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Out of sorts

After only 5 Premier League games, Arsenal are currently sitting in the 2nd spot in the table. That is just 4 points behind leaders Chelsea and a whopping 10 goals behind them already. It puts us level on points with Manchester United with an advantage of 3 goals extra for us. Slightly behind are Manchester City and Sp*rs, who are both 3 points behind us.

That is all well and good, of course we would have loved to be on maximum points, 11 from a possible 15 is not too bad considering Liverpool away was one of the first 5 fixtures. At this point, it is still early to tell how things will pan out. Chelsea are top but they have only been played against weaker oppositions and their first real test is this weekend against City, whom they have lost twice last season.

We are in a very strong position and if anyone had told me before that we could achieve this without Robin Van Persie and Thomas Vermaelen, then I would’ve called them a liar. Which shows just how well the new boys have fitted into the squad. Mar0uane Chamakh have already scored 3 and have gelled almost instantaneously with how we play. Of the more pleasing note is how well Sebastien Squillaci and especially Laurent Koscielny played, either combined or with Vermaelen.

That being said, there are some sore points already this season. While this is something which we have already noticed from last season, Arsenal fans are more forgiving towards them as they have both been a wonderful performer in the past. The players that I’m talking about here are Gael Clichy and Andrey Arshavin. Both have featured extensively in almost all of our games thus far and I’m sure no one would argue if I say that they have only given us under par performances.

In all 3 away games that we’ve played, Clichy have lost several tackles within our own penalty area and that is a major concern. Any miscalculation in the tackling could result in a penalty. One thing that Clichy does have is his pace and that asset have allowed him time to recover from lapses of concentration. That is the only reason why we have not seen opposition players being able to get away from him. However, the problem also lies with the player in front of him.

No matter how quick Clichy is, he can never cover 2 players at the same time. Therefore the player in front of him, in this case, Arshavin must also perform his defensive duties so that the opposition does not overload on Clichy. To put in a nutshell, the Russian captain is in a rut. He goes missing most of the games but pops up with the goal or two. While that is acceptable in terms of going forward, he has neglected his defensive side of the game.

I don’t deny that both these players are of real quality and on their day are one of the world’s best players. However, they are not in the best form of their lives. Would a spell on the sidelines help them to regain back the focus and push on from there? I don’t see how it can hurt. We have Kieran Gibbs as well as Tomas Rosicky / Emmanuel Eboue who can fill in for the time being.

They will get their chance tomorrow against Sp*rs, the preview of that game will come in tomorrow’s post. Till then, have a nice day.