Same old Arsenal

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It’s been 15 years since Arsenal last won the Premier League title. 15 long years.

Almost as many as the gap between their title wins in 1971 and 1989.

That’s far from where the Gunners want to be at this juncture, and whether the blame lies with Arsene Wenger or the board is a moot point.

Since Unai Emery has taken over, nothing really has changed. It’s not a knock at the Spaniard as such, because he can’t possibly be judged on a handful of games, but it would’ve been expected that he’d make an impact.

Perhaps not even in results terms initially, but in the way that the team is set up.

It’s not wrong to hark back to the days of Adams, Bould, Dixon and Winterburn. The game has moved on of course, but one thing hasn’t changed and that is teams who win the title are built on the bedrock of a solid defence.

Even with the addition of Sokratis to partner Mustafi, you feel that this Arsenal side are still beatable.

One only has to look at the way they threw away a two-goal lead at Cardiff, and how lucky they were that Alexandre Lacazette was able to rescue the three points for them.

Similarly, West Ham were all over the Gunners in their fixture but were unable to convert their dominance into goals. Manuel Pellegrini has his own problems, but at least with the east Londoners, not an awful lot is expected of them in truth.

Arsenal have always been a gold standard outfit.

Able to attract the best players, and playing a brand of football that was both attractive and practical. There were players to put their foot in, and these would complement the more technical exponents. They were diligent in their work.

Now Arsenal just look lost, and the reality is that they’re becoming the same old Arsenal. It’s what’s expected.

The knee-jerk ‘fan tv’ assessments directly after a game aren’t helpful but, by and large, some supporters have a point.

If there were a core of players that would ‘put sweat on the shirt’ for want of a better phrase, those that pay their hard-earned every week would give these overpaid superstars their full backing.

But when you have players like Mesut Ozil just strolling around seemingly not worried with what’s happening around him, then there will be problems.

In the Europa League and now unable to attract the best players to the Emirates, unless Emery sorts it out quickly it’ll be another 15 years before Arsenal come close to the Premier League summit.

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Arsenal achieve lift off with convincing victory over Watford


It’s been a testing week for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger who was firstly accused of not splashing the cash and then when he did was told he was panic buying. But the real talk was left as always on the pitch where Arsenal put in their first convincing campaign in the Premier League with a 3-1 win over Watford.

It was about time Arsenal racked up the goals and won a game and if the Watford match had ended without a win the pressure would have surely increased on Wenger who will be celebrating his 20th anniversary at the club in a few weeks time.

The likely players came to the fore against Watford though in the form of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. Both players are uniquely brilliant, when they want to be and on Saturday that in evidence. Santi Cazorla opened up the scoring inside ten minutes and once he did so there only looked like being one winner in a match that could well have been a banana skin for the Gunners.

Indeed Watford had their chances too and pulled a goal back and could well have got another and the concern for Wenger will be that his defence still needs sorting out. But then again he has acted on that with the signing of Shkodran Mustafi from Valencia. Wenger also brought in Lucas Perez and Arsenal are creeping up to spend nearly £100m this summer on players, something one believes is grating at Wenger. But this is the Premier League or as Brian Glanville once put it the gravy train league and needs must it seems to be.

Wenger said of the game “I think overall the performance was a strong one. Very fluent and a massive first half. We were 3-0 up at half-time and in the second half we still created many chances but we missed something in the final ball, like we did at Leicester. We are not capable in the end to maintain completely for 90 minutes exactly the same intensity physically, but overall it’s a very encouraging performance and a good win.”

This win has given the team lift off after a rather sticky start where they scored 3 goals against Liverpool and still lost and then drew 0-0 with Leicester- a win was surely needed. Next up for the Gunners is a home tie and a possible winnable one where they will take on Southampton who are yet to win this season.