Analyzing the Remaining Seasons of the Current EPL Top 5 – #4: Arsenal

Continuing with the individual analysis of each of the EPL’s top 5, it is now time to turn our attention to the Gunners, who in recent seasons have looked a mere shadow of what were once The Invincibles!

ARSENAL:

The team currently 4th have had a very mixed season this time around. Normally what happens is the Londoners fly high till about mid-season and then they suddenly fizz out. Epitomized most by what happened to them last season. Challenging for 4 titles and on the verge of winning their first in 6 seasons, then came a loss to Birmingham in the Carling cup final and as witnessed by all, it was pretty much downhill from there. They slowly but surely went out of all competitions they were challenging for and in the end it proved to be another trophy-less campaign for Wenger’s men!

Although still in contention for 3 titles this season (F.A cup, Premier League and Champions League) few expect them to win much this time around either. Many fans and pundits alike point the blame towards the Gunners’ inability to finish teams off when needed. This combined with the fact that apart from Norwich, Arsenal have conceded the most amount of goals in the top half of the table and one can begin to see where the problems lie for the men in red and white!

One thing though that has been quite amazing and frankly jaw-dropping has been captain Robin Van Persie’s form over the past year and form he has brought into 2012 as well. 35 goals scored in the calender year, just 1 short of Alan Shearer’s EPL record, and the 22 goals & 8 assists this season have been a major part in keeping Arsenal’s hopes for a Champions League spot alive.

Robin Van Persie has been in blistering form over the past 14 months

More great news for the Arsenal faithful is that young Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain signed from Southampton in the summer really seems to have found his feet at the Emirates and has already taken over from Arshavin on the left side of their attack. His dribbling, trickery and creativity have really set the Premier league alight and just like D. Sturridge over at Chelsea, ‘The Ox’, as he’s referred to by the fans, seems destined to be a future Arsenal and possibly England legend!

So whats next for Arsenal? They still have to cope with visits from rivals Tottenham, Man city and Chelsea and pay a visit to Anfield. Still very much in for a Champions League spot and a possible 3rd place finish, Arsene wenger needs to make sure he can keep his teams spirits high and most importantly keep the likes of RVP fit if they are to continue their record of having not missed out on a champions league place in the last 16 years!

(follow on twiiter @rafeyAM_MUFC)

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Analyzing the Remaining Seasons of the Current EPL Top 5 – #5: Chelsea

Well what a season its been! From Man Utd beating Arsenal 8 goals to 2. To them then being beaten in their own backyard 1-6 by the quite extravagant football being played at the Etihad stadium this year, there’s been everything any football fan could hope for in this seasons Barclays Premier League. All the drama and excitement and of course, its not over yet! With 13 games still to be played FootyTacs takes a view at where the current top 5 teams are expected to be, come the end of the season.

There will be 1 post on each team starting with 09-10 champions.

CHELSEA:
Well where to begin here. It’s been a very topsy turvy season for AVB and his men. They started out very very well demolishing most sides (apart from a 3-1 loss to man united). 6 wins in their first 8 games and they were well on track for a fight for the title! It didn’t take long though for the much talked about Andre Villas Boas to experience how hard it is to win games in this league be it against any opposition. A loss to newly promoted QPR followed along with a quite humiliating 3-5 defeat at home to Arsenal and the youngest manager in the league was already feeling the pressure!

Their season has definitely not been helped by the fact that the most expensive player in Premier League history, the 50mil pound man Fernando Torres has struggled to find the net completely at times. Just 2 goals and 3 assists in 19 league games is just not acceptable for someone who cost that much and who was the top dog in the league back in his Liverpool days. And although he hasn’t featured much, Didier Drogba hasn’t had the best of seasons either, netting just thrice in 15 games. That coupled with the incidents involving captain John Terry over the season have really set the blues back by quite the margin and seen them drop from title contention to fighting for a Champions league spot!

Fernando Torres has struggled to find the kind of form that made him one of the most feared strikers on the planet.

But it hasn’t been a complete horror story over at the Bridge. They seemed to have unearthed a new gem in the shape of Daniel Sturridge who after impressing in his Bolton days, has really been the player of the season for me so far for Chelsea. I think he should definitely be going with England to the Euros to really boost their chances this time around!

More great news for the blues is that the 30mil Euros they invested into Spanish playmaker Juan Mata seem to be paying off and he has made a great new addition to what was a seemingly ageing side! His quick feet and great skill on the ball have troubled many a defender and at just 23, he could go on to be a Chelsea great!

So whats next for Chelsea? Their remaining games include trips to the Etihad, Emirates and the Anfield (Have not won any of the 2 games against liverpool this season including the Carling Cup fixture) and a visit from in-form Tottenham. If they can manage to find the kind of form that saw them swoop away Bolton Wanderers 1-5 at the start of the campaign, and keep the likes of Sturridge, Mata and Lampard fit, I think they’ve got a very good chance of finishing firmly in the top 4 and possibly in the top 3 if one of the leading pack slip up a bit!

(follow on twiiter @rafeyAM_MUFC)

Counter-attacking Football at its Very Best!

Here is a video of Arsenal FC, basically a compilation of some of Arsenal’s best counter-attacking goals. Like the uploader says ‘In every goal, the ball starts in Arsenal’s half, but ends up in the opposition’s net in a matter of seconds’. Amazing stuff really, and a good reminder of the raw pace the team once had. Great video for anyone who watches football, regardless of where your loyalties lie.

Direct link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSyaVhuIqCU

Great video and all credits to the original uploader!