This week is a huge one. We have a cup competition to proceed in after a leggy performance last week then we take on Leicester, with an opportunity to derail their title bid.
Gooners, this is the week. I’m telling you. It’s going to click. We’re going to be popping corks in our covid bubbles. Wild scenes as someone runs naked down the Holloway Road because we SMASHED Brenda and his team of wannabes.
There’s hope as well. Whenever we lose a game, which has been often this season, the misery brigade come out in force… because they don’t want to hear what’s brewing at Arsenal, well, someone put the #TeanmPOSITIVE news out on twitter yesterday and it’s good.
Shield your eyes, here’s the Premier League since Christmas Day. pic.twitter.com/Amb3InXSrn
— Josh Williams (@DistanceCovered) February 22, 2021
So you don’t have to do it yourself: Since Christmas.
2nd best defence in the league.
3rd most goals per game.
5th best points per game.
Am I taking my clothes off ready for a streak based on the above? No. But it adds weight to the narrative that things are getting better whether you like it or not.
When you factor in the messy hand we’ve been dealt this season, namely, our best player has been more injured this season than he ever has in his career, 62 red cards, 26 players left out of the squad, no preseason for a rookie manager, a rookie manager… well, you start to see the green shoots.
Am I forgiving the first half of the season? No. It was shite. The coach made a bad bet on Willian. Auba lost his mojo. We totally botched squad selection. We started the season believing we could be a fine margins team… this was a terrible mistake. It happened, we didn’t sack Arteta, and that’s that.
But now we have to look to the future. Many of the problems are on their way to being mended.
We ditched most of the deadwood causing problems behind the scenes.
We addressed creativity with youth and a loan player under the age of 31.
The coaching looks like it’s finally starting to kick in.
The football is exciting.
There were a lot of people saying that Pep G was trolling Arteta when he praised him after the game. I’m not so sure. Bielsa did the same. I think people forget that he made him a vital part of his backroom team for three years, he doesn’t do that as a favour. He correctly called that we’ve been the better team in most games since Christmas.
I also find the ‘HE TREATS PLAYERS BADLY’ commentary a bit painful to read. Jose Mourinho and Gareth Bale? Thomas Tuchel double subbing CHO in week 2? OGS and VDB? After years of bemoaning the Colney creche, we’ve now got feelings about binning Matteo G who dived in his own box at the weekend and cost a goal? Please. Nothing will ever be perfect, but let’s be honest, the culture at the club needed a reboot.
Last season, we fought and battened down the hatch. There weren’t many performances you could get excited about, but we were winning. Spanish Tony Pulis banter was fair.
Post-Christmas, we’re performing even when we’re losing. Performances matter, because at some point, they’re rewarded.
This week is when the performance need to convert. Arsenal need to have a 5 game run to restore some faith. If we beat Spurs, Benfica, and Leicester… it’ll go a long way.
Now is the time to make some moves. City was always a long shot. I don’t think Spurs and Leicester are on the same planet. Benfica certainly aren’t. Time to pull out the big wins.
So, short one today. Jump into the podcast if you haven’t. Enjoy your day. See you on the other side.