Well, I felt pretty terrible about life waking up yesterday morning, but then the mighty Spurs brightened up my day when they gave up a 3-0 lead inside 18 minutes after the second coming of Gareth Bale.
Beautiful stuff. That killed off ‘THEY’RE GONNA WIN THE LEAGUE’ talk pretty fast. Spurs will be up there this season, but contending the title? Have my doubts people.
Even better than that, Emi Martinez kept another clean sheet and Ross Barkley fired the impressive Aston Villa to another win against Leicester.
So, the weekend shook out quite nicely. We’re 5th, level points with Leicester. United, City, Wolves, and Chelsea are all behind us in the table.
Suddenly, losing 0-1 to Manchester City in a very tight game doesn’t look so bad. I mean, not great, but I’ll be the perspective police here and say it could have been worse. City are a very good team, we had good enough chances, we forced them into a cagey response. Games like that should be close and live on a knife-edge… I suspect if we add a little more flair to our attack in those sorts of games, we’ll not have that top 6 away record hanging around our neck much longer.
Additional good news: We currently have the second-best defensive record in the Premier League. Arteta is building from the back, if he maintains this sort of record all season, we’ll be in contention for the top 4.
A lot of fans are throwing around our dismal attacking numbers, and rightly so… but that will develop and if we’re honest, we’ll probably have to buy to really solve those challenges. We don’t have an Aouar or a Grealish in our squad and it is very unlikely anyone is going to develop into the role. The gamble for this season is that if we have a strong foundation, we can live off less chances because we have Auba. A lot of eggs in that basket though. We really need to up our creativity and share around the responsibility for scoring.
We do have a chance to experiment. This Thursday is sandbox time. We’re playing Rapid Wien, currently 2nd in the Austrian Bundesliga. This game is important as it sets the tone for the competition. Arteta will want to win, but he’ll be all too aware that we do not have the depth of quality in our squad to deal with an injury crisis this season. I expect some experience, but I also hope we see a lot of young players. Joe Willock and ESR are the best candidates for more attacking flair in our play… hopefully, they deliver a good performance. This is our back-up for top 4 this season, but we should really be walking the groups with our reserves.
We also have a really big game on Sunday. Brendan Rodgers, top 4 contenders, needs to make amends for the Villa loss. Arteta, will be desperate not to lose ground at the top of the table. It’s a huge game, how will the team react? We shall see.
Short one today, see you in the comments. x