As I took over Arsenal, there wasn’t a player to play the poacher role, and the best to do so would be RvP. So I decided to have him play alongside Walcott on a very offensive 352, that later became a 2422. At first, RvP did not play well, but Walcott was doing the job bagging goals using his speed. I was also happy to see my offensive plays getting the balls to my forwards, but unhappy with them losing too much chances. Aaron Ramsey also played a part as a supporting striker, and did great, making a lot of passes, but Walcott surprised me with a great amount of goals scored.
My kick off was against Man Utd, where we started well, but let United open the scoreboard. Happily Walcott was there to equalize still on first half. Against Chelsea, we had no chance, played really bad, and deserved to loose for a greater difference. It was clear that there was a lot of work to be done.
A great win over Blackburn prevented any morale headaches after the Chelsea defeat, and Walcott’s hattrick enlightened a new style of play, favoring his speed, this was the moment that the 352 began to be changed to a more direct style of game, but still maintaining three centre backs and three centre midfielders, with a lot of wingback support to both forwards.
A good win against Burnley proved that we were on the right way with this more direct passing style. But when I had a mixed team to play against Sunderland, we hadn’t enough depth in the reserves to keep the same rhythm, tying the match. With Hamsick, Pastore, Busquets and RvP back, Aston Villa where annihilated.
Tottenham and Man City managed to hold us down as for the first time I tried to play with the 2422 formation. I was pretty happy at the beginning of the games, as on both occasions we started off opening the scoreboard and scoring the second goal. But unfortunately on second half, allowed the opponents to tie the match!
I have forgotten to capture a screen shot of the League Table at the end of December, so eager I was to enter the transfer window of January! But, soon I’ll update the table!
For the Europa League, my first appearance on command of The Gunners was against Braga, still in the Group Phase. With Ramsey playing as a forward, we managed a tight home win against the Portuguese after allowing them to open the scoreboard. We guaranteed the first spot in the group winning against Bursaspor, again Ramsey as a forward was the man of the match, scoring once and assisting Theo on the second goal. The first place of the group got us out of Real Madrid’s way, as they are facing Feyenoord, who ended up second on the group Arsenal was.
We have still not entered the FA Cup, but have our first fixture arranged against York on the beginning of January.
For the Carling Cup, David Moyes’ efforts guaranteed Arsenal to the Semi Final, as he leaded The Gunners on a 2×0 wins against Birmingham, Stoke and Middlesbrough respectively for 3rd Round, 4th Round and Quarter Final. Its now up to me to guide the lads on the semi final against Sunderland on January.