Chasing the Top 4
It’s the hope that kills. The recent run of results have the players looking confident and the fans checking the Premier League table incessantly. It’s as if we’re going to break the code and algorithm to convince ourselves that Arsenal will make it into the top four this season. It’s fun to get ahead of ourselves, but there are some concrete improvements to be positive about!
The buildup to the match against Manchester United was incredibly nerve-racking with seemingly no way back into the running. Wenger showed the ability to adapt the lineup to fit our most in-form players!
Looking Back at United
In the match that started our current run, Ramsey and Xhaka are looking good together as they develop a playing relationship in the midfield. Ramsey has been very effective but is still scuffing chances. More game time will get him closer to the precision of a few seasons ago when everything he did came off. Ozil is great as the orchestrator, slightly in front of the other two central midfielders. The only improvement from his game would be showing for the ball in behind. United was playing 10-men behind the ball and Ozil had many lateral passes that he could’ve sprinted through the line to receive the ball back.
Rob Holding has gotten back into the lineup and is quickly cementing his place. He deserves a ton of credit for the second goal. It was his ruthless pressing effort that won the ball back before providing a composed pass forward to Oxlade-Chamberlain for the cross. The Ox has flourished with the new lineup and responsibilities. He needs to work on his defending if he is to continue playing the same position, but his effort in tracking back can not be disputed.
It was an intelligent and tactical substitution for Wenger to bring on Bellerin and Giroud. Bellerin was set to defend the fresh legs of Lingard, who was Mourinho’s genius late-match tactic. We switched it up on the opposition and scored 2 goals in 2 attempts as a result of true effort and confidence.
It’s interesting that speculation over contracts has died down with the recent results. With all of the frenzying over Ozil and Sanchez, it’s important to remember that neither of them was involved in the goals. There is, yet again, hope for this squad to move forward and grow next season!
It may seem like I’m a fair-weather supporter, as I know I’m more likely to pop up on the positives. I’ve said it before, but the approach is consistent constructiveness rather than overoptimism. I believe in our club so much that when we don’t do well, I know that we could’ve have found a way to get a result. The overbearing feeling after a poor performance is the disappointment.
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