Arsenal’s Season So Far: Half-Way Point Analysed + End Of Season Table Prediction
With Arsenal top of the league at the half-way stage, Gunner333 assesses the clubs performance so far and predicts how the table will look at the end of May.
With Arsenal sitting top of the league at the half-way stage, Gunner333 gives us an assessment of the clubs performance so far and predicts how the table will look come May.
With 19 games played, 13 victories accumulated and 42 points collected, the Gunners sit at the top-of-the-tree going in to 2014. We have mustered up some great results which include wins against both Liverpool and Tottenham respectively. In this article, I will analyse five interesting points and what we should expect from the second half of the season for the North-London club.
1) Strong Defence
Along with Everton, we have the joint best defensive record in the Premier League so far this season, conceding just 18 – compare that with the worst defence – 42 (Fulham) and it shows just how solid our back-line has been. This is evidently a large part down to the excellent combination of Mertesacker and Koscielny at the back, who have been majestic at times this season.
We have culminated six points more than at this stage last campaign and have the best defensive record over the last calendar year. The introduction of Steve Bould at the beginning of last season has helped the defence greatly. Mertesacker acts as a first-line rock whilst Koscielny is superb at those last ditch tackles which frequently rescue us.
2) Squad Stability
A rather generic point to make but our attacking ability has been superb this season. Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud are our current top goal-scorers, each with eight in the league. Meanwhile, we have failed to score on just two occasions this season- against Man Utd and Chelsea. Combine these factors with the statement that we have conceded only 31 chances inside ‘prime attacking areas’ and it is clear to see why we sit top at present.
Four of the ‘top-six’ sides went into this campaign with a new man in the dug-out, ourselves and Liverpool being the two outsiders. Our stability in the squad and just one big addition in the Summer has called for the ‘old guard’ to step their game up a gear and what a response they have all shown.
3) Critical Consistency
All great sides or just sportsmen/women in general rely on great consistency to push them forwards. This season we have certainly stayed on track and our longest dry spell in front of goal has reached just two games. We went on a five game winning-run earlier in the season and have earned, on average, 2.21 points per game.
These incredible statistics are all surely down to improvements in both our focus and discipline. Very rarely now do we let leads slip and our attacking line is always on hand to grab goals from nowhere, in order to salvage crucial points. Credit for this should ultimately fall on Arsene Wenger who, despite his fair share of criticism in recent years, has always stuck with his boys.
4) Dynamic Midfield
At the end of the Summer transfer window, many were expecting the majority of plaudits for our performances to be down to £42 million man Mesut Özil and although the German has not failed to deliver- most Gunners assists with 7- a young man from Wales has over-shadowed him.
The performances of Aaron Ramsey have been exceptional. Collecting 8 goals and 6 assists he has come on leaps-and-bounds and he now looks like the young talent he was before that horrific injury at Stoke. His flexibility allows him to play on the flanks if needed and in my opinion he is our greatest midfield player at present.
In our Arsenal also (pardon the pun) are both Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere, two very creative masterminds who have been forced out if position at times this campaign. The little Spaniard had lacked his quality from last season due to playing down the flank, whilst Jack has been deployed all over the midfield and attacking positions. Wenger is still searching for the formula to incorporate all efficiently, without disrupting their progress.
5) New Year, New Striker?
Dealt criticism as often as AVB is sacked, Olivier Giroud has attempted to answer his critics with eight goals this season but many Gooners will still be calling for a new front-man in January. Along with the Frenchman we have Walcott, Podolski and Bendtner all on-hand to start up-top, but a young addition in the final third would not go a miss.
Many names have been linked with ourselves, Robert Lewandowski and Karim Benzema at the top of the bill but the more realistic addition of Alvaro Morata has also been mentioned.
Obviously within the final stages of the Premier League season, many twists and turns await. This makes it of the up-most difficulty to make a prediction heading into the second half of the campaign as so many factors have been taken into account. Firstly is overall squad depth and ability, potential transfer activity and of course form.
End-of-season table prediction, Top 5:
1. Manchester City – Greatest Squad in League, Sublime Home Form.
2. Arsenal- Brilliant Coach, Great Starting Eleven, Perhaps Lacking in Squad Depth.
3. Chelsea- Brilliant Coach, Still Unknown Best Starting Eleven.
4. Liverpool- Great Forwards (e.g Suarez), Struggle in Big Clashes.
5. Manchester United- Poor Start, Lack of Midfield Talent.
Perhaps some contrasting views here, but as mentioned, it is impossible to predict how the final table will look at this point in the season, but Arsenal are going to be right in their till the end.
Thanks for reading and feel free to share your predictions below.
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