Arsenal fans could be forgiven for chalking up this season as a case of Déjà vu. We sold sold our best player in the summer to bitter rivals ManYoo and replaced him with what is perceived in some quarters to be with inferior players. Performances this season have been lacklustre at times and we have oft been reminded that this is a direct effect of Robin van Persie’s departure. We have struggled for goals at times and we have not been able to string a decent run of wins together. As the season has progressed, there have been some positive elements to Arsenal’s performances, but plenty of negatives for the media to pick up on and use as their club to beat us with. Nothing sells more newspapers than despair but you won’t ever find much of that here.
There are clear positives to bring out right now. 1) We are challenging for 3rd spot in the Premier League, if results go our way we could even raise our ambitions to an even loftier state. 2) We are in a run right now and confidence is high, defensively and offensively we are performing and that has been a difficult thing for us to achieve this season. 3) Whilst Giroud isn’t banging in 30 goals just yet, we are managing to spread the goals around which makes us a better overall team, rather than being reliant on one super player. 4) You might lament his departure, but I liked the way we dealt with the Song transfer, he touted himself about, make his intentions clear so we shipped him out. No messing, no fuss and we made a killing on the deal. Perhaps Barca won’t be too keen to take another player in the short-term.
Looking at our upcoming opponents, Norwich can be happy with their current situation as they have been out of the relegation zone for most of the season. They currently sit in 14th place, four points out of the drop zone. They may not be comfortable, but another couple of wins should be enough to see Norwich retain their Premier League status for another season. The Canaries were most people’s favourites for relegation after the departure of manager Paul Lambert to Aston Villa but I have always had a soft spot for them so I was delighted when Chris Hughton took them over and steadied the ship. Interestingly, Norwich are above Lambert’s Villa in the table and have done exceptionally well under Chris Hughton. He has brought defensive organisation and discipline to a talented squad and he is getting the best out of the likes of Hoolahan, Snodgrass and Howson. Both of the Leeds recruits have bedded in well and are looking like established Premier League players.
Arsenal take on Norwich City on the 13th April at the Emirates, be sure to check here for Premier League Match Tickets so you can see the game. We start as firm favourites for this game, our home record is looking better and we need to keep up the momentum. Norwich caught us with a sucker punch in the reverse fixture in October and we cannot let that happen again. We allowed them to come at us and dictate the play. Their midfield ran at us all game and we just couldn’t settle into our rhythm. Even Arsene was shell-shocked and said this on BBC. Norwich will be hoping to keep it tight at the back, with most of their attacking play likely to come via counter attacks. A point would be a massive bonus for Chris Hughton’s men in their battle to stay in the Premier League, but we have to be stronger, fitter and meaner. There is revenge to be had and I want Arsenal to take it.
We should line-up something like this;
With the forecasted returns of Wilshire and Walcott, I still expect us to line up with an identical team that has kept us on this run. Why change a winning formula? It’s working for us at the moment and both aforementioned players could do with a few minutes at the end of the game, rather than starting.
Click here for sports tickets so you can watch Arsenal take on Norwich City in London this weekend, or take in any game at the Emirates