Welcome to Monday everyone. What a great weekend eh? Nothing like going to see a game in the sun. A game in which you spank your opponents out of sight within the first half. Far less pressured than watching some of those nasty games against lowly opposition last year.
So, where are we? Well, we’ve bagged 8 points out of our first 4 games which sits us in third a mere two points off Chelsea. Pretty good going when you look at how bad a shape we were in this time last year. October onwards last season we showed Championship winning form until we stuttered with the rest of the pack late on. Is it too much to ask of this team to do the same and maybe extend it out a little? Maybe. However, you have to say that we’re looking strong and confident. The whole balance of our starting 11 looks much better.
It’s almost an exact replication of when Thierry left. Everyone questioned where the goals would come from, then what actually happened was a collective effort from the whole side to weigh in and help out. I’m not saying losing Robin was a good thing, but when you’re playing with someone who can finish off literally anything you throw at them, mentally, I think the team becomes too dependent, then after that, too scared to have a go.
Can we win the title this year? Highly unlikely I’d say. What we can do is give ourselves a far better showing this year. It would be nice to be in the chasing pack past February. A lot of that is going to depend on the fitness of the squad and our ability to maintain the strong defensive form we’ve shown in the opening four games. But as of now, things are looking up. With each win the side will build belief and camaraderie. Once you have those two elements going, who knows where the season could take us.
One great bit of news is that Jack Wilshere is back in training. To have him kicking a ball in mid-September is fantastic news for the squad and fantastic news for competition(I think I called it quite a way back as well). Where will he slot in if no one gets injured between now and October? We genuinely have a very good midfield this year. It’s certainly up there with the best in the league. I know we’ve only seen Cazorla for a few games, but I can confidently say I prefer to watch him on the ball than Cesc. He has a far more frenetic pace about his game. He moves the ball around with such finesse and style. I also think he’s more skillful on the ball. He has far more tricks in his locker. As for the rest of them, it doesn’t feel like we have a weak link. Some might say Ramsey, but I’m sure he’ll come good this year.
The only area we’re struggling with is up top and that mainly comes down to the fact we only have one striker and he’s new to England. Still, what better place to break your duck than at your old club where you banged in plenty of goals? Giroud will possibly get the chance to play up front tomorrow in our Champions League opener against the French Ligue One winners. It should be a really interesting game. They have some top players I’d be interested in signing. Particularly MBiwa. He’ll move somewhere at the end of the season, there’s no doubt about that. It’s a shame it wasn’t us… but the form Mertesacker and Vermaelen have shown so far vindicates that.
Talking of defense, it was interesting to see Arsenal have the best shot to save ratio on the Premiership this year. This in part is down to the fact that we’ve only conceded 9 shots in 4 games. It’s a smart way to avoid conceding… defend in a way that stops people shooting. The longer our defensive run goes on, the less likely it’ll end up looking like a fluke!
The big tests are coming up. We’ve got Manchester City this weekend, followed by Chelsea the weekend after. We’ll be able to make a far more accurate assessment of how good we are then. Heading into those games with form on your side is always a good thing. So let’s make sure it’s three points in the bag tomorrow night.
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Right, that’s it… see you in the comments!