There is one very clear objective that we should identify and acheive to make us CL worthy once again and it is getting us back to the standards we reached in the 2014 season (Luis Suarez’s last season). We managed to acheive what we managed to acheive, a hundred over goals, everyone motivated and clicking. So we must try everything to acheive and get up to that level any which way possible.
I think to win the CL in 1 or 2 seasons would be an absurd thought. We should be thinking if we can make the top 4 or go the last 8 for the Europa before we think about the CL.
I can’t see it with our current team. The inconsistencies, non-goal scoring machine, no attacking flair or inspiration. But we could do it and make a shortcut out of it by buying some top players to fill in key positions.
I would have said we would have taken a step in the right direction had we landed Alex Teixera. Not simply because of his stats but because of another attack-minded Brazilian to combine with the other two. A superb attacking midfielder to support both Origi and Sturridge at the front like this:
Firminho Teixera Coutinho
Wow!…but he went to China.
Sometimes we have no problem with our defense but our attack is just stagnated. Lots and lots of compounded problems, I still cannot see where we are heading. Set piece defending needs to be improved. No running into spaces. Few one-twos. No mid-distance strikes.
If JK can play all 3 strikers in that West Ham FA Cup game, to wrap things up quickly then surely he can consider our most famous twin strikers upfront.
If we can see Divock and Sturridge supported by the likes of Coutinho, Alex Teixera and Joao Teixiera that would be really interesting. We have to stop playing negative minded players who like to backpass and slow the game down. It takes goals to win games. I just hope we make some superb attacking buys this summer.
I see little or no problems with our defense and GK. As shown in our 2014 season, as long as the goals flow at the front, we will be heading for glory.
The manager’s instructions was simple. Finish the game with a 0-0 draw. Barca is a ‘near perfect’ team so snuff them out. Up till half time, Arsenal was doing just that but they got overly enthusiastic in the 71st minute and we can see how Barca counterattacks in such a swift and lethal manner. They key to that goal was Suarez’s nutmeg cross to the center back to Neymar who passed to Messi. It was silly to sub a defender for a defender. For what? Fresh legs? There was only 20 mins left and because Flamini was just getting into the match he scythed Messi and Flamini is liable to such things. Going 1 down is bad enough. Its equivalent to having to score twice at Camp Nou. If we ever have two legged games, the least we should do away is to get a scoreless draw which we did just that at Augsburg. That said, who knows, Arsene will throw caution to the wind as there’s nothing to lose anyway and we could see Arsenal beating Barca 3-0 at Camp Nou with an all out couldn’t care less attack. They have nothing to lose.
Has anyone thought of the knock-on effects of us winning the CapitalOne Cup? A boost of injected confidence that could see us going on a solid winning streak for the PL run-in and Europa League? That could be invaluable. I would have worried if it was one of those highly committed, highly motivated mid-table or Championship teams that was taking us on in the finals (see the last time we won the CapitalOne) but Man City is just another top team and they would have prepared for it as a top team instead of “give it everything you’ve got” attitude that comes from Hull City , West Ham or Crystal Palace. I doubt if Pellegrini would make the same mistake of putting in his young guns as he did for the FA Cup and from that disastrous result against Chelsea, expect Pellegrini to be putting on his strongest lineup for the finals at Wembley.