Missed the start of this save? Read my Squad Report and how I intend to fill in Arsenals missing links.
Today’s update see’s us battle through the months of October and November 2016. Normally, we’ve looked at each month at a time but today we have 10 matches that will see us to the start of December.
Consistency Is Coming (Result Wise)
Overall, the past two months have been good for us. While on paper, things look pretty rosy. In reality, I do have some concerns. In most of our games, we dominate in terms of possession and chances. We create a lot of clear-cut chances, and we fail to convert them.
Sanchez saw himself with 11 hours of football without a goal. He managed to break his bad run with a brilliant hattrick against Burnley.
We’re Trending 2nd
The end of October saw us runner up in all the awards. Koscielny managed 2nd in Player of the Month. Balde saw himself in 2nd for Young Player of the Month. Cazorla was awarded 2nd for his Goal of the Month with a quality strike outside the box against Man City and then I was awarded 2nd in the Manager of the Month award.
Strange really. I’m glad we’re being noticed, but I want to bump up those 2nd’s to 1st’s if possible.
Thankfully, when it comes to our Champions League group, we’re sitting pretty in 1st place, and we’ll remain their regardless of what happens in our last game.
I’ve rotated quite heavily in these games. The group isn’t as hard as it could be and it’s a long season ahead. We had a cracking game versus Olympiakos on the 2nd November. Super sub Sanchez saved the day with two late goals.
Surprisingly, Spurs have topped what I dubbed the ‘group of death’. With the likes of Monaco, Juventus and current Europa Cup winners (3 times) Sevilla, I thought they would have a really hard time of it.
Juventus just haven’t turned up, with their only wins coming against Sevilla who have so far picked up no points.
A Familiar Sight
Worryingly, we currently sit 4th in the league. An all too familiar sight for Arsenal fans. Six out of the last eleven seasons Arsenal have ended up finishing 4th. With the board expectation that we win the league, we MUST do better. How ruthless the Arsenal board will be with me remains to be seen.
The New Boys Are Performing Well
Out of the two (Balde and Stefan Bell), Balde easily had me the most excited. I bought him to take up Sanchez’s position in AML, in the hope that he would make it his own.
To end up on the cusp of December with Bell rated as my highest performer across the whole squad, I am pleasantly surprised.
My biggest concern with Bell is that he only wins 69% of his tackles (in the Premier League), so I will be monitoring this over the course of the next few months.
I can’t see him totally replacing Mustafi, but he is certainly playing very well.
Improve Or Get Out
I can’t share the same praise I do for Bell and Balde with ALL my players. We do have some concerning performers in the squad, and one player in-particular that is trying to ruffle some feathers.
These three boys, (Ozil, Lucas and Iwobi) just haven’t been performing as good as I’d hope.
Ozil is the joint top earner at the club and I expect better. In the bigger games, I have preferred Cazorla to Ozil right now in the number 10 role. While he has 3 goals to his name, he only has 1 assist, and as our primary player maker, he has to create more.
Lucas is new to the club and is being rotated in and out. There is definitely some leeway to give when it comes to his performances.
Iwobi on the other hand has got under my skin a little bit. Man City showed some slight interest in him and all of a sudden he thinks he can do better than Arsenal. Man City boast some huge talent in the attacking side of the squad, and Iwobi would be right down the pecking order if he were to move. I will be keeping an eye on his mood as the months go on. I expected him to compete with Balde for the AML spot, but so far he’s not getting a sniff and this is mainly due to his attitude.
Spend Spend Spend?
In some great news, the board increased our transfer budget to £56m. With Iwobi wanting to leave, and the likes of Walcott on big money and not really playing, we could have some sales within the squad, which in turn, will of course leave space for some purchases.
The Winter window is a tricky one, but I won’t rule anything out. Not yet.
What The Future Holds
December looks to be a busy month, as it always is within the Premier League. While other leagues get a winter break, us English dive head first into a jam packed schedule.
We have a favorable fixture list for this month, with the hardest Premier League game coming first.
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