Internet Valium

Not a lot going on this morning. Not a lot at all. Some of you might be wondering why I didn’t post yesterday, and that was simply because there wasn’t anything really worth talking about then either.

If you count Giles Sunu saying he had offers from Chelsea and Man Utd before he signed for Arsenal or that Lehmann is/isn’t fit, then ok. Perhaps I should’ve posted. But in reality, everyone has offers from Chelsea and Man Utd before we sign them because they are so inept at finding their own talent they try to hijack other’s transfers. And Lehmann probably is still injured. For those who don’t think that he ever was, let me ask you as to why Wenger would lie about it? How in any way would that help the player get over his being dropped? Arsene may be very clever and that, but trying to invent a story out of the whole situation is just laughable. Naivety? Perhaps. But if you can come up with a plausible reasoning behind the decision to fake an injury I will listen to you, but until I hear it from the horses mouth I’ll go on believing that Jens’ Achilles is knackered. As is mine. I can still play though. I just means I’m sore(er) for a few days after, and that is why I imagine he is playing against Wales. Not that he’ll have much to do mind you.

It seems that debate rages all over the internet. A debate so fierce, that literally tens of reasonable comments have been posted. I refer of course to the pages that are running “who is the best team/worst team/most overrated team in the league”. You can filter out about 90% of the comments as they are by fanboys who slag off their teams rivals and big up their own. They amount to nothing much more than spam. But to even ask the question after 4/5 games is ridiculous. I guess it’s because the international break has caused a dearth of good stories and blogs et al are struggling to fill their pages (as am I), but it’s just a hit generating measure. It did get me thinking though.

Where do Arsenal sit then after the first 4 games? Well, in the league it’s second. And that’s only because Derby are pony. But to be fair, we’ve hardly looked like championship winners so far. It’s a good solid start and when faced with a similar one last season, the team buckled. This term we seem to have added an extra level of grit that has enabled us to grind out a result like Chelsea do every week. But we’re still doing it with a bit of style. It’s an extra dimension to our game and the only way to succeed in the Premier League is to evolve your style as the other managers will spot any weakness and pounce on it in flash. After the 2002 double, it was decided at some sort of league meeting that Arsenal would be kicked a lot to stop them playing. And it worked. Now this season, we’re giving as good as we get and still playing good football. And as a result we have been able to get points from games that last season we dropped points in, all the while developing our young squad players who have been well drilled in playing the system that Wenger favours. This is screwing with people. How do you beat a team that can play amazing football, and give you a good ruck too? From our perspective it’s levelled the playing field and a lot of managers that enjoyed success against us in the past with their brand of ugly physicality will have to rethink their game plans for this season. This is not to say that Arsenal won’t get booted all over the pitch and won’t lose a game all season, because we will and we will. But it’ll be a lot harder for teams to intimidate us as the youngsters have that little bit more experience, augmented by the steely captaincy of Billy Gallas.

Deficiencies are still present though. We still lack defensively. We have hardworking players and you can’t take anything away from their effort, but lapses in concentration still occur and at this level of football you will be punished for even the slightest indiscretion. Perhaps it is a preoccupation with attacking or simply lacking the right personnel, but the first choice back four aside, the back up just don’t seem solid enough and that could cost us.

We’re not exactly firing on all cylinders up front either. You can excuse it to a certain degree as all of our strikers are either used to playing alongside TH14 or haven’t played together before. Give them a few more games and I’m sure they’ll click, but we can’t rely on the improved goal scoring ability of the midfield to carry us to the title. Some people will tell you we should’ve bought more strikers, proven strikers, but from what I’ve seen of our 4, I think they are all good players. I do think Bendtner should get given more chances though as he’s always made an impact when he’s been on the pitch.

So who is the best team so far this season? In a word, Liverpool. That’s why they’re top. We’re just behind them though and a shite team from Derby apart, we could even be above them. Don’t get carried away though. If the league was decided after 5 games then what would be the point in the other 33? Let’s just all calm down and enjoy the season. The cream will rise to the top eventually and sometime in May the whole thing will all be over. But until then, there is a fantastic ride ahead of us and let’s hope at the end of it we have William Gallas holding the Premier League trophy aloft in the centre circle at The Grove.

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  1. Cool!

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