Arsenal are winning by controlling games


By Bala

Arsenal in recent times, particularly this season, are controlling games without actually steamrolling teams as Man City manage to, nut rather keeping the opponents at arms length and choosing the moments to launch an attack.

This was evident in the game against the cottagers where Arsenal blew them in a matter of minutes and controlled the game without going gung-ho or sitting too deep and inviting pressure.

Stats can be misleading at times however here it gives a good account of Arsenal this season: they have the highest number of clean sheet and are behind just City and Liverpool in goals scored. However the two concede goals left, right and centre. They rely on their front men to bail them out of tight situations. Arsenal contained the famed SAS and the Man City game was an aberration although the result could have been different were it not for some questionable referring and Giroud’s profligacy. Strikers win games, defence wins championships.

Arsenal can respond

The league as they say is a marathon not a sprint, bumps and bruises have to be overcome. It is the response to the setbacks that separates the champions from the also-rans. This season Arsenal have responded to the blips and wobbles in a spectacular fashion. When Arsenal lost to Villa on the opening day the world seemed to crumble around them. Boosted by the signing of Ozil Arsenal went on a nine match unbeaten run winning eight of them. The response to the latest blip sees Arsenal embarking on an unbeaten run winning 6 of the last seven. Arsenal in seasons past, this kind of setbacks had been their undoing. A la 07-08 against Birmingham, 11-12 against the same team. I really hate Birmingham.

No one is bigger than the team.

Arsenal have often been accused of being a one man team. Arsenal teams after the Invincibles always have had a standout player in Henry,Fabregas,Van persie. This team has no such players, some would say Mesut Ozil is the most high profile player. But these are completely unfounded. Actually he embodies the cliche better than anyone, Wenger recently said of the German:

He [Ozil] is a first of all a team player. And also a football servant with the fact that he always does what the game wants and he has a big respect for the game. That’s the brand of a real top-level player.

That says it all. There is no sense of ego among the players in the squad and all really want to end the infamous trophy drought. Arsene has often spoke of the togetherness and solidity in the squad. The spirit and will to fight for one another is visible in this team. Wilshere recently said the team needed to believe: “We must believe. If we don’t have belief, we have no chance.”

All we got to do is believe and hope.