The Arsenal Rebuild – Business End of the Season (March & April Update)

What can I say? Domestically, we have been poor. At times, we are unstoppable. Other time we just cant seem to break teams down and they counter us – scoring with their only shots on goal. It’s deflating.

march results

We started March strongly. After our hugely disappointing loss to Spurs, we hosted Burnley and blew them away 5-0 with Griezmann getting 4 of the goals.

Monaco in the Champions League was next. After a 2-2 away draw, we went into the game favourites. Two away goals to our name meant we didn’t have to attack. We merely had to control the game.

monaco 2-1

We went a goal down within 15 minutes. Not a great start, but I had confidence in my team. It was a tough game, with the referee issuing no less than 6 yellow cards. A hard fought battle, but we came out victorious – a victory that saw us reach the quarter finals!

quarter final draw

In fine football fashion, we come up against a team we just bought off. However, this time round, Griezmann won’t be able to take part as he has already played for Athletico in this competition this season – shame!

Unfortunately, even though Sanchez was the hero on the day by grabbing himself a brace, he came off with a torn groin muscle. Not ideal!

sanchez injury

Next up was Leicester in the FA Cup. I had to rotate heavily for this one. We had Bournemouth coming up in a few days. Normally you’d think this wouldn’t be an issue, but Bournemouth are flying in the league and are only 5 points behind us. We had to make sure we didn’t give them a chance of catching us.

Asensio, that’s right, THE Asensio, from Real Madrid scored an absolute worldy to see them to the next round. He is definitely on my shortlist. Who knows, maybe we can poach him from Real Madrid if he finds it hard to get into the first XI.

We saw total domination against Bournemouth. A 6-0 thumping against a team just below us. Griezmann at it again with a hattrick – he’s already our 3rd top goal scorer this season, and he’s only been here since January. Chamberlain has been in fine form, notching up 10 assists now.

We were in high spirits after the Bournemouth game, and we came up against another overachiever this season – Watford. The outcome was slightly different though. It was such a bizarre game. There were 3 notable highlights all game, which were just the goals. We equalized in the 90th minute with a powerful Giroud header. Super sub! When I thought all was done and dusted, somehow the ball crept into our own net with Cleverly crossing in a ball to nobody and Chamberlain not paying attention. I felt sick!

watford loss

March Wrapped Up

Only 3 Premiership games were played during March. We won two, lost one, but had a goal difference of +10 – so it was nice to see a trio of awards.

march player of month

Mixed Emotions, Yet Again

April saw us play 6 games, two of which were in the Quarter final of the Champions League.

april results

Swansea was dull affair. We got the early goal and we sat back and controlled the game. Routine as it comes.

Our first leg in the Quarter final saw us travel to Athletico’s place. We were fantastic on the day, apart from actually putting the ball in the back of the net. With 3 clear cut chances and 3 half chances, we only could muster 1 goal. But if you gave me a 1-1 result away from home at the start of the match, I would have taken it.

The game against Everton was frustrating as all hell. We just cannot beat teams who set up so defensively.

everton lineup

We like to control games, pass and move. But against teams with 10 men behind the ball, we tend to over extend and get hit on the break. That’s what happened twice against us in this match. I firmly believe teams are out to get a draw from us, and this is why we end up losing. We get frustrated and get countered, hard. A complete formation change may be in order next season.

We were fantastic again in the Champions League, once again. While Ozil missed a penalty early on, we completely controlled the game. Hernan Perez managed a goal back on the 90th minute,  but we were able to see out the game. Semi-finals here we come!

Athletico win

CL semi final draw

As you can see, we’ve been drawn against Man City. While they are currently 9th in the Premier League, they have been in great form in the Champions League, seeing off the likes of Roma, Bayern, PSG and Real Madrid. This is definitely a game we need to make sure we avoid complacency.

The Sunderland match just summed up our season. 4 clear cut chances, 2 half chances and we hit the woodwork 4 times. Our inability to convert chances is costing us games – even though we are the highest scorers in the league. On paper, it just doesn’t make sense. We create so much! We should be putting 3 or 4 past teams, but when we can only muster up one goal, the opposition ends up beating us.

Youth Intake

We had a couple of great youth intakes this year. One keeper, and one right winger.

Tran Vann Buu

tran van buu

This guy was initially rated 4 stars. Obviously we had to sign him up, but in doing so, our scouts managed to get a better view of him and bumped him up to a potential of 5 stars! Incredible. He’s already 6’3” with high stats in Command of Area, Reflexes and Determination. I can’t wait to see him develop. The biggest surprise of all is that he is from Vietnam.

Dominic Forbes

dominic forbes

Our 2nd best youth intake was Englishman Dominic Forbes. For a 16 year old, he has some great physical attributes. Another one with high Determination, a good sign for any youngster.

We Seem To Be Heading For 4th

I said to myself I wanted to break away from the Arsenal mould and and try and not become Arsene Wenger 2.0. Sadly, I seem to be heading for 4th, an all too familiar sight for the fans.

league table april

Thankfully, we are doing well in the Champions League, and getting to the semi-final is no mean feat.

A change of direction may be in order for next season. I may have to look into changing the formation that see’s us play 5-2-3  but I’m not sure where that would leave our great wingers in Chamberlain and Balde.

Next Up

The next episode will see us finish the season. With 3 games to go in the Premier League and a semi-final battle against Man City in the Champions League, there is a lot to play for.