Arsenal Message Board
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Your believe that this squad and manager have done well is obvious depending on a lot of subjective measurements. As is anyone's believe in subjective matters like this.
For many of us finishing in the top 4 every year is not good enough and therefor it is hard to conclude we have done well. For me it is best to judge at the end of the season how well we have done this year since finishing outside the top 4 is not even good enough for Wenger let alone for ambitious fans like many of us. So it is probably best to reserve judgement on how we have done until the season is over.
Looking at it from where we we were a few games into the season and how poorly we have played this season particularly against top teams, if we finish in the top 4 we have overachieved IMO.
In terms of the relationship between our poor defending and goals conceded, I think you raise a fair point. It is in fact so fair that I raised the same point on the 10th of April.
I think the two reasons for me for the difference in our perceived poor defending and our goals conceded lies in 2 factors. Firstly for years we have had trouble defending from set pieces and high crosses into our box and, to date, we have not really fixed this. This means that a lot of the goals we concede seem "soft". Secondly since we tend to play the tikki takki football style resulting in us normally having the ball 60-65% of the time, we concede our goals in much less time than other teams do. I think these factors contribute to feeling of our poor defending.
As an example against Fulham recently we had 71% possession and managed 3 shots on target and Fulham with their 29% possession also generated 3 shots on target, this gives the feeling of week defending relative to Fulham's defending despite the fact that we won.
The last time you raised that question about the stats of our goals for and against on 10 April, I was going to write a reply, but, for some reasons, the "reply" button was not there.
I think we started the first few games of our season defending quite well mainly due to the midfield not giving time or space for the opposition to settle. This made the job of our defenders easier. But then, for some unknown reasons, we reverted to our old self of letting the opposition to have more freedom in midfield. This was the reason the defending went bad. The situation improved again from about a month ago when the whole of our defence sat down to hammer out how they would defend as a team. An example of the sort of defending we should aspire to is the way Bayern defended against Barce in both legs of the Champions League semi-final.
I can understand conceding goals in many situations: the opposition playing brilliantly, they out-pace/out-number our defence, bad-luck, poor refereeing decisions...etc. But, it is the manner in which we concede them that I do not like. There are 2 things in particular that I hate
- 1 Reply to JJ
Although we can not know for certain but I think the sudden drop of in the quality of our defending was as a result of the same between the relationship Wenger-Bould.
Watching Bayern defend high up the pitch and give Barca little time to settle in in front of their box is what to me is the best defending to watch. When we do that we are very good but we seem to lack the discipline or the marching orders.