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February 20, 2019

Despite the great run, Arsenal need to do much better, I say

Arsenal's Danny Welbeck
Arsenal's Danny Welbeck

I am not defecting to Manchester United but I knew they would walk all over Cambridge in the replay of their FA Cup tie; and I supported them to progress. And here is my logic: Arsenal would have had an easier time defending their FA Cup title if all big premier league clubs had been eliminated from the tournament. And while I want as many pieces of silverware in our cabinet at Emirates as possible, I also want assurance that Arsenal can beat any team in the league right now; perhaps even any team in Europe. I want the Gunners to be tested and I’ll feel even more proud when it’s Arsenal and not some small team that removes United from the FA Cup.

Arsenal have been in such fine form in recent weeks and the confidence level is enviable; but I ask myself whether we have really been tested. We played Man City arguably at their weakest and beat other teams that we should originally have beaten. I want Arsenal to beat Man United; I want us to beat Chelsea and to progress further than the second round in the Champions League. And we can do it if we focus. Even though we’ve been churning out the results, I have seen gaps in our play; opportunities that our opponents failed to exploit and we need to seal any loopholes. I trust we can do it; but I want it proven. This weekend we have a pretty tough test as Spurs have also been in fine form recently.

For once though I am seeing nearly all positions at Arsenal covered twice over with decent talent, but there’s always room for improvement. I guess you can tell that this Gunner is in a confident mood. However someone accused me on twitter the other day of being a hypocrite. He reminded me of the time I wanted Arsenal to lose in the hope that Wenger would eventually be fired.

He said now that we were winning; clearly I had changed my mind. But I disagreed. I still want Wenger to go because fourth position just isn’t good enough for me. And as a Gunner, I will definitely be pleased when we win games particularly when we’ve played well. If your ambition as a Gunners is to finish fourth then I pity you. Every season Arsenal have these bursts of energy sometime in the season; heck at the turn of last year we were top of the table and yet we couldn’t even finish in the top three.

I still need to see us sustain good form for at least 80 per cent of the season; not 50! We have woken up with half the season gone and that just isn’t good enough. So yes, I still want Wenger to go so that we can get a manager who isn’t satisfied with fourth position. That said: I love Arsenal football club and I love it when the boys play well and win. But I want to win more than just games, I want to win trophies.

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