Arsenal: Why all is not right at the Emirates

Arsenal opinion: Good form in recent months is only covering up the cracks at the Emirates

Oliver Watkinson
Published 04/28/2013 11:35 by Oliver Watkinson, read by 8,700 people.

As the Premier League season is drawing to a close, few would have predicted after the defeat to Tottenham that Arsenal  would be sitting third in the table, a point above Chelsea and Spurs in the race for Champions League qualification.

The defeat to the White Hart Lane outfit felt like a shift in power between the north London clubs, Andre Villas-Boas stated that his team, accompanied by the brilliance of Gareth Bale, was in an upward spiral of confidence while the Gunners were in a negative spiral of results. Since then Arsenal haven't lost, winning five and drawing one (against a good Everton side) and sitting top of the Premier League form table, as Spurs have won three, drawn four and lost three. 

A quick look at these results would suggest that Wenger has turned it around again as the annual Spurs collapse has begun. But a closer look and all is not rosy at Arsenal. Since the painful defeat to Tottenham, Arsenal have won five games against; Bayern Munich, Swansea, Reading, West Brom, Norwich and Fulham.

Out of those wins only one felt comfortable and that was the game against the almost certainly relegated Reading, in which the abysmal Gervinho had his best performance in the Red and White shirt. 

Twice Arsenal have defended for their lives with only ten men, against West Brom and Fulham both times being lucky to walk away with all three points. A late five minute spell against Norwich saved them from defeat after yet another average performance. Swansea proved to be a good team display in which either team could have won, Michael Laudrup believing the side that scored first would have won the game. 

The win in Europe came against a consistently arrogant and complacent (reasons they lost the final) Bayern side, who had already proved their superiority in the previous leg. 

When Arsenal came across Everton, the team with the best mixture of quality and motivation to win out of past six sides they've faced, they were frustrated and walked away with a point, a point that fairly reflected how even the sides were. In fact Arsenal have only beaten another team in the top six once this season and that came against Spurs at home with Inside Agent Adebayor changing the game. 

Supporters will be encouraged by Tottenham's draw with Wigan, but will also know that at least a point against the champions tomorrow is needed to make that draw hurt Spurs even more. While the past few weeks have been nothing but good for Arsenal, a small section of supporters will be hoping that recent good results, don't paper over the cracks and stop investment in the team happening in the summer. 

Wenger himself suggested at the start of the season that this team is technically the best he'd ever worked with. For his own sake let's hope that opinion has changed.


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