A thumping 6-1 win over the Saints and the clouds over Arsenal’s striking capability are clearing now. After first two matches ended in draws against the teams for whom the final third is the half way line in the pitch; verdict came out a bit too early. Without RVP, we were not considered good enough to bang in goals. And now we have, 2 against the Kops and 6 against Southampton. Critics might again come heavily on Wenger, labeling the opposition as ‘minnows’- the same minnows which were leading against the Manchester City and Manchester United by 2-1 in their previous fixtures, only to come out as a losing side at the final whistle.
And again, we were solid defensively. The first goal that we conceded this season was totally Szczesny’s fault and probably, he will get a good hearing from both Wenger and Bould. Our shot stopper can’t afford to be careless as he was there; he will get away with this but against big clubs in big matches; it could be costly and also, Mannone breathing down his neck.
So, 8 points from 4 games into the season, with least goals conceded and the best goals difference, we are in a position where nobody imagined us to be in. They expected lots of goals in our porous defense and the strike force was written off before being watched. But here we are, 3rd in the table and apart from Man City and Chelsea, the only other team undefeated in the league. Of course, it is too early to be happy about. Or is it ‘really’ too early?
Our weakest and most vulnerable link last season has performed the best so far. In four matches, in which we played Liverpool and two physically stronger teams- we stopped them from scoring. Credit has to go to Steve Bould, who was a part of Arsenal’s one of the miserly defense ever. Vermaelen has been an influential leader and Mertsacker has done a good job in keeping one of our finest players of last season- Koscielny on the sidelines. Even Gibbs and Jenkinson have been impressive and if things go this way, we are looking forward to a great season ahead.
In previous seasons, Arsenal has to deal with injuries to the best players for long periods. Even last year, we lost Wilshere for the season which really did impact us. In this campaign, things have been looking good up till now (please God, do not jinx them). Diaby is finally playing, Wilshere, Frimpong and Rosicky are around the corner and one month down the line, we will probably be looking at one of the best midfield in the entire league. When you have Cazorla, Walcott and Ox in the first eleven and Ramsey and Gervinho on substitution list with Wilshere and Rosicky near-fit, you have to say opposition has to be scared. They cannot afford to take us lightly.
Probably the weakest part of our team is our forward line. Even though Podolski has been super impressive, Giroud is yet to find the net. He has had his chances and I will not write him off in any sense. Against Montpellier in the Champions League clash, he won majority of the headers he contested for. Wenger has to ready the team and prepare them for the flick ons of Giroud, which might crucial as season goes ahead. Podolski has netted 3 in his last three, one of them a super free kick against the saints. The ‘lethat’ left foot has replaced the much celebrated ‘cultured’ left foot and the fans have starting to forget the “WHO”? Even Gervinho has started scoring. Only if Giroud scores in his coming fixtures, it will do his confidence massive good. He just needs to be persevering and the fans need to be patient. Sure, we are, Giroud.
As I said, not many are expecting us to win the league this season. We are being touted for one more Champions League place finish. In one way, it’s good for us. We can play with less of pressure and expectations and the quality of players we have in our side, I am sure it is not “too early’ for us to predict anything. Is the wait ending?
Gooner Till I Die.