say this but we need to forget about Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool. They are on another level at the moment.

We need to concentrate on finishing above Aston Villa and claim that fourth spot in the league table.

Its not going to be easy because Aston Villa are proving to be real contenders and are worthy of their lofty position. They deserve it.

However, Aston Villa are in very good form at the moment and this cannot last forever. There will be a time in the season when they hit a brick wall and Arsenal must be there to capitalise on the situation.

Arsenal need to keep pace with Villa because the season is a marathon, not a sprint and when Villa begin to slow down then Arsenal must pounce.

Aston Villa have a small squad and tend to use the same starting eleven every week. It would be interesting to see how Aston Villa would cope with losing key players to injury like Arsenal have had to do.

They have been lucky in this respect compared to Arsenal this campaign. I think they would struggle without Barry or Young in the side. Any side would.

There will be a time when Aston Villa have to solve these problems and I don't think they could.

Arsene Wenger needs to get the cheque book out and I think he will.

A couple of signings in the transfer window would be a boost to the club and give us Gooners a much needed lift. New arrivals may also give Arsenal a new leash of life and some added verve.

This will be crucial in the second phase of the season. And it's obvious we have yet to have seen the best of Arsenal this season over a sustained period of time.

Aston Villa are on a fantastic run at the moment and that is something Arsenal haven't done this season, yet.

I'm sure at some point Arsenal will go on a long unbeaten run with a lot of victories. That, combined with Aston Villa running out of steam will be enough for Arsenal to claim fourth place.

Keep it Goonerish...............


Anonymous said...

We played you twice now this season and were by far the better side on both occasions, and really deserved to win yesterday. I'm sorry but Arsenal have no divine right to finish in the top four every season, and you're in a real battle for 4th this season. Who says we're gonna burn out? With January coming up we'll add to the squad for sure, and as for injuries I don't hear anyone talkin about the fact that we're missing Carew, Laursen, Cuellar and Bouma. Yesterday was the first time we played to our standard in ages, yet we won games while not playing well for weeks, who's to say that wasn't our blip in form?
Arsenal are not the great team they used to be, everyone talks about us Villa fans having delusions of grandeur,well look at yourselves. This "Top 4" nonsense is pathetic and insulting to clubs like Villa, Everton, Man City etc., it's gonna be broken this season and virtually destroyed next season.
Happy New Year!!!

Up the VILLA!!!!

Wrighty7 said...

Totally agree that Arsenal have no divine right to be in the top four every season but we Gooners expect it.

As I've said, Aston Villa thoroughly deserve your place in the table.

I just feel you will run out of steam and there will be a point in the season when Arsenal begin to put a big winning streak together.

I feel that will be enough for Arsenal to get fourth place. But it will a hard battle with yourselves.

leon said...

i dont agree wit that at all i still think arsenal can win the title,i looked at the perfoamce at villa, we were without fab,risisky,ade,edawrdo,dj,wilcatt and arsenalstill have more than enough to win that game,once song was taken off there were no defensive minded midfielders on the pitch arsenal realy need dm more just song.

Wrighty7 said...


I really like your optimism mate. You are always positive.

I wish I could share it but I just cant see Arsenal not losing another game this season.

I think the Champions League is on. Have done for a while but the title is beyond us.

We should concentrate on 4th in the league.

leon said...

you only be positive i realy thought the players could not handle being without fab but i was wroung its just they cant old onto a lead,but they realy dont have densive minded midfielder,song is not midfielder just defender and only squad player,but arsenal just are just to good going forward to counted out and to think arsenal only vela on the bench as a foward aND THEY STILL created so much

Evo said...

Anon Villa fan, what are you on about mate?

"This "Top 4" nonsense is pathetic and insulting to clubs like Villa, Everton, Man City etc."

Arsenal have qualified for the champions league since 97 and in that time Villa havent finished in the top 4 once, we've PROVEN that we SHOULD always ATLEAST finish in the top four.

What's pathetic is Villa fans like you thinking just because you've had a decent half season you're going to knock Arsenal out the top 4 and qualify for the champions league.

What you really need to be thinking about is can Villa qualify for Europe. Once again, Arsenal have EARNT their right to expect results. WTF have Villa earnt? Squat. The premier league doesnt end before the new year. Let's see where villa and arsenal end up come may.

Villan said...

With respect. Villa played without Carew (who would have caused your defense knightmares (see what I did there?)), Laursen, Cuellar and Bouma. All key, first team players when fit.

This lack of depth isn't entirely a myth, our second string are no way as good as Arsenals, but our first team squad have proved that they can deal with injuries to key players.

Also, 'earning the right to expect results'. Arsene's arrogance filtering down is it? Anyway, I'm sure Wenger wont take Villa as lightly from now on. He will of course continue to bitch and moan about referees, penalties, opposition managers etc. Wenger spoilt what was a good game of football with his petulant post match comments. I'm not suprised he is trying to divert the attention from his misfiring young gunners.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to back up what villan said. If we had Laursen and Ceuller on the pitch instead of Knigt and Reo-coker you wouldn't have scored your 2 goals and we would have won easily. We got a draw with a makeshift back line.
I think Arsene Wenger has cocked up in the last couple of seasons and he knows it.
Ps if Villa get 4th we will stay there because we have the backing and infrastructure in place to attract top players.

Wrighty7 said...

Thats a weak argument.

I could say Arsenal were missing Rosicky, Eduardo, Adebayor, Djourou, Walcott AND of course Fabregas.

That is half our first team!

TrueGooner said...

Wrighty, I too share Leon optimism. I am not gonna give up on our boys. Believe me Arsene is doing great (besides not buying). To be honest I am surprise we are even in fifth place. If we can put a run together we can do something. I am certain this time around we will buy in the area we are lacking. To Aston Villa fans it is true ur team is doing great, but don't get carry away with this top four thing. Think about it for a minute, you are in great form and we are having one of the worst form in the perm, very inconsistant and look where we are and look where you are. That fourth and fifth spot is just couple of win and couple of lost away. To my fellow gooners remember let us support the troops they are showing some since of urgency as I cant find no one to criticise in yesterday's game. We have been through this before and been counted out many times but we always come up, Have faith and don't argue with Villa fans....Remember this is ARSENAL!!!

Villan said...

It was a comment in response to your 'Villa cannot deal with injuries', which has been proved to be wrong.

Injuries are injuries. You deal with them, or you don't...

Arsenal have been unfortunate in that department but it is short sighted to suggest that Villa were at full strength also.

Honestly, the quicker Arsenal start taking Villa seriously and stop making excuses the better for Arsenal. Villa are feeding off the underdog status everyone gives us. O'Neill loves it, he says every interview how good Arsenal are (adding to the pressure on the young lads), yet in reality, behind the scenes he knows that Villa are not far behind. Or indeed, not that far ahead, as the table reads.

Anonymous said...

We need to keep fighting for the title as you need an end goal to believe in. If we say the title has gone then it will only give an excuse to anyone who feels like taking their foot off the gas. As Wenger says 'A true champion is someone who keeps going when others have given up'

Peter said...

Villa are a genuine threat to our top four status and no-one should doubt that or be surprised by it.

However, let's not forget the Villa side was put together at considerable expense -

A Young £10mil; Reo-Coker £8.5mil; Milner £10mil; Davies £8mil; Cuellar £8mil; L Young £5mil; Sidwell £5mil; Petrov £7mil.

The list goes on. If you look at Villa's first team squad there are a lot of players that they have paid decent money for. They have a good manager and an owner who has backed him with funds.

They may not be able to pay £20mil for one player and they may not be able to pay £80k per week in wages but they have started to buy players for fees in excess of £10mil on a regular basis.

In comparison we have spent very little in recent years. It is time for us to flex our financial muscle and add the two or three top class players to our squad that will make the difference.

We all know we aren't that far off being a very good side. We have a number of very good players - Van Persie, Adebeyor, Eduardo, Walcott, Fabregas, Nasri, Sagna, Clichy - these are all excellent players but there are some obvious gaps in the team. If we could find a Vidic-type defender and a Mascherano-type defensive midfielder we will be in much better shape. Even if we have to pay £15mil a piece for the players that fit those descriptions it will be money well spent if it means we can push past Villa into fourth.

I have to say I think we are lucky that it is only Villa we have to worry about this season. The collapse of Sp*rs and Newcastle, the tradition big spenders outside of the top four, has been a real blessing for us. Imagine if Sp*rs had a decent manager and spent their money on players they actually needed? Imagine Newcastle could get all their bast players o the pitch at once and had an O'Neil-type manager in charge? We need a big wake-up call. We are lucky to be so fifth at the moment and we are lucky to be within three points of Villa. We have limped our way to the transfer window and we need to act now otherwise we could be in real trouble.

mark said...

as a villa fan i dont think we are quite as good as arsenal on paper but as many have said the transfer window is coming up and who finishes 4th could be a result of who buys well and baring in mind wenger who i think is possibly the best manager in the world isnt known for buying players that go straight into the team he likes to develop could be the thing that hands 4th to villa. another point is everyone seems to be forgetting everton they have had their sticky patch and are going strong and will be in the mix at the end of the season and evo what differance does it matter where you have finished over the last ten seasons i dont care its this season i am concerned about and when people start quoting prior stats i smile because it usually means their worried

Ma said...

Forget about buying. If Wenger intends to buy, he would have bought in the summer, NOT NOW. Perhaps he will bring in another Silvestre, someone nobody wants to make up the bodies, but having Vela, Wilshere, Gibbs...etc. What is the point?
Wenger is going to carry on with his youth policy, until the day he leaves Arsenal.
And forget the Champions League. Without Cesc, Arsenal may not even beat Roma, not to speak their opponent in the quarter final. And the sooner Arsenal is out of the Champions League, the better the chance Arsenal will retain 4th position.
But the tragedy is, next season the Gunners will face the same heartbreak again....
If someone like Flamini emerges, we will suffer the heartbreak of him leaving the club, because Wenger cannot break the wage structure...
Actually, looking back, Wenger is lucky that last year Flamini played better than expected--I dont think Wenger has confidence in Flamini last season, otherwise why did he not extend Flamini's contract before last season began?

Ole Gunner said...


I understand what you're trying to say about concentrating on 4th place.

But I don't know how that works. As far as I know, the way to secure 4th place is to put distance between us and Villa.

So if we won the next 3 and got say 6 points ahead, we should stop trying?

Makes no sense. The way to ensure CL qualification is to go for the title in earnest. If all we succeeded in doing were to get to 3rd place, then we're good.

Ole Gunner said...

Even if it's true that Arsenal might miss out on CL qualification (Arsenal will always be Top 4-those are two different things), the teams to fear are Everton & Man City. They're much better teams than Aston Villa with real proper squads.


We played most teams last season and were the better team on most occasions but we won fuck all. It's December, don't get too high so you don't go too low. Your bubble might burst. Really Villa are in form but let's face it, what you've had is a very good mid-November to Mid-December. One month. The season starts just now for those of us gunning to actually win something.

marcusof Villa said...

Yes we have spent some money on players, no one will break into the top 4 without doing so. But at least we have bought and raised English players. 9 out of the 10 outfield players were English on Friday, Arsene's contribution was a Welsh juvenile with 20 minutes to go.

By the way, we will buy some more next month. Will you?

Ole Gunner said...


Who cares if you have English players? We still have more England players than you do....albeit just one. But our Theo's a regular for England these days...been to the World Cup too. You?

Anonymous said...

The past is the past and the season is only half way through,so put yr handbags away and lets see who gets fourth spot.
we prob all be wrong and it will be everton lol.

Anonymous said...

Well Ole Gunner, I think you'll find that Barry is also an England regular and has also been to a world cup. Young and Agbonlahor are started to crop up in most England squads now and Curtis Davies has been in a few recently too. So to be fair, that was a stupid comment.

Arsenal have been up there for a long time and are definitely going through a blip now. But then who wouldn't when half your team is out, you've had problems with your captain and lost one of your best midfielders in the summer and not replaced him. You have good squad depth and lots of promising youngsters coming through. However to keep up with the top 3 you will need to spend big on a few players each season like they do, otherwise it stands to reason you'll start slipping away from them.

As for the Villa, it's true we have spent a fair amount of money on our squad. We've had to! A few seasons back we were finishing in the lower sections of the league and pre Randy it was starting to look bleak. In the last few years we have come on leaps and bounds and by the look of it will keep progressing with a fantastic Chairman and manager. It's a very exciting time to be a Villa fan. We are not at Arsenals level yet, but if Arsenal don't invest and we do, in a few years we could be. Or at least challenging you, as we are this season thanks to your bad run. It's amazing to even be able to say that at this point.

I think Villa should be given a bit more credit as were missing some vital players, we've had to play our right back at left back and either a centre half or centre midfielder at right back for most of the season. For quite a few games now we've only had 1 striker (we definitely need more depth up front). Our injuries are not as bad as Arsenals, if we lost Young it would really hurt us, but they are still pretty bad.

One last note, Wenger did really spoil it and is the biggest moaner out there, I can't stand the man! But what an amazing job he has done at Arsenal and I'm sure he continue to do.