Yesterday culminated the first casualty in the Premier League. Rather surprisingly, the chop fell on Chris Hughton‘s head. Now, I do realise his links with our sorry neighbours but you’ve got to feel for him just a little. Currently propping up the table at a respectable 11th position, having just only returned to the Premier League, he has done admirably well. We just have to thank our lucky stars that the board at Arsenal are a more reasonable and patient lot.
Seeing the first Premier League managerial sacking of the season does make you wonder how well Arsene Wenger is doing in his capacity. So well, that he has survived the cull 14 years after he accepted the post as Arsenal manager. The first half of his tenure has been blessed with trophies and there was no way the board will let him go. What is more important is that, despite not doing as well in the second half of his tenure, there has been absolutely no talk about sacking him.
A club needs consistency to survive. Consistency in the management is of utmost importance. These players owe it to the manager for believing in them and signing them. It is hard when you find out that the employer who hired you is no longer at the helm. It makes you question whether you are still an asset to the club. A lot of insecurities comes into play. It would be difficult on the player’s part to perform on a weekly basis when there is a cloud hanging over their head.
One of the main target of the club is to have Champions League games every season. That is something which Wenger has delivered without fail since his arrival at the club. While some of those entries were not by virtue of being champions in England, it is otherwise still a massive achievement. You have to see the improvement of how our results initially were in this competition versus what the results are in recent seasons.
The last statistics means that it would be unthinkable for us to leave the competition at the group stage. At this stage, the target should only come in terms of qualifying for the next stage and not worrying about where we finish and who we would face. Wenger also believes that there is no guarantee that we would get Barcelona, should we qualify. Partizan Belgrade is not a household name in Europe but there is no doubting that it is a massive game for us.
In yesterday’s post, I brought up the topic of defending better and how we cannot keep conceding silly goals or even consolation goals to our opponents. Fair point to Andrey Arshavin for admitting that he is as guilty as any others for the goals that we leak. It is worth noting how Marouane Chamakh is not only important in the goals he scores and the assists he provides, but also the amount of work he puts in, pressurizing defenders. That should apply to all other attackers and midfielders in our squad. If Barcelona and the likes of Xavi, Iniesta, Messi and Villa can do all the donkey work of harrying defenders, there is absolutely no reason why our players can’t do the same.
Match preview tomorrow. Till then, have a nice day.