Sunday, 17 March 2013

Signing Jovetic would be fantastic but focus must be on top four

A guest post on the Swansea game with thoughts of what could happen in our remaining nine league games.

The victory at the Liberty Stadium was like that birthday present that you had never expected, or that tenner you randomly find in your back pocket. It was also a 2-0 win which has turned us into serious top four contenders again.

Results are everything at this stage and whilst it was by no means a polished performance, it gives us the hope that the players are up for the challenge and now understand that this is make or break time. They certainly have a point to prove after this season.

Still feeling drained from the Munich trip - which of course included copious amounts of beer - I headed into Saturday’s game knowing that this was more important for the Arsenal and possibly more difficult given our track record against the Welsh side.

Wednesday’s game was a weird one for me. It was great to win and provided us with a huge boost, but Bayern never really got out of first gear and had they been chasing the game I think the result may have been different. That’s not taking anything away from our back five though as I thought they were immense.

The Swansea game turned out to be - in possession terms - very similar to Bayern, with the home having 57% of the ball to Bayern’s 55%. Swansea however had no shots on target whereas the Germans had a hatful of chances which they couldn’t convert.

In both games the team have been defending from front to back, whereas in previous games the defence were being exposed by poor midfield back-tracking (a la Tottenham game). We defended with composure and the Per/Laurent partnership is playing a key part in this. Hopefully this improvement will carry on throughout the rest of the season.

We certainly need strengthening in the final third. Olivier Giroud is struggling to make an impact in games now and although he does have a part to play in our squad, we still need a top quality forward. Rumours of Stevan Jovetic have resurfaced and he would be an ideal signing in the summer, and maybe we can make a dent in that £120m cash reserve.

Anyway no more talk of signings. We have nine games to go and the outcome of these fixtures will have a huge bearing on the summer and beyond.

People would have us believe that it’s the last couple of games of the season, but let’s just remember that there’s still a quarter of the season still to go and mathematically we could still steal second spot - or even first!.   Follow @lloyd_dickson  

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