Former Arsenal star Charlie Nicholas has made his predictions ahead of our clash with West Bromwich Albion this Thursday, and he’s not exactly positive (via Sky Sports).
We’ve been performing poorly for quite some time now, and we’ve gradually slipped down the table to the point where even top four isn’t guaranteed. We dropped points against Crystal Palace last weekend – one of the teams showing the worst form in the league – and that’s simply unacceptable for a top team that is expected to be challenging for the title.
Nicholas believes we could face more problems against the Baggies in midweek, highlighting our struggles at the Emirates as a real problem. He does at least predict a narrow 1-0 win, with Mohamed Elneny getting the all important goal.
“West Brom may be safe but Tony Pulis won’t do Arsenal any favours,” he said.
“The Emirates isn’t a difficult place to go any more, because you know you can sit in and you’ll get chances.
“Arsenal are in a really dangerous situation, with [Manchester] United potentially just a point behind by this stage. I’ll start on the edge of my seat and end the game hiding behind it, with another seriously uncomfortable night, and I think it could be Mohamed Elneny – one of the few impressive players – to save Arsenal.”
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It’s been the same old story with Arsenal this season, looking like world beaters at times and potentially challenging for the title at the midway point. We then drop off during a period of poor form, dropping points against teams we can’t afford to.
Leicester and Tottenham have managed to remain fairly consistent throughout the campaign, getting the wins when they need to – even if it’s just a matter of scraping by with a 1-0 victory.
Our defensive frailties and lack of mental strength have seen us regularly throw away leads and fail to capitalise on great positions, with our recent games against West Ham and Crystal Palace prime examples.
We were 2-0 up and in control against the Hammers, and when playing at home you can’t let leads like that slip. We let Andy Carroll of all people run riot at the Emirates, and in the end we were arguably lucky to get a point.
Against Palace we absolutely dominated the game, with a huge number of half chances created and plenty of shots taken. We never killed the game off though, and while the score remained 1-0 the visitors were always in with a chance of getting something out of the game. We fell apart and looked defensively weak near the end of the match, and once again we were arguably lucky to get a point. They had a two on one chance right near the end of the game, and it really wouldn’t have been a surprise to see us downed 2-1.
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We really can’t afford to drop any more points, as Manchester United are right on our heels and could still snatch the fourth Champions League spot.