The Run In

Today’s post is by PA regular, Seebs.


It’s official.

It’s that time of year again when with ten premier league games to go it’s THE RUN IN.

On Sunday 16th of March at 16.00 we kick off not just a game, but the beginning of our march to destiny, whatever that may be.

The fact that we have got here at all is remarkable considering the Yeovil type playing field we have been competing on. From the relegation battle with Villa at the start of the season to the run of games which see us at the top of the Premier League we have had reason to both laugh and cry, as always Arsenal is a roller-coaster that we hope finishes with us still screaming, laughing and with our hands in the air.

The recent run of games added to spuds, Chelski, Swansea, City, Toffees and Wigan is probably the hardest set of fixtures any European team has ever taken on.  Do well in these and then the only banana skins left are Irons,Tigers, Toon, Baggies and Canaries.  Oh and of course the semi final and hopefully final of the FA Cup. Finish the season by winning a cup final and the double will be safely in the bag.

In recent seasons we have finished strongly and with the strongest squad in years we should feel confident although at this time of the season no game is easy and results are often irrational.  With three derbies, four top of the table clashes, five away games (or five home games whichever you consider more difficult) the task is big. Throw in the rate at which the games come, the anti-Arsenal press putting pressure on us and highlighting negatives to the fans, incompetent refs, the perpetual injuries due to teams being allowed to kick us and our two biggest rivals having bigger squads and easier fixtures, then it becomes mountainous.

We also seem to be picking up injuries at a rate of knots and so picking a team for form or tactics may not even be an option.

Another strange anomaly is the effect the success the youth teams are having. With the youth teams progressing in the youth cup, the PL U21 cup and the UEFA youth CL and the injuries to the first team, there are youth players being chosen for first team games over important youth games and sometimes even the other way around. Isaac Hayden was on the bench in Munich and Semi Ajayi regularly trains with the first team and yet Gideon Zelalem played the youth cup game instead of traveling. It seems to be the youth players will play a vital part in 6/7 competitions between now and the end of the season. The fact we have players who can play quite comfortably in the U18 and PL competitions once again shows the quality of the club.

It is a reminder to any talented youngster that at Arsenal you can progress all the way, an option not available at Chelski or City.

I had originally included a possible Treble in the write up before the return Bayern game but like I say this has been an emotional roller-coaster. Before we all give up and go home this famous club has beaten the odds before and with our current manager one of the best mountain climbers around we are well placed and even if we don’t make it to the top first, the assent has been magical at times and a season earlier than many of us expected. We have won the league on goal difference in 1953 and although that looks against us this season a last game triumph is not beyond us.

http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/winning-the-title-on-last-day-of-season and of course on that glorious night at Anfield in 89, coincidently both played on a Friday night. So there is no reason a last gasp winner should hold any fears for us.

So whatever happens between now and the summer recess COME ON YOU GLORIOUS GUNNERS

We can all join Seebs in the run in on twitter @arse_or_brain

14 comments on “The Run In

  1. Couldn’t have said it any better myself. Thanks A OR B .
    very uplifting indeed. Every game , from here on, as important as they come. Scramble for every point. Should be very nice ride but emotional too.


  2. Marvel how charitable sky and gutter press are to billion pound m c and slag arsenal for same results in champ l makes you wonder


  3. Cheers for the uplifting post A_B!
    A welcome tonic. I too have a feeling tomorrow’s results won’t go they way most in the media expect. AFC will be back in the title race yet.
    Liverpool have to play City and the chavs, they can’t all take full points.

    We can probably take 4 out of 5 home wins and despite relegation battlers and Everton, I say we can win 4 out of 5 away.

    Arsenal got 25 points out of 30 in the first 10 games, so it can be done again.


  4. let the run in with the must win cup finals begin! Well written indeed


  5. Well done A_or_B: top post and thanks for pointing out the successes of the youngsters and the real chances they get here. Funnily enough, I think I read a blog earlier in the week which said that the academy was a failure, so nice to be reminded that that is very far from being the case.


  6. Good post a_or_b. This is the business end of the season indeed! We need a run like we put together for the end of last season and although any sensible person accepts that we may or may not make it to silverware, it has been a glorious ride and we should just enjoy every minute of it.


  7. Very sound aob – what a few weeks coming up – I am sure supporting Arsenal did not used to be quite such a roller coaster – more an ocean liner surging through the sea, sometimes stormy and sometimes calm – drinks in the lounge – ignore lifeboat drill – never seen an iceberg as such

    Must be the internet !


  8. If Chelsea drop points at Villa, a win against Spuds puts us four points back with a game in hand.

    I also have a feeling Shitty is going to tumble against Hull. Shane Long and Jelavic have made them an immensely better team. Hull is going to press the shit out of them.


  9. As usual Passenal puts my views into words.


  10. Nice one there a_or_b,
    it has been an absolute joy of a season.
    A typical season of character for the Arse.
    If our last game is anything to go by, the great run-in has begun…in 3D
    (players in-&-out / 1-point-lifts-EPL / 2 wins-FAcup)

    So glad to have Verm & Poldi back with all balls on the table.
    If Kim K (& AD24) add some fresh zest into the mix, we could see a weekly return of players, psyched up to inflict punishment on whoever’s on deck.

    Our cannons are ready gooners.
    Here’s to a rollicking outro starting with mashed Spuds on sunday!
    Carmon..carmon…you gunners!!!


  11. Very enjoyable read A_B. I was wondering who that young giant was in the pictures of the first team in training. He’s taller than Giroud and Sanogo….


  12. Yes, good post and as most of us have been saying all season long – what a great season it’s been so far!

    These days I only get really concerned when AW admits to concerns and in the last few hours or so he’s expressed as much about not only Aaron’s progress back to fitness but also the numbers of injuries and setbacks we endure. As I’m not remotely qualified to judge on either issue I’ll keep fingers crossed they get to the bottom of things – assuming there is anything to get to the bottom of.

    My opinion, for what it might be worth is that we know AW has always aimed to make our players the fittest in the league.

    Combine this with a tendency for us to be competing on four fronts deep, deep into the season (unlike Liverpool, for example) then we are always more likely to get hurt as it’s not only the number of games played but the frequency of them.

    The real comparison would need to be made with Chelsea, City and Manure of course who also play with a similar intensity as far as the scheduling goes.

    This season we’ve noticed the team starting games at a much slower pace than was once the case and I did wonder whether this was a concerted attempt to pace ourselves better, not just in indivdual games but across the breadth of the season.

    We also know our squads tend to be younger than most of our competitors so whether that’s a factor may be something to consider.

    I also think the hammerings the players are permitted by the referees in games against the likes of Stoke and others can’t be doing us too many favours. The BPL is a ‘robust’ and physically demanding place – maybe too much so, who knows? It was interesting to see how City struggled in Europe in mid-week giving away countless fouls which simply would not have been called at home …

    Injuries, to some extent, are a fact of footballing life but I’ll bet there’s not a single Gooner who doesn’t think we’d have beaten Bayern home and away with a fully fit squad.

    Arsene knows this; if there is anything to discover about our methods, he’ll be the one to find it.


  13. Andrew

    It should be no surprise that our colleagues over at Untold Arsenal are attempting a rather more quantitative analysis of the issue of injuries. At this point their tables show that Arsenal are indeed top of the league. Their study is incomplete. I applaud them for their efforts.


    Contrast the above with a typical post from Pedro at LeGroan

    “But it does show that all the stuff I’ve been writing about isn’t nonsense. It’s based on sound basics. Wenger needs to change his approach to fitness. He needs to update tired methodology. He needs to bring in new people who can help elevate the club to new levels. Dortmund had fantastic players, but one of the most important cogs in the rise to prominence a few years ago was their approach to fitness. They took the Barca pressing game to an even more intense level. That isn’t just about hungry players, that’s a whole new back room approach. United, with that bang average squad won the league last year. Why? A incredible approach to fitness. Fresher, fitter players who recovered quicker than everyone else”.

    How much does Pedro actually know about Wenger’s training techniques?

    Please forgive me for directing your attention to that arrogant rant but under the circumstances I think on this occasion making such a comparison between the different types of Arsenal ‘fans’ was justified.


  14. georgaki,
    “I was wondering who that young giant was in the pictures of the first team in training. He’s taller than Giroud and Sanogo….”

    Jack Jebb. Listed @ 6ft. Not taller than OG or YS. Pic probably caught him in mid-bounce..jogging.

    Didin’t realize Kim K was that tall/big. Listed @ 6′ 1″. Hope he bodychecks Adebayor @ least once for me.


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