Arsenal vs West Bromwich Albion – A Chance To Not Slip-Up

Arsenal vs West Bromwich Albion – A Chance To Not Slip-Up

Wikimedia/Nazmi-Amin Tai

Looking at the up-coming fixture from an Arsenal’s fans perspective (my perspective), It’s hard to look at this weekend’s game as anything other than ‘A chance to not slip-up’.  Optimist’s will see this title and say “that’s no attitude to have”, but let’s be realistic here and analyze the situation.

Every Arsenal fan has one eye fixed on the FA Cup final.  A real shot at our first trophy in over 9 years is something everyone is excited about.  Finishing 4th yet again has gotten old for this writer.  Sure statistically we have a chance at finishing 3rd but it looks very unlikely, and even if we did, It wouldn’t change anything.  As I like to joke, I must be terrible luck because I decided in the Fall of 2005 that I was to be a Gooner for life, and since then, Arsenal hasn’t won a single trophy.

Finishing 4th has been labelled “winning a trophy” by Arsene Wenger before and while I always respect his commitment to optimism and to having one eye on the big picture, as a fan and fellow coach, it disgusts me.  How can you enter a competition and not be telling your men our goal is to win the title and that’s it.  If you truly believe that goal then others will follow.  If you truly believe that goal then you will not be referring to finishing 4th as being as good as “winning a trophy”.

But I digress, deep breathe, and now I remember what I was talking about…West Brom this weekend.  Arsenal have been scoring freely as of late and having Ozil and Ramsey back in the line-up has made a very easy to see positive impact.  I think every sports writer writing about Arsenal in the past two weeks has commented on this.

Ramsey has started to look like the Ramsey of the Fall.  Making perfectly timed runs from deep through the middle and picking out wonderful passes played in and behind the defense.  He is always capable of changing a game on his own.

People are quick to criticize Ozil but he brings an entire other dimension to any game he plays in.  People look to statistics to often to validate someone “playing well”.  Even when Ozil doesn’t score or assist, his intelligence creates opportunities for those around him.  His hold up play is superb, his movement always creating spaces for others, his ability to pick the final pass is 2nd to none.  He will continue to be a core part of this team and if he’s played at the weekend, which I expect he will be, I believe he will have a big impact on this game.

My prediction is a 3-1 win to the Arsenal with the only goal for West Brom off a set piece.  Bold prediction?  Maybe…but fortune favors the bold.