This blog comes to you having just purchased two tickets for the Manchester City Carling Cup match..
As Arsenal’s multinational squad disperses to the far flung corners of the globe- corners? globe?- you know what I mean, for the next round of totally meaningless international fixtures, they do so with all but the doomiest of doomers thinking that the team haven’t done so badly over the last few weeks. Four straight wins in the league tells its own story. And, okay, 3 of those 4 games came at home, but the other one was at Chelsea. Besides which, thinking back over how the boys limped from one disaster to the next at the end of last season, 4 straight wins seems like the stuff of dreams.
What’s been quite intriguing is, as the results have started to stack up, there have been flashes, welcome flashes of the Arsenal of old returning to us like a long lost, long forgotten, lover stood on a station platform. Witness: the opening twenty minutes against Sunderland, a tornado of passing and movement: Witness: van Persie’s opening goal at Chelsea, and Gervinho’s awareness of his position that allowed him to square the ball for an easy tap in. Witness: van Persie’s closing goal at Chelsea and the way Rosicky led the charge forward like some kind of, admittedly much slower, Patrick Vieira. Finally, witness the team interplay that led to Mikel Arteta’s goal on Saturday afternoon. No sir, I’m not suggesting for one minute that this team is about to go the rest of the season unbeaten. I am suggesting, though, that the “Where Has Our Arsenal Gone?” group might be getting an answer to that question soon. On the pitch, at least.
Still, Arsene isn’t getting too carried away with his new group of players just yet, saying we still “have work to do” to get where we want to be. Looking at the league table, he’s not wrong, is he? Having taken care of our own business at the weekend, I can’t lie to you; it was frustrating to see QPR fail to get a result that was well witin their grasp against the league leaders. Spurs amazing resilience/ luck elsewhere in west London over the weekend was beyond frustration and into the realms of the ridiculous. So we are, despite a largely positive display at the weekend, bascially where we were three days ago. Except that only goal difference is keeping Liverpool above us now. Yes, that’s right people, the mighty Liverpool, “YNWA” and all that bollocks, are starting to slide down the table quicker than a pole dancer on a particularly greasy, er, pole. And that despite two consecutive home games against two promoted sides. Ah well, perhaps if Liverpool had used their £35m on a striker who could actually hit the target from 4 yards… Although, before I get the gloating hat on, I must note that we’re going to find out for ourselves just how good Norwich are in a couple of weeks. And Swansea were, clearly, quite unlucky to leave the Enormodome pointless in September.
If this all sounds like a slightly meandering trip through my subconscious then, of course, it is. But to make a serious point, this team is beginning to build up a rather nice head of steam. It’s doing so in the absence of the man, or boy, most assumed would be the heir to Cesc Fabregas as our playmaker in chief, Jack Wilshere. It’s doing so despite having missed out on the services of Thomas Vermaelen for the first three months of the season and despite having lost one of the best right backs in Europe to a broken leg. It’s clear to see just how much The Verminator has been missed over the last season and a quarter. Not just in terms of what he physically brings to the team, but the security his presence brings too. The team feels much safer with him in it and so the crowd are happier. Which must, in turn, transmit back to the team. It was noticeable on Saturday that even though Arsenal hadn’t made much headway in terms of chance creation after the first twenty minutes, the crowd stayed behind the team. Obviously, the goal came pretty soon after that opening period, so perhaps we never got a chance to get grumpy. It just never felt like that kind of match. As Arsene himself has noticed, Mikel Arteta’s presence has been a big part of that too.
I mentioned Wilshere up there. wasn’t it great to hear him promise to stay at Arsenal for the rest of his career? Ok, so the chances are, like Thierry “here the contract is with my heart” Henry, a better offer one day might well see Wilshere heading for the exit door. But let’s dare to dream for a second, if this football club, which Wilshere clearly loves, can provide him with everything he needs, emotionally and professionally, then why wouldn’t he stay for years? He spoke yesterday of the players around him who could one day create a dynasty to rival the one that straddled the mid part of the previous decade and I certianly feel that, in Wilshere and Ramsey, we have a midfield duo that could elevate us to that level. One day. Hopefully, Robin van Persie will still be around to see it, Myles Palmer continuous refusal to accept the evidence of his own eyes regarding our number 10 is a constant source of amusement to me. No, Myles, West Brom didn’t give him enough space to look that good, Robin just is that good.
If you’ve been having problems accessing this site on your work computer using the URLS globalgooners.com and gossip.globalgooners.com should sort that problem for you.
Get your free LadyArse app here for Android, BlackBerry and Windows phone [iPhone coming soon]
Get your free Arsenal wallpaper, Facebook covers and Twitter headers here